Big Bash League (BBL04) Round 2 Preview, Tips and Promos

December 22nd 2014, 5:28pm, By: Mr.Cricket

Big Bash League (BBL04) Round 2 Preview, Tips and Promos

The first round of the Big Bash League was one to remember with the four outsiders all recording victories in a stunning round of upsets full of scintilating peformances. So while our match results were disappointing, we can take away a number valuable lessons.

Firstly, the first round of the Big Bash should always be a low confidence round. There are new team line ups and no form lines. Best just to sit back and watch.

We’ve also learnt that often the value in these matches lay with the underdog. Anything can happen in T20 cricket, and it only takes one person to change a match. Every team has potential match winners, so if these games are close to a coinflip, then it’s best to side with the team offering the better price as that’s where the value is.

The first round did tell us a lot about the teams and where they are at.

The Melbourne Stars were the major disappointments with two really poor performances. Some say they’ve played the top two teams, but to be honest, I don’t think they would’ve beaten anyone with those performances. Their batting lacked intensity. Even when KP was going well in the opening game, he was often seemingly in cruise control. How can you let Craig Simmons bowl two overs of floaters for nothing? As Mike Hussey showed, it’s gotta be 100% intensity every ball. The Stars bowling was also too much on a length in both games, so there’s a lot to work on there.

Adelaide, Hobart and the Thunder were all very strong. As we said in our write up, Adelaide’s top order is very good, but I’d like to see how they go if that middle order is exposed. That’s in contrast to Hobart who were well tested with three early wickets, only for their middle order to shine with some incredible batting from Wells and Sammy who took Man of the Match after only facing 12 deliveries. Then there’s the Thunder who were led from the front by Hussey and Kallis with two incredible knocks. The Heat should’ve taken a leaf out of their book and put their guns in a the top of the order.

The Heat had some positive signs, so I don’t think there’s any need for panic there. They just ran into two of the world’s best batsmen. The Thunder will also be tested when Hussey and Kallis fail.

Finally there’s the Sixers. A team who we were very keen on preseason, before they were struck down with crucial withdrawals. Depsite all that, they still secured a great win over a lacklustre Renegades. If the Sixers get back to full strength then watch out!

The highlight for the Sixers was Nic Maddinson who we’ve been keen on for three seasons to play an innings like that. It might be the turning point for a big future for him.

Speaking of futures, while our match betting didn’t go well, our futures bets all performed really strongly. Hussey, Maddinson, Wright and Dunk all made runs which sets us up well for the rest of the season.

Big Bash League Round 2

Monday Dec 22nd - Perth Scorchers vs Adelaide Strikers (WACA)

It will be Perth’s first appearance in the Big Bash at home at “The Furnace” against an Adelaide Strikers team that will be full of confidence.

The Strikers run chase was on the back of Tim Ludeman, but Craig Simmons will also be keen for a big game against his old side. Michael Klinger will be hoping to do the same for Perth against his old side.

While their batting was excellent, I was most impressed with the bowling efforts of the Strikers. Johan Botha is crafty with his bowling changes and Laughlin and Zampa were superb, while Richardson is alwasy solid.

Perth probably have the biggest home ground advantage in the league, and their bowlers are always tough to combat over there. Without the Marsh brothers, I just worry about their batting depth, once their top three are knocked over. They’ll also miss the all-around abilities of Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Verdict: The odds originally had this one a 50/50 contest but Adelaide have been well supported. We feel similarly and lean towards the Strikers who have some form under their belt, but there’s little value there.

Tuesday Dec 23rd - Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Sixers (Bellerive Oval)

What a huge match this has become in Round 2 with both teams scoring upset wins in Round 1. The Hurricanes are the new BBL04 favourites after their stunning win against the Melbourne Stars. Their batting was awesome, and when you consider that Travis Birt was left out as 12th man, it says a lot about their batting depth. They looked a batsman short on paper, but Gulbis fills the all-rounder spot as a capable option with both bat and ball.

Mennie and Hilfy were strong with the ball, and they’ll need to be as they have a lot of reliance on the two spinners in Doherty and Boyce this season.

The Sixers will again be tested for depth. They are well short of full strength and their middle order of Cowen and Silk are yet to be exposed after Maddinson’s dominance. However their bowling looked great with Lee and Abbott bowling with T20 intelligence which is rarely seen. They’ll need to be on top of their game to keep the Hurricanes batting under control.

