The first round of the Big Bash League (BBL05) season threw up a couple of surprise results, but as we eluded to last article, that was somewhat expected. The Thunder showed they might be a different team this season, while the Strikers may be underrated contenders once again. There’s no form to study in the first rounds and with new team line ups, it will take a little bit to get a feel for the markets. Fortunately we avoided some of the trouble with our Round 1 BBL tips.
Moving forwards, let’s take a look at our BBL05 Round 2 tips with confidence already on the rise!
BBL05 Overall Profit/Loss: +2.26 units (3-2) (updated 22/12)
MCG, Sunday December 20th 7:25pm AEDST
The first match of Round 2 is the second match of a Sunday double-header as the Sydney Thunder head to the ‘G to take on the Melbourne Stars.
The Thunder had a great win against the Sixers to kick off their BBL05 campaign with a win. Hopes are high in the Thunder camp that their new-look team are the real deal this year. No doubt they will be an improved unit, but they did come up against a rather depleted Sixers team, and they didn’t exactly win with conviction. They were also very reliant upon Mike Hussey who carved out a beautiful innings to stir up discussion of him being an outside chance for the T20 World Cup! The Thunder can also thank Andre Russell. He’s known as a destructive batsmen, but it was his bowling which appeared to have an extra yard of pace as he mixed up some aggressive bouncers with some beautiful yorkers to rip the heart out of the Sixers. The good news for the Thunder is that Usman Khawaja has been declared fit to play on Sunday, so their batting will gain some strength.
The Stars weren’t terrible against the Strikers, but their bowlers were outgunned by the Strikers batting. Most of the Stars batsmen got starts, but only Marcus Stoinis was able to make a fifty as the asking rate just became too great. Their problem was more with the ball. After some early wickets they couldn’t control Brad Hodge and Alex Ross. Scott Boland was the main culprit, leaking 55 runs in his 4 overs. The Stars also didn’t venture outside of their top five bowlers, so you would think that perhaps Luke Wright, Glenn Maxwell or David Hussey might be called in for an over or two in this match.
Odds: Melbourne Stars $1.53 vs Sydney Thunder $2.50 (Sportsbet)
Verdict: The Stars are starting a warm favourite but clearly that is based more on reputation than form. The Thunder have a very solid batting line up, but their bowling is definitely a weakness with a lot of reliance on their all-rounders. The Stars will be hard to beat, especially on their home deck, and will desperately want to avoid going 0-2, but they have started seasons slowly in the past and there’s some value in the Thunder price.
WACA, Monday December 21st 7:10pm AEDST
The defending champs commence the defence of their Big Bash League title as they host the Adelaide Strikers on Monday. Perth are the most successful team in BBL history, and it isn’t really close, so there’s no reason to suggest they won’t be right in contention again this season.
The Scorchers bring a complete outfit, especially in these early games while their national representatives are available. Their team looks a lot stronger with Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile and skipper Adam Voges in action. Michael Klinger is the one to watch as our top pick for the tournament leading run scorers.
The Scorchers will come in fresh against the Strikers who have already secured a strong, confidence-boosting win against the highly-fancied Stars. If they can knock off the Scorchers here, they are well on the way to the finals. The Strikers lost some early wickets but Brad Hodge and Alex Ross put on a record partnership to help them amass a huge total. Kane Richardson was exceptional with the ball while Ben Laughlin made the key breakthroughs early.
Odds: Perth Scorchers $1.57 vs Adelaide Strikers $2.35 (Sportsbet)
Verdict: Keen on Perth here first up. No doubt Strikers were good in their first match, and are capable of an upset, but the Scorchers look so strong when they have their full list available so have to stick with them. There’s not a lot of value in the price but with the money back special, it’s worth a bet.
Blundstone Arena, Tuesday December 22nd 7:10pm AEDST
Due to the Sunday double header, we’re writing this preview before Hurricanes play their first match against the Sixers. In our BBL Round 1 preview article we thought they were a strong chance to win that match, so hopefully they’ve come through strongly and will be looking to go to 2-0 against the Heat.
The Heat were unsuccessful in defending 180 against the Renegades on Saturday. The Heat have a dynamic batting line up, with Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting in devastating form, and while they’ll love the small Bellerive oval, we know that whatever target they set is gettable against their bowling attack. Fekete and Steketee just don’t have any firepower and leaked runs badly, while Cutting is a shadow of the bowler who once pushed for a Test berth. Samuel Badree was a shining light but that was about it.
Odds: Hobart Hurricanes $1.67 vs Brisbane Heat $2.22 (Sportsbet)
Verdict: The Heat will enjoy batting at Bellerive but the Hurricanes have a far better squad on paper in all departments. If the Heat cannot make a big score, they can’t win. And even if they do, it’s not a sure thing. Canes to win in our best bet of the round.
Etihad Stadium, Wednesday December 23rd 7:10pm AEDST
A tricky game closes the round on Wednesday as the Renegades host the Sixers under the roof at Etihad Stadium.
The Renegades showed their fire power with the bat with a destructive win against the Heat. Gayle, Finch, White and Bravo were all exceptional, and they confirmed how dangerous they are against mediocre bowling. However the Renegades struggled with the ball with Guy Walker getting spanked on debut, while Chris Tremain and Nathan Rimmington were also lacking penetration. Expect changes to be made before this match.
The advantage that the Sixers will have in this match is that they have two genuine strike weapons opening the bowling in Jackson Bird and Doug Bollinger. They simply must get early wickets to put a hole in the Renegades top order to see what their middle order is made of. If Gayle and Finch get away, it might be too much to overcome. The Sixers batting wasn’t particularly good in the opening match so they’ll be looking for contributions from Maddinson, Lumb and Haddin at the top of the order.
This piece is written prior to the Sunday’s games, so if the Sixers lost to the Hurricanes, then they will be desperate here to avoid going 0-3 as it would just about be season over.
Odds: Melbourne Renegades $1.70 vs Sydney Sixers $2.15 (Sportsbet)
Verdict: A tough game on paper. I’m still not convinced on the Renegades. Sure, they bullied a weak attack in the Heat, but the Sixers will definitely be a step up from that so the game seems a bit of a coin flip to me. I can’t take the price on the Sixers either so I think it will be a sit back and watch.
Bet: NO PLAY
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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