The BBL heads once again heads back to the Adelaide Oval as the high-flying Strikers host the down and out Melbourne Renegades. The Strikers go in search of a fifth victory of the season and will look to cement their position in the top 4. The Renegades on the other hand have been as disappointing and poor performed as any side in the history of the Big Bash as they look for just their second win of the tournament.
This is the second match of back-to-back games between these two sides after the Strikers completely dominated the visiting side, winning by 59 runs on Tuesday Night. It was a solid all-round performance by the Strikers with most of their team all contributing throughout the match. If the warning bells weren’t already ringing, they certainly are now for the Renegades who have struggled to even put up a fight in their last few matches.
Aaron Finch is crucial to the Renegades chances and he has been in shocking form, having not past 20 runs in his last three matches. The skipper needs to lift and start occupying the crease of his side is to be competitive for the rest of the tournament.
The Strikers will look to continue to keep doing what they do best – restricting teams to low totals with their elite bowling and looking for their batsmen to do the rest.
Adelaide Oval, 6:10pm AEDT
Strikers Squad: Travis Head (c), Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Matt Renshaw, Matthew Short, Peter Siddle, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald , Jonathan Wells, Daniel Worrall, Rashid Khan, Alex Carey
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
It’s almost impossible to tip the Renegades at the moment due to their lack of depth and struggling form of key personnel. They haven’t even looked close to winning their last two matches where they’ve been beaten a combined 155 runs. I can’t see them turning the tables on a Strikers’ side who beat them comfortably a few nights ago.
Adelaide have been one of the best bowling units in the tournament, only conceding more than 150 runs in two of their matches so far. Going up against a Renegades side who have been bowled out for scores of 60, 80, 89 and 111 this season, it looks the Strikers match to lose.
Led by Wes Agar, Rashid Khan Peter Siddle, the Strikers possess three bowlers inside the top 10 wicket takers for the tournament. The Renegades have struggled consistently throughout the tournament when Aaron Finch or Shaun Marsh fail early and lack the depth to provide a counterpunch within the middle order. All signs point to a comfortable Strikers win and the price for both sides seems fair enough.
Adelaide hold an 8-4 winning record against the Renegades in the history of these two teams and the match being played at Adelaide Oval only enhances the chances of the Strikers. They have been a different side when playing at home with a passionate crowd who will make it tough for the inexperienced Renegades players.
To make matters worse for Melbourne is the loss of one of their two key batsmen in Shaun Marsh. Marsh has scored 247 runs at 35 and 137 respectively and has been one of the only shining lights in a dark season so far for the Renegades. Middle order batsmen Rilee Rossouw will also miss the match due to injury, piling more pressure on Aaron Finch to bear the responsibilities to score runs.
The Strikers look mighty tough to beat but let’s hope for the sake of a good game the Renegades can put up a decent fight and make a game of it.
Skipper Alex Carey has breathed life into the Strikers since his return a few games ago and will look to continue his strong form with the bat in hand. This Adelaide side has been good at sharing the runs throughout the tournament however Carey has been the key in their middle order.
With Weatherald and Salt, both attacking batsmen facing the new ball, there is always an opportunity for Carey to face enough overs to put on a solid score. Against an inexperienced Renegades bowling lineup Carey can cash in and give us a good sight here tonight.
I’m going out on a limb and saying Aaron Finch will never get a better chance to top score for his team than this match tonight. With the absence of Shaun Marsh, he is class batsmen in his side by a country mile.
He may be out of form and not looking likely but through sheer process of elimination, I can’t see anyone else in his side who may be a chance to outscore Finch. He is going to obviously be under added pressure tonight but the Australian ODI skipper is no stranger to this and we aren’t going to miss out.
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