Verdict: Hurricanes look too strong and if they win to go 2-0 against arguably the two strongest franchises in the league, then they are well on the way to a finals berth.

Friday Dec 26th – Perth Scorchers vs Melbourne Renegades (WACA)

After the Christmas break, the Big Bash League resumes Round 2 on Boxing Day with the Scorchers hosting the Renegades.

As we predicted preseason, Perth has some real problems with the bat whenever the Marsh brothers are out. Michael Carberry was extremely underwhelming in his debut for the Scorchers, looking very much out of touch. He needs to improve. He opened with Marcus Harris, but I would much rather see Michael Klinger opening. He’s their best, most consistent batsman so he should be given the opportunity to face as many overs as possible. Sam Whiteman was also far too low at number seven, for someone with real talent. Fortunately the Scorchers are good with the ball with Jason Behrendorff super impressive with four wickets to get our futures bet on him off to a cracking start. They came close to beating the Strikers, and probably should've won, but let it slips through their fingers.

The Scorchers need to bowl well once again as the Renegades look the stronger team on paper. Aaron Finch had a good whinge on Twitter about travelling on Christmas Day for this match, which wasn’t exactly leading by example, but he’ll certainly need to lead by example on the field. Matthew Wade looked good at the top of the order while Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell are capable of anything. Callum Ferguson contributed in the last match, but needs to lift his intensity in a T20.

The Renegades were warm favourites against the Sixers but came undone with their bowling rather poor against a Nic Maddinson onslaught. Peter Siddle will want a better performance to lead the attack.

Verdict: Two teams with some similarities and both keen for a win to avoid dropping off the pace. Both appear to have fagilities with batting depth, and some decent bowling options. The Renegades definitely look to have more match winners on paper, but over at The Furnace, the price on offer for the Scorchers looks the value.

Saturday Dec 27th – Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers – ANZ Stadium

The final match of the round shapes as a beauty with a record crowd expected in Sydney for the home town rivals set to clash at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

The Thunder were incredible in their first match of the season with Mike Hussey and Jacques Kallis putting in two epic performances to amass a huge score.  It was a match-winning effort but the Thunder have yet to be exposed if those two don’t perform. Their bowling looks in good shape with Sandhu, Cummins and Nannes all bowling well.

Meanwhile the Sixers are sitting pretty at 2-0, despite some big names missing from their squad. Nic Maddinson is on fire and is finally delivering on his potential, and he has been well supported by Michael Lumb and Moises Henriques. Brett Lee and Shaun Abbott have been good with the ball, and they will welcome back Mitch Starc from the Test squad who is very dangerous in this format.

Verdict: The bookies are very split in this match which is a little surprising. Sure the Thunder were good, but that was purely because of Hussey and Kallis. It will be a little different for them facing Lee and Starc at the top of the order compared to James Hopes. And what have they got after that besides Eoin Morgan? The Sixers are a more complete team with several players in good form and a stronger bowling line up. Happy to stick with the Sixers to go 3-0 at a good price.

Big Bash Betting Tips

Overall record:  - 4.88 units

Adelaide Strikers (vs Scorchers) @$1.75 at Sportsbet (no play)
Hobart Hurricanes (vs Sixers) @$1.65 at BetEasy (no play)

Added Dec 26th:

Perth Scorchers (vs Renegades) @$2.20 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Sydney Sixers (vs Thunder) @ $1.95 at Sportingbet (2 units)

With no plays on the matches we'll look to take advantage of the Sportsbet promotion where you can place a Team Highest Run Scorer bet and if you bet loses, and your player hits a six, you'll get a full cash refund up to $100. We like this promotion for two reasons - firstly, you can target big hitters so that it only takes one good strike to be freerolling, and secondly, you're getting a cash refund, not just a bonus bet. This is a big difference to look for with these promotions.

So with that in mind, we like the odds about Brad Hodge in tonight's game. Tim Ludeman's incredible innings has seen him shorten which means we think there's a bit of value about Hodge at $5.00.

Back Brad Hodge leading run scorer for the Strikers @$5.00 at Sportsbet (1 unit with promo)

 

Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly.  Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!

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