Big Bash League (BBL04) Round 4 Preview, Tips and Promos

January 1st 2015, 5:46pm, By: Mr.Cricket

Big Bash League (BBL04) Round 4 Preview, Tips and Promos

Happy New Year! Hopefully 2015 will bring everyone continued good fortune on the punt! We’re looking to start the year with a bang following another mixed round of the Big Bash League. The teams we rated at the top of the ladder in the Stars, Sixers and Hurricanes all went down in pretty ordinary performances, while the Renegades finally got a tick in their win column. The Scorchers, Sixers and Strikers look to be the top three teams, with the rest fighting for that last spot in the finals.

It was a strong round for the traders, with the Heat almost joining the $1.01 club after looking home and hosed before clutching victory from the jaws of defeat to win by a single run. It was the game of the round and left the Stars stuck on the bottom of the ladder at 0-3. Could the overwhelming preseason favourites really end up with the wooden spoon? They will need to win every game from here out to make the semis due to their terrible net run rate. It looks an impossible mission at the moment but it remains a very even and competitive season.

Thursday December 1st - Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Thunder (WACA)

We welcome in the New Year with a match in Perth with the Thunder heading West to take on the Scorchers. It looks a very tough ask for the Thunder with the Scorchers landing an impressive away win against the undefeated Sixers, while the Thunder were quite poor in their loss against the Renegades.

For the Scorchers, it’s their bowling line up which is proving a handful. They couldn’t make a big score in Sydney, but the opening combination of Dixon and Behrendorff instilled enough fear into the Sixers to allow them to defend a mediocre total of 135. That’s the thing with the Scorchers. They don’t have a great batting line up, but they feel that they can defend any total. Ashton Agar has been called into the Test squad but has still been named in the Scorchers squad.

The Thunder were steamrolled by a returning James Pattinson in Melbourne and just couldn’t recover. If Hussey and Kallis fail, they just don’t have enough experience behind them, and with that in mind, it makes them unbackable in my book. Another loss here and a slide towards the bottom of the ladder appears inevitable.

Verdict: Very happy to take the early price on the Scorchers at home at $1.70 at Ladbrokes for what I feel should be a comfortable win.

Friday December 2nd – Hobart Hurricanes vs Brisbane Heat (Bellerive Oval)

The Hurricanes back up for their second game in three days as they host the Heat at Bellerive Oval.

The Heat were very good against the Stars but gave themselves an almighty scare by not closing things out with the ball. They have some of the best hitters going around with Lynn, Reardon and Cutting among the very best in the country. They cannot be underestimated.

It could be a high scoring match with the Hurricanes possessing one of the best batting line ups in the league on paper but they completely misfired in their New Year’s Eve match against the Strikers. Jonathan Wells continues to stand out, while Travis Birt must be pulling his hair out as he still can’t crack a game in the first XI. The Canes have made one change however, with Ben Hilfenhaus copping the selection axe. After four wickets in the opening game, he’s been very poor since, and Jake Reed has been called up for potentially his Hurricanes debut.

The Hurricanes will be desperate to perform here, and in fact both sides need this win desperately to stay in touch. The winner get back in contention for the finals, while its a long ahead for the loser.

Verdict: The Hurricanes are currently a $1.80 favourite at Sportsbet, but this is too tight for me to flip the coin. Happy to sit back and watch.

Saturday January 3rd – Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars (Etihad Stadium)

It’s going to be 40 degrees in Melbourne, the roof at Etihad will be closed and the stands will be packed for the first hometown derby between the Renegades and the Stars on Saturday night.

The match has a rather surreal look about it with both teams struggling with just one win between them. The preseason favourites in the Stars have been nothing short of terrible in their opening three games and find themselves on the bottom of the ladder. They will have to win every game to make the finals now, and in such an even competition, that looks virtually impossible.

Where are they going wrong? Their batting has been extremely poor. Luke Wright looks in ok touch, but Glenn Maxwell’s leave first ball last week will be replayed on YouTube for years to come. Appauling. The only shining light last week was Rob Quiney’s near-heroics but he was on one leg after a groin injury which will now rule him out. English recruit Kevin Pietersen comes back in and will need to lead by example.

