Our prediction is Brisbane Heat to win!
Match 26 of the Big Bash League sees two sides who have recently ended losing streaks meet at the Gabba. When these two sides met last season, Renegades hosted at the Docklands Stadium and ran out seven-wicket winners. However, they then met later in the tournament at the Gabba and the Renegades won again, this time by 26 runs to do the double.
The Renegades dominate the head-to-head between these two sides having won seven times to Heat’s two. They have won the last six matches and have never been beaten at the Gabba. This match pits plenty of experienced performers against each other with Heat’s Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum up against the Renegades’ Dan Christian and Tom Cooper.
Heat endured a woeful start to this year’s competition with three straight defeats. Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers all left victorious and it put the Brisbane side under pressure. They responded, following a bit of a break, with an excellent five-wicket win on a spicy pitch against Perth Scorchers.
Last time out, half-centuries from Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum helped them post one of the highest scores of the tournament so far against Sydney Thunder. They had Thunder in trouble before rain brought about an early end to proceedings and a 15-run win was the result.
A return to form for McCullum is very timely and Lynn is a proven performer but they do need others to ensure they are not left to do all the work. With Marnus Labuschagne now back from Test duty, and none of their players called up for the ODIs, Heat have a full squad to pick from. Expect them to name an unchanged side following two wins in a row.
Max Bryant, Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn (c), Ben Cutting, Matt Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne, Jimmy Peirson, James Pattinson, Brendan Doggett, Mitchell Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rehman.
The Renegades made a fine start to the tournament with win over Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers. However, they then lost three in a row with a home defeat to Sydney Sixers, losing the Melbourne derby by seven wickets and then going down by 32 runs to the Strikers at home. They were the team to break Hobart Hurricanes’ unbeaten run and that will give them a huge confidence boost heading into this game.
Aaron Finch helped them seal victory last time out, but he has now departed for ODI duty. The Renegades should have Marcus Harris available for selection following the Test series and this is Usman Shinwari’s last game before he is replaced by Harry Gurney. He has so far taken five wickets and been a star performer so will be a big miss. With Finch unavailable, Harris could come into the side in his place with Cameron White set to miss out again. Tom Cooper will once again captain the team.
Mackenzie Harvey, Marcus Harris, Sam Harper (wk), Tom Cooper (c), Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Usman Shinwari
Rain is forecast in Brisbane all week, including on the day of the game, but it should be almost clear by the time the match starts. Two of Heats’ home games have been on the Gold Coast, so this is just the second match that the Gabba has hosted this season. The average score batting first in T20s here is 173 but run-scoring was tricky last time Heat were here.
The Gabba is one of Australia’s biggest venues – both in size and stature. It has a rich history dating back to the 19th century, but perhaps surprisingly, Australia have only ever played four Twenty20 Internationals at the venue despite it hosting the country’s first, back in 2006. Nevertheless, it is the home of the Heat, although they haven’t always excelled in front of their home crowd – winning only 11 out of 31 games here.
The Gabba hasn’t historically favoured batting first or second. The Strikers chose to field first and won the only game here played this season. Heat have won the toss only once, choosing to field first while the Renegades have fielded every time they have won the toss so far this season. Expect the captain winning the toss to bat second – especially if the weather is not good.
This is a hard one to call. Two sides in resurgent form and with key players performing well just when they need it most makes this an interesting match-up. The Renegades might have dominated recent matches against the Heat, but we’ve already seen the Brisbane side end one losing run, so they could do so again here. Home advantage hasn’t been kind to them recently but with Lynn and McCullum beginning to fire with the bat, we think they will be too strong for a Renegades side which is still searching for some consistency.
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