The 2018-19 Big Bash League season is now in full swing and the Hobart Hurricanes sit firm on top of the table with four wins from four games. Round 5 of the season gets underway on Wednesday, the 2nd of January and sees seven of the eight teams in action, with Brisbane Heat getting a much needed break to recoup after a disappointing 0-3 start.
We take a look at all four games in Round 5 of BBL08 and give our betting tips below.
It’s been a tough season for the Perth Scorchers so far this year. They have won just one of their opening four games and currently sit in second last place on the table. While their bowling attack remains one of the best in the league, it’s been their batting that has got them into trouble so far this season. In the two games they have batted first, they have managed scores of just 107 and 103 and in their third loss they made just 147 chasing the Sydney Sixers target of 164.
The Sydney Thunder surprised many by winning their opening two games of the season against the Stars and Sixers but have since dropped their next two games. They were a tad unlucky against the Hurricanes as Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short starred in chasing down the Thunders massive total of 193. English superstar Joe Root has been a bit of a disappointment so far, averaging just 15.5 through four games while his countryman Jos Buttler leads the league in runs scores with 195 at 48.75.
Cameron Bancroft coming back into the Scorchers lineup should help them but even with him they still look incredibly thin. The Thunder start as slight favourites and with Jos Buttler in unstoppable form at the moment as well as Shane Watson and Callum Ferguson finding form in the last game, their batting lineup looks too strong.
The Renegades suffered a tough loss in the annual New Year's Day Melbourne derby, scoring just 148 batting first on a great MCG track before the Stars chased the runs comfortably. They now have a 2-2 record through four games and have another tough matchup on Thursday night against the reigning champion Adelaide Strikers who found some form in their last game.
The Strikers lost uncharacteristic games against the Renegades at home and the Scorchers away where they were bowled out for just 88 to fall to 1-2 after three games. They bounced back in game four, however, compiling 175 batting first against the Thunder on the back of a brilliant 75 from skipper Colin Ingram. The Strikers batting lineup still looks a little shaky and is heavily reliant on their top three of Carey, Weatherald and Ingram, however, their bowling unit remains one of the best in the league.
Strikers spinner Rashid Khan was reportedly going to travel back to Afghanistan after the death of his father, so it’s unsure whether he will line up for against the Renegades on Thursday. This is a massive question mark for the Strikers, and will probably be the difference between winning and losing away from home at Geelong Cricket Ground. Check back for our tips closer to the date when more news on Khan is available.
Update: Khan will line up for the Strikers on Thursday night in Geelong. We like the Strikers to win this one.
Hobart have started the BBL08 season like a house on fire, winning all four of their games to remain the only undefeated team in the competition. D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade have been in blistering form to open the seasonm both averaging over 40 runs through the first four games. The Canes season so far has been highlighted by a monster 193 run chase against the Sydney Thunder last week in which Short and Wade compiled 143 between them.
The Sixers have been one of the surprise packets of the season so far, having won three of their five opening games highlighted by a successful 165 run chase against the Heat on New Year's Day. Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk were fantastic in the run chase, compiling 57 and 46 respectively while Tom Curran and Steve O’Keefe have been fantastic with the ball, currently sitting in first and second place in the BBL08 leading wicket-takers.
Really tough game to call here. The Sixers bowling unit, particularly Curran and O’Keefe have been really impressive but their batting probably still leaves a little to be desired. Hobart will look to bat first here and put up a massive total similar to the one they chased down against the Thunder. Not sure if the Sixers will be able to keep up in the batting department.
The Stars secured a fantastic win over the Renegades in the New Years Day Melbourne Derby to move to 2-2 through four games. They'll have a tough contest on Saturday night when they face off against the Thunder. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis was fantastic in the Stars win over the Renegades, claiming 2-26 off three overs before opening the batting and making a matchwinning 78 off 49 balls.
The Thunder captured a great win at the University of Sydney Stadium on Wednesday night, downing the Perth Scorchers in a thrilling game that went down to the last ball. Jos Butler was fantastic with the bat once again for the Thunder, compiling 55 off 54 balls to help the Thunder set a total of 142. Spinners Jonathan Cook, Chris Green and Fawad Ahmed then applied the clamps for the Thunder, taking four wickets between them to set up the win.
Tough game to call here, the Thunder seem to have bounced back after losing two games in a row but it's hard to bet against the Stars at the MCG, particularly with Marcus Stoinis in such good form. With Ben Dunk also finding form against the Renegades, the Stars batting lineup is starting to look extremely dangerous. We think they win at home.
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