With the ball, I’m not sure why Clint McKay is not getting a game as his variety and experience is valuable. Jackson Bird is struggling and needs to have more impact with the new ball.

The Renegades were happy to be back under the roof at Etihad where Aaron Finch was back in good form to lead from the front. Andre Russell continues to look extremely dangerous with the bat, however this will be the last game for Russell and Dwayne Bravo before joining the West Indies tour of South Africa. Shakib Al Hasan will come into the team, while Englishman Ben Stokes has been signed after Kiwi Jesse Ryder was forced to withdraw with a back complaint.

However it’s with the ball where the difference was last game when they defeated the Thunder. They struggled to find wickets in their first two games, but last match James Pattinson came into the side and terrorized the Thunder top order, rattling the stumps on three occasions in an super-impressive performance. He’ll need to do the same this match, with Peter Siddle still up with the Test squad.

Verdict: The bookies can’t split them in this match and that’s understandable. You can get the Stars at $2.00 at Luxbet, and if you like the Renegades, the best price is $1.95 at Sportingbet. I would argue that the Stars should be the better team. On paper anyway. But we’ve been saying that all season about the Stars and they’ve burnt us three times so far, so we’ll keep our money in our pockets thanks.

Sunday January 4th – Brisbane Heat vs Adelaide Strikers (Gabba)

The final match of the round will see the Heat back up once again as they host the undefeated Strikers.

We continue to underestimate the Strikers, but they were awesome in their demolition of the Hurricanes on New Years Eve. The Hurricanes have since proven their batting strength, but they had no answers for the Strikers bowling attack who are proving to be a highly-skilled combination. Zampa and Botha are both extremely crafty spinners, Richardson and Laughlin are excellent at mixing things up while Tait is capable of anything.

Their bowling has set things up for their batting with Tim Ludeman putting in another impressive performance at the top of the order. He’s 3rd on the overall tournament leading run scorers with a game up his sleeve, so it’s been a great start to the season. The Heat will need to get him out quickly to expose a middle order that is yet to be really tested. The Strikers will miss Brad Hodge once again through injury while Shaun Tait has been rested.

The Heat went to Hobart full of confidence following their 1 run win over the Stars and belted the ball to all corners to amass an incredible 208. Unfortunately the pitch was a road, the boundaries short, the bowling average to see the Hurricanes whirlwind chase it down. The Heat will be bitterly disappointed to have let that game slip through their fingers.

Their batting looks fantastic with the unheralded openers of Peirson and Forrest getting them off to a strong start to allow the power hitters of Lynn, Christian and Cutting do their thing. It’s a potent combination against any attack.

Cameron Gannon was surprisingly left out of the XI, which meant the Heat really lacked any strike power with the ball. Instead they went with all-rounders and off-speed bowlers, but the plan back-fired completely. Expect Gannon or the recalled Mark Steketee to play.

Verdict: Another tough game to predict, with a powerful Heat batting line up taking on the quality Strikers bowling. There’s some value in the price of the Heat, so we’ll make a small play in their favour.

Betting

Overall: -1.98 units

Perth Scorchers (vs Sydney Thunder) @1.70 at Ladbrokes (3 units)
Hobart Hurricanes (vs Brisbane Heat) @$1.80 at Sportsbet (no play)
Melbourne Stars (vs Melbourne Renegades) @
$2.00 at Luxbet (no play)
Brisbane Heat (vs Adelaide Strikers) @$2.12 
at Sportsbet (1 unit)

We'll make a small play on Marcus Harris for the Scorchers who has been in excellent form opening the batting, and is very capable of hitting sixes which allows us a good shot of money back through the Sportsbet promo outlined below. We're also getting a bit of value with Michael Klinger a warm favourite.

We're also going to make a small wager on Matthew Wade for the most runs at the Renegades. Finch is short which provides some value on Wade who has been hitting the ball really well. He's more than capable of top scoring or blasting a couple of maximums.

Marcus Harris leading run scorer for Scorchers @$4.00 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
Matthew Wade leading run scorer for Renegades @$4.75 at Sportsbet (1 unit)

 

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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