The Brisbane Heat have stormed into form after back to back wins led by their dominant batting line up that scored a franchise record 212 against the Hurricanes and 119 in just eight overs against the Thunder. The two victories have the Heat sitting in fifth now, equal on points with the Hurricanes who sit seventh, this clash will be huge in shaping the top five heading into the second half of the season. The Hobart Hurricanes come into the game after an impressive win in Perth against the Scorchers led by D’Arcy Short who smashed a century in his last game before heading to India for Australia’s ODI series against India. The Hurricanes depth will be tested in a tough stretch as Short (at least five games), James Faulkner (up to four weeks) and Riley Meredith (season) will be missing. The Hurricanes will need to play out of their skin as they are in serious danger of falling out of finals contention, however history is on their side as they have a 9-5 head to head record against the Heat.
The Heat get a massive boost as Joe Burns comes into the squad after being on international duties for the beginning of the season, Burns will add some much needed variety to the Heat’s middle order as he replaces Cameron Gannon in the thirteen man squad that beat the Thunder on Monday. The Heat will likely have James Pattinson for their match against the Scorchers on Saturday. The Hurricanes have mixed news at the selection table with captain Matthew Wade coming into the squad for the first time this season, alongside fast bowler David Moody. However two massive outs for the Hurricanes as D’Arcy Short heads to India on international duties and Riley Meredith who is likely to miss the rest of the Big Bash season with a side strain.
Brisbane Heat Squad (13): Chris Lynn (C), Tom Banton, Max Bryant, Ben Cutting, Joe Burns, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw, Mark Stekete, Mitch Swepson, Zahir Khan
Hobart Hurricanes Squad (13): Matthew Wade (c), Qais Ahmad, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, David Miller, David Moody, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, Mac Wright
The Heat come into the fixture after back to back wins for the first time this season as their batsmen wreaked havoc with scores of 212 and 109 (in eight overs). Tom Banton hit the second fastest fifty in Big Bash history smashing 56 off 19 deliveries, the Heat’s batting line up only gets stronger with Joe Burns coming into the side as the Test summer has finished. This Heat will be very confident coming into this match at home, as batting line up gets stronger and the Hurricanes bowling attack gets weaker with the loss of Riley Meredith. The Heat average 187 against the Hurricanes at the Gabba and given the dominant form they are in, expect this to be a high scoring encounter for the Brisbane Heat.
After a slow start to the season with scores of 11, 6, 1, and 6, Max Bryant is starting to get into some form with scores of 65 off 36 and 12 off 4 in the rain affected game against the Thunder. The 65 came against the Hurricanes as he combined with Chris Lynn for a 95 run partnership that took the game away from the Hurricanes. Bryant has simplified his batting after some stern words from coach Darren Lehmann and it is paying big dividends for youngster. The Heat are back at home now on arguably the best batting surface for white ball cricket in Australia, against a depleted bowling attack that is missing its two best bowlers, Bryant looks in great shape to put up another big score against the Hobart Hurricanes.
A depleted Hurricanes side will travel to Brisbane without three of its most important players in leading run scorer D’Arcy Short (248 runs at an average of 49.60), leading wicket taker Riley Meredith (10 wickets at an average of 13.70) and James Faulkner who has the second most wickets for the Hurricanes this season (7 wickets at an average of 9.85). Coming off a fantastic victory against the Scorchers in Perth, that optimism has well and truly been dampened with the injuries surround the squad as they head the Brisbane. The Hurricanes lost against the Heat last Friday in Hobart where they were comprehensively beaten by the Heat with both bat and ball. With the absence of D’Arcy Short as Ben McDermott and Caleb Jewell are the only other Hurricanes batsmen with over 100 runs this season. David Miller didn’t field in the Hurricanes last match due to calf tightness, so Matthew Wade, who returns for his first game this season and Ben McDermott will have to carry a big load with the bat.
Ben McDermott has been one of the Hurricanes most consistent players for the past three seasons with 1033 career runs at an average of 35.62 excellent numbers for a middle order batsmen. McDermott has put together a solid season scoring 132 runs (ranked 2nd for the Hurricanes) at an average of 32.75 (ranked 2nd for the Hurricanes) with a strike rate of 110.08, very good numbers at number four. McDermott averages 33 at a strike rate of 145.59 against the Heat, he has scores of 51*, 17, 23 and 20* in his last four innings and isn’t far from putting a big performance together. McDermott heads back to his home state to take on his former team, expect McDermott to take on the responsibility and carry the load for the Hurricanes on Thursday night.
If the Hurricanes were at full strength this clash would be a mouth watering prospect however no Short, Meredith or Faulkner in a side that is lacking depth means the Heat come into the match as deserved favourites. The Heat’s dangerous batting line up is in red hot form and at home against a Hurricanes bowling attack that doesn’t feature it’s top two leading wicket takers, another massive score could be on the cards. Given the evenness of the competition this game has massive repercussions and both sides will be looking to rise up the table as they are both level on points, the winner of this match could rise up to third on the ladder. The Heat are in dangerous form with the bat and given the Hurricanes outs, the Heat will get an important win at home.
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