Hobart Hurricanes look to turn around indifferent start!
Hobart Hurricanes to win!
Both teams Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat are lying in the bottom half of the points table. While the Hurricanes are placed fifth with four points (two losses and two wins), the Heat have just won one game and are second from the bottom with two points. Hobart Hurricanes have had a very start-stop sort of a tournament so far.
The Hurricanes have won one and lost one alternately. After defending 129 in the opening game, they failed to chase down 164 against the Melbourne Stars before they chased 148 against Melbourne Renegades to register their second win of the season. However, in the return fixture against the Melbourne Stars, the rain had the last laugh and also, dented the Hobart Hurricanes as a stop-start game meant they never got any momentum going. They eventually lost by four runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Meanwhile, Brisbane Heat has lost three out of their four games and all of them have been while chasing. Despite boasting of a strong batting line-up, the Heat has failed to challenge the opposition batting second. Their only win came on the back of a Chris Lynn blitz which helped them score 209 batting first. Thus, they need to pull up their socks as things are starting to heat up in the tournament.
The batting hasn’t really stood up for the Hobart Hurricanes so far in this tournament. It hasn’t helped either that they’ve played on slightly sluggish tracks but the batting has been far from convincing. Barring D’Arcy Short, none of the other batsmen have put in significant contributions. Short is the only Hobart batsman who has made more than 100 runs in the tournament. He has scored 120 runs which include a couple of half-centuries.
The likes of Ben McDermott, David Miller and George Bailey have failed to step up. While the Hobart skipper has 88 runs from four innings, Bailey has barely played two innings and Miller has scored just 48 runs from four innings.
On the other hand, the bowling has been very good. Qais Ahmad, Riley Meredith, and James Faulkner are leading the wicket charts for the team. While the Afghan leg-spinner has taken six wickets in this BBL, Meredith and Faulkner have shared 15 wickets between them and both of them have an economy under 6.
D’Arcy Short, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott (c & wk), David Miller, George Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Nathan Ellis, Clive Rose, Qais Ahmad, Riley Meredith
Riley Meredith, Nathan Ellis, Clive Rose, Caleb Jewell, David Miller, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Simon Milenko, George Bailey, James Faulkner, Qais Ahmad
The Brisbane Heat have a gun batting line-up and they seem very strong on paper as well. In four games, there have been three different players who have made a half-century but there has been absolutely no consistency from the batsmen. None of them have even got proper starts in the other games and they've failed as a batting unit.
Tom Banton, Chris Lynn, and Matt Renshaw have got the fifties but have struggled to show consistency. Max Bryant has been poor at the top of the order and has had four successive failures. He may get a couple more chances to prove himself else it may not be long before he is replaced.
The others in the middle like Sam Heazlett, Ben Cutting and wicket-keeper bat Jimmy Peirson haven’t contributed enough either. Mitchell Swepson and Zahir Khan have taken nine wickets together. However, the former is with the Australian Test team and won't be a part of this game.
The bowling attack has done decently. The spinners have done quite a bit of talking. Josh Lalor and Ben Laughlin have been slightly expensive but have taken five and four wickets respectively.
Tom Banton, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Matt Renshaw, Sam Heazlett, Ben Cutting, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Mark Steketee, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan
Ben Cutting, Zahir Khan, Ben Laughlin, Matt Renshaw, Chris Lynn, Jack Prestwidge, Josh Lalor, Mark Steketee, Jimmy Peirson, Max Bryant, Tom Banton
Only one Big Bash game has been played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart this season. It was slightly sluggish in nature but the Hobart Hurricanes could chase down 148 with five balls to spare. However, last season, the pitch did play well and there were some high-scoring games as well. The weather is expected to be cloudy during the game but there are absolutely no chances of rain.
The Bellerive Oval in Hobart hosted six BBL games last season. The par score at this venue was around the 160-mark and in the first game of this season at this venue, the Melbourne Renegades failed to defend 147. It is also a regular white-ball venue in international cricket and the last time Australia played at this venue was in November 2018 in an ODI against South Africa.
The toss might be a tricky call. In the last seven T20s played at this venue, six of them have been won by teams batting second. However, in this edition of the BBL, only four games have won batting second. But captains might just go with the recent history of this venue and opt to chase.
It’s a tough call to make, considering the batting strength both teams have. However, Hobart Hurricanes seem to be better placed and the Brisbane Heat batting has often crumbled in this season. Moreover, the Brisbane Heat bowling attack looks slightly thin as well and hence, Hobart Hurricanes start this game as favorites.
Hobart Hurricanes to win!