The Summer of cricket just keeps rolling as we get into the business end of the BBL10 season. Thursday night we have the Brisbane Heat taking on the Melbourne Renegades at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
The Renegades come into this match after finally winning their second game of the season in an upset victory over the Strikers in Adelaide last week. It was a massive confidence builder for an inexperienced side who have been ravaged by injuries. It will be interesting to see if they can try build some momentum from the win and look to cause another upset here tonight.
Brisbane on the other hand will still be reeling after a last-ball loss to the Sydney Sixers on Sunday Night. After a struggle with the bat in hand, the Heat almost pulled off a great win thanks to a superb bowling and fielding performance. The Brisbane players will know they could have so easily won that match but will need to bounce back here as they continue their surge towards the finals.
Manuka Oval, Canberra, Thursday 7:15pm AEDT
Heat Squad: Chris Lynn (c), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Tom Cooper, Matthew Kuhnemann, Ben Laughlin, Mitchell Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jack Wildermuth, Lewis Gregory, Morne Morkel, James Bazley, Daniel Lawrence, Sam Heazlett, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Matthew Willans, Lachlan Pfeffer, Simon Milenko, Jack Wood, Connor Sully, Joe Denly, Jack Sinfield
Renegades Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Shaun Marsh, Mohammad Nabi, James Pattinson, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Imran Tahir, Noor Ahmad, Josh Lalor, Mitchell Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Rilee Rossouw, Imad Wasim, Benny Howell, Brody Couch, Peter Hatzoglou, Brayden Stepien
This match looks a tough one to assess with both teams performing inconsistently recently. The Heat were one of the form side’s of the tournament over their last few games before suffering a disappointing loss to the Sixers the other night. The Renegades are the opposite after winning their first match in eight games and will look to try and build some late-season momentum.
I think the Heat are going to be too strong for an inexperienced Renegades team. Brisbane should arguably have won their last four matches and are in flying form with their skipper looking in ominous touch as well. The Renegades, while winning their last match, still struggled with the ball and it has been a major issue all season. I think the Heat batsmen will be too strong in this regard and they will look to continue their march to the BBL Finals.
Chris Lynn was again at his brilliant best as he top scored for the Heat with 56 off 44 balls to continue his outstanding form in the competition. Lynn has amassed 223 runs in only six innings which puts him just outside the top eight run scorers in the competition, an incredible stat considering he missed three games through injury. He will be at the forefront of the Heat’s chances again tonight.
The Renegades just haven’t been playing well as a team for most of this tournament, which is why it was a massive surprise to see them upset the Strikers. It was the first time this season where they have batted well as a team and shared the load, with Mohammed Nabi smashing 71* off 41 balls to guide them home in a thrilling run chase. They will hope to continue this into tonight’s game but their struggles with the ball are still apparent and will be a target of the dangerous Heat side.
It’s hard to tip against Chris Lynn at the moment with the form he has been in throughout the tournament. I don’t see any reason to jump off tonight going up against one of the poorest-performed bowling sides in the competition.
Lynn is putting up some huge numbers this year, averaging 44 and striking at well over 150 in his six innings so far. Many of his teammates struggled on a slow pitch the other night and Lynn managed to build an innings and set his side up with a chance at victory. I have spoken about it before but Lynn is batting with supreme confidence and this is when he is at his most dangerous.
Pretty confident that the skipper can give us a decent sight at Manuka Oval tonight and happy to back him once again.
From a confident and easy pick with the Heat side, we have the total opposite in this Renegades side. I am pretty sure I have been with Aaron Finch every time I have previewed this team this year and I am going to once again give him another chance. I know this could turn out in tears again but hear me out first.
Finch loves playing against the Heat. He has scored fifty in four of the last five games that he has come up against Brisbane and in a time where he needs all the favours he can get, this little piece of history bodes well for the skipper.
It is becoming desperate for both him and his side so let’s hope we see him rediscover the form he is capable of and we can cash in.
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