The Scorchers travel to Hobart full of confidence after claiming back-to-back wins for the first time this season after a dominant win against the Heat. The Hurricanes come into this fixture after a loss against the Thunder in Sydney on Saturday and with just one win in their past five outings. This game is a must win for both teams - a win for the Scorchers will see them leapfrog the Heat into fifth place, a loss for the Hurricanes will see them drop two games outside of the top five. Injuries have taken their toll on the Hurricanes as well as D’Arcy Short’s call up to the Australian ODI squad, however serious questions have been raised over their batting tactics, which saw star import David Miller bat at six. Led by a dominant 93 not out from captain Mitch Marsh, the Scorchers have resurrected their season which started 1-4 and are now a genuine finals contender.
No changes at the selection table for the Hurricanes who will take an unchanged squad from their loss against the Thunder into the match against the Scorchers. The main question will surround how their batting line up will look, George Bailey put in his best performance of the season against the Thunder batting at four. But surely Simon Milenko can’t bat above in the order again, and the Hurricanes can’t afford to waste their star import at number six. The Scorchers will also take an unchanged squad from their convincing victory against the Heat on Saturday and will be looking to continue their dominant form with the bat they produced in their last two games. The Hurricanes have won their past four matches against the Scorchers including an eight-run victory in Perth just over a week ago. It’s an even 6-6 in all Big Bash matches between the two sides.
Hobart Hurricanes squad (13): Matthew Wade (c), Qais Ahmad, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, David Miller, Jake Reed, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose
Perth Scorchers squad (13): Mitch Marsh (C), Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Tim David, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie, Joshua Inglis, Chris Jordan, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Sam Whiteman
The depleted Hurricanes have lost back-to-back games and only have one win in their past five games. Injuries to star bowlers Riley Meredith and James Faulkner, as well as losing D’Arcy Short to the Australian ODI squad has derailed a Hurricanes season that showed plenty of promise early in the season. The Hurricanes batsmen didn’t have any trouble getting starts against the Thunder, with Caleb Jewell (33 runs), George Bailey (43 runs) and Ben McDermott (31 runs) all getting set without turning it into a match winning knock. It’s clear to see that Matthew Wade is going to have to put together some massive totals at the top of the order if the Hurricanes are going to be any chance of winning games from here on in.
The Hurricanes have made plenty of errors in shuffling their batting order however George Bailey’s move up to four in the batting order has paid dividends as he registered his highest score of the season, top scoring with 43 in the Hurricanes loss against the Thunder. Bailey has the most runs of any player in games between the Hurricanes and Scorchers with 217 runs at an average of 31, with a strike rate of 137.34. Bailey’s last innings against the Scorchers in BBL08 produced 69 runs from just 39 deliveries to carry the Hurricanes to a victory in Perth. Bailey has shown he has still got the quality to make runs when he’s given the opportunity and against an opponent he has had plenty of success against, Bailey will be looking to go big again.
The Scorchers have put together two impressive performances in their last two matches against the Renegades and the Heat, lead by two dominant outings by their batting line up. The Scorchers chased down 178 in 19 overs against the Renegades in Geelong, then smashed 3/213 against the Brisbane Heat. The Scorchers have found a great balance between the power of Inglis, Livingstone and Marsh, and the finesse of Bancroft. The Scorchers will fancy their chances on what has been an excellent batting surface in Hobart with small boundaries that won’t be big enough against a lot of the Scorcher’s batsmen. With Chris Jordan (10 wickets), Jye Richardson (9 wickets) and Fawad Ahmed (9 wickets), the Scorchers possess a diverse bowling attack that have been getting the job done and will be looking to continue their form against a depleted Hurricanes outfit.
Mitch Marsh has been a feel good story of BBL09. In his first full summer without international commitments in quite some time, Marsh has led from the front as skipper with 307 runs (5th in the BBL) at an average of 51.16 with a strike rate of 156.63. Marsh was at his brutal best against the Heat on Saturday night, smashing 93 not out of just 41 deliveries in a Man of the Match performance. Marsh also has the most runs of any current Scorchers player in matches against the Hurricanes. Marsh has 156 runs at an average of 31.20 with a strike rate of 131.09 against the Hurricanes, he top scored for the Scorchers in their last match against the Hurricanes with 48 off 36 balls. Marsh is in a great space without the scrutiny that always followed him in national colours and is clearly enjoying his time with the Scorchers. Expect Marsh to put up another big score on a batting paradise against a depleted Hurricanes bowling attack.
The Scorchers have launched themselves into finals contention and with an opportunity for the Scorchers to jump into the top five, expect a big performance from one of the form teams of the competition. Liam Livingstone, Josh Inglis and Mitch Marsh won’t be able to be contained with the small boundaries at Blundstone Arena on what has been an incredible surface for batting this season. The Hurricanes have been brave in their last two outings however without Meredith, Faulkner and Short it’s clear to see they won’t be able to beat the sides in finals contention. At $1.83 the Scorchers provide surprisingly good value against a depleted Hurricanes side that is clearly lacking confidence within its own ranks.
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