The Melbourne Renegades are struggling to find their feet in their 2019-20 BBL campaign, sitting bottom and winless after six games. Their most recent loss was to the league leaders in the Melbourne Stars where they went down by eight wickets. The Renegades host the Scorchers from Simonds Stadium in Geelong and are in desperate need of a win.
The Perth Scorchers themselves travel to Geelong also needing a win, having only won two of six matches so far this season. Their net run rate of -0.589 is the worst in the league and their last game against Hobart saw them lose by 8 runs but it was a game they were always chasing once losing Livingston, Inglis and Bancroft fairly cheap.
In their last meeting, the Scorchers came out on top, beating the Renegades by 11 runs giving them an overall 9-2 lead in the all-time head to head between the sides, although the Renegades did win both encounters last season.
Melbourne Renegades Squad (13): Aaron Finch (c), Tom Andrews, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Andrew Fekete, Richard Gleeson, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Samit Patel, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster
Perth Scorchers Squad (13): Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Tim David, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Chris Jordan, Matt Kelly, Liam Livingston, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardon, Sam Whiteman
The Renegades have made three changes to their squad with all-rounder, Samit Patel coming in to the 13-man squad along with pacemen Andrew Fekete and Marcus Harris. They replace Tom Cooper, Joe Mennie and Jack Wildermuth.
Although the Renegades are having a dismal season, quick Kane Richardson has been bowling in good form yet again, building on his successful campaign last year. So far, he has picked up nine wickets from six matches while maintaining an impressive economy rate of 6.47 in the process. In their earlier fixture this year Richardson was devastating taking figures of 4/22.
Last time these teams met all six wickets were taken by pacemen and that looks likely to be the case here again with rain expected throughout the day only further helping the quicks with the extra swing and movement on offer.
Last time they faced the Renegades the Scorchers scored 197 runs with the batsmen largely dominating the fixture. One player who looks primed for another big total here is Liam Livingstone. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh is the highest run-scorer for the Scorchers, but Liam Livingstone is next best with 125 runs at an impressive strike rate of close to 175 this season. The big hitting Englishman has maintained a strike rate of above 140 in his T20 career which spans over 90 games. While he averages in the mid-twenties he often gets off to a good start before falling to one big shot too many.
Livingstone’s has only scored under 10 once and under 20 one other time this season, top scoring with 69 and he has looked threatening every time he is at the crease. Against a Renegades bowling attack that has been below par this season he can look to take full advantage.
Last time he versed the Renegades Livingstone scored 29 runs before skying a short ball outside off. With his style of play it is always tough to say he keeps his head, but he is an exciting player who could be in the 30s or 40s by the end of the power play and from there he sets himself nicely for a big one.
The Scorchers really cost themselves in their last game where dropped catches allowed the Hurricanes to post a big score. It would take a brave man to pick the Renegades here who are without Tom Cooper and Jack Wildermuth. The Renegades rely too heavily on Harper, Finch and Shaun Marsh at the top and they don’t have the bowling to restrict the opposition to a low score.
I’m surprised the Scorchers come into this as underdogs as although they have largely struggled this season, they look a more complete side than the defending champions who will continue their horror campaign here with yet another loss.
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