Adelaide Strikers to win the Match.
Our prediction is Adelaide Strikers to win!
Match six of the Big Bash League 2018-19 sees two sides that won their opening matches come up against each other in an early battle for superiority. It’s also something of a grudge match after the Strikers beat the Renegades by just one run in last season’s semi-final at this venue.
The opportunity for the Renegades to gain some measure of revenge for that defeat has come around quickly but they will find the Strikers hard to crack again. As reigning champions, they have a new-found confidence and were good enough to beat Brisbane Heat in their opening match.
The Renegades, on the other hand, made hard work of beating Perth Scorchers but now they know what it takes to beat a former champion side, they will feel they can do it again.
This will be the Strikers’ first match at home since winning last season’s title and they can expect a warm welcome from their own fans. They have a 17-13 win-loss record here. They look to have started the new campaign off in a similar vein and were impressive against Brisbane Heat in their opening match.
All six of their bowlers picked up at least one wicket with Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan leading the way with three for 19. Expect their bowling attack to be on song once again as they return to home territory. Runs from Alex Carey propped up their run chase as they made a confident start.
Still missing Travis Head through international commitments, they are otherwise able to pick from a full squad. However, they are likely to keep things as they are and not meddle with a winning side. The only consideration they might have is whether to play another spinner – Daniel Drew or Michael Cormack – but they could just rely on some of their part-time options instead.
Alex Carey (wk), Jake Weatherald, Colin Ingram (c), Matt Short, Jonathan Wells, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin, Billy Stanlake.
A win is a win, but the Renegades had to work incredibly hard to beat the Scorchers and put their fans through the ringer in the process. Now they go on the road looking to down another of the tournament’s expected favourites. It won’t be easy, but at least they now have experience of playing on a moist, tacky wicket.
They would probably rather be able to free themselves up and play more loosely but a disciplined bowling performance in their opening match will not have gone unnoticed by their opponents.
Whether Mohammad Nabi and Sam Harper can be relied on to star with the bat again is a different question; they need their more experienced players to step up eventually – particularly as they are without Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris. Usman Khan Shinwari and Cameron Boyce were outstanding against Perth, so the Renegades could go in unchanged. They have plenty of options with ball in hand although Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie and Jon Holland might be contenders to get a game.
Tim Ludeman (wk), Jack Wildermuth, Sam Harper, Cameron White, Tom Cooper (c), Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Will Sutherland, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Usman Khan Shinwari.
The Adelaide Oval is traditionally a venue where spin bowlers can have plenty of success which could make this a tournament to remember for Rashid Khan. Not that the Renegades are short of spin options themselves, however. It is dry and warm in Adelaide over the weekend and forecast to get warmer. Expect a dry pitch which might be a little quicker than usual.
The Adelaide Oval might be one of Australia’s premier grounds, having hosted internationals since 1884, but it retains a picturesque, pleasant feel. As an oval, batsman will favour hitting across the line rather than down the ground. 33 T20s have been played here with the side batting first winning 20 of those matches. The average score batting first is 164.
Although Adelaide has favoured sides batting first, the tendency in the tournament so far continues to be for captains to elect to field first. If the pitch is dry and the weather as good as forecast, that could change here. No team won the toss at Adelaide last season and fielded. On five out of six occasions the side batting first won.
Adelaide Strikers play their first home match of the season having already sealed a win away from home. This should be an opportunity to make it two wins out of two as the reigning champions look in strong form. They have a nicely balanced bowling attack and enough batsmen in form. If they play anywhere close to their full potential, then they will be too strong for the Renegades.
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