The 2018-19 Big Bash League season is finally reaching its climax with two massive semi-finals on both Thursday and Friday night culminating in the final on Sunday! Today we are taking a look at the 2nd semi-final, which sees the Melbourne Renegades squaring off against the Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium on Friday night! We give our preview and betting tips game below.
The Hobart Hurricanes will face off against the Melbourne Stars in the 1st semi-final on Thursday night, click here to see our preview and betting tips for that game!
Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Sixers
Friday 15th Feb 7.40pm AEDT (Marvel Stadium, Melbourne)
For the first time since the 2012-13 edition of the BBL, both of the Melbourne based teams will compete in a semi-final. The Melbourne Renegades earnt their 2nd place with eight wins from their 14 games, and just beat out the Sydney Sixers on net run rate alone to secure the home final at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
It’s been a bit of an inconsistent season for the Melbourne Renegades, however, it's been one that has been largely held together by their experienced heads. Aaron Finch, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson and Dan Christian have carried the bulk of the lead for the Renegades this year and they’ll need to continue to do so over the next few days if they want to help Melbourne lift their first BBL08 title.
The Gades won three of their last four games in the regular season to force their way into the finals, however, three of those wins came against the Scorchers and Thunder, who both finished in the bottom three on the table.
Kane Richardson has been one of the shining lights for the Renegades, claiming 24 wickets in the regular season through just 12 games to lead the league in total wickets. Apart from Richardson, the bowling stocks have been a joint effort between Usman Shinwari, Harry Gurney, Cameron Boyce and part timers Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi. Unfortunately, the Renegades will be without Nabi, who has arguably been their most important player this season, chipping in valuable performances with both bat and ball.
In the batting department, the Renegades have struggled to find consistency at the top of the order. Sam Harper is their leading runscorer, having compiled just 299 runs at an average of just 23.00 through 14 games. The Renegades will desperately need one of their experienced top order batsmen in Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch or Tom Cooper to get going against the Sixers.
The Sixers have been the most surprising team of the BBL08 season so far. After many picked them to finish in the bottom half of the table, the Sixers won eight of their 14 regular season games so finish third on the table.
It has been a strong bowling attack that has been the catalyst for the Sixers this year. Sydney boasts three of the top six wicket takers in the league in Sean Abbot, Tom Curran and Stephen O’Keefe, but will unfortunately be without Curran for the finals series as the Englishman departs for international duty. If there’s one side that can cover the loss of Curran, however, it’s probably the Sixers, who originally enquired to Cricket Australia about the availability of Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood before they were side-lined with injury, meaning they’ll likely settle for spinner Ben Manenti.
Like the Renegades, the Sixers batting department has looked shaky at times throughout the year, but have at least had one consistent performer in Dan Hughes, who has compiled 347 runs at an average of almost 30. Jordan Silk, Moises Henriques, Josh Philippe and James Vince make up the rest of the batting order.
The Renegades start as slight favourites here but we think the loss of Nabi is a big one. He has been so valuable in the middle order and early in the innings with the ball that the Renegades might find it tough to cover his absence. The Sixers are great value here at $2.10.
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