Our prediction is Hobart Hurricanes to win!
Match 23 of the Big Bash League and the as-yet-undefeated Hobart Hurricanes arrive in Melbourne to take on the Renegades. Fresh from a run of four home games – all of which they emerged from victorious – the Hurricanes are back on the road for the first time since their opening match.
Last time out, they timed their run chase perfectly to beat Sydney Stars by five wickets while the Renegades were comprehensively beaten by Adelaide Strikers for their third straight loss. That is a run they need to snap quickly otherwise they risk falling behind in the table.
These two sides met – in Hobart – last season and the Renegades won by seven wickets. The Hurricanes batsmen all got starts before Marcus Harris and Cameron White scored half-centuries. The Renegades have a 5-2 head-to-head record against the Hurricanes although they have a win apiece in Melbourne itself.
The Renegades came out of the blocks with wins over Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers, results which hinted at a promising season for the team in red. However, since then, they suffered a 33-run defeat to Sydney Sixers, lost the Melbourne derby by seven wickets and were well beaten by the Strikers at home last time out.
No Renegades player has yet scored a half-century, indicating the problems they have had getting enough runs on the board. Tom Cooper and White, in particular, are badly out of form and with little to work with, the bowlers have struggled. Kane Richardson started well but has faded somewhat.
Needing to get out of a winless streak, the Renegades will make changes. However, they have limited batting options to call on but Aaron Finch – BBL’s record run-scorer – will play. They might also be tempted to play another spinner so Kelvin Smith has a small chance of a recall.
Mackenzie Harvey, Aaron Finch (c), Sam Harper (wk), Tom Cooper, Beau Webster, Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Jack Wildermuth, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Usman Shinwari
The Hurricanes were expected to perform well this season and have lived up to that expectation. They have won all five matches and done so on all but one occasion batting second after winning the toss. They have done so despite missing Tim Paine on international duty and Tymal Mills due to injury.
D’Arcy Short has already struck three half-centuries in five innings with Alex Doolan and George Bailey lending excellent support. Their bowlers, however, have done a superb job with Jofra Archer proving an inspired pick as an overseas player. The experience of Johan Botha and James Faulkner is giving Matthew Wade plenty of options to choose from.
As such, they would be unlikely to make massive changes for this game. In fact, they have played the same team in all five of their matches so far and until Paine returns – briefly – from international duty, they will likely continue by not changing a winning line-up.
Matthew Wade (c, wk), D’Arcy Short, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, George Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Johan Botha, Jofra Archer, Clive Rose, Riley Meredith
The Marvel Stadium was previously known as the Etihad Stadium and is also referred to as Docklands. It has occasionally hosted international games, including the first indoor ODI between Australia and South Africa in 2000. 32 domestic T20 matches have been played here with the side batting second holding the advantage with 18 wins to 14. The average score batting first is 156 but nobody has scored more than 132 here this season.
The Hurricanes have won every toss they have called and on the majority of occasions have chosen to bat second. That could work again for them here but if the pitch looks tricky, they may prefer to bat first instead. The Renegades have won four tosses and batted second on every occasion so we can expect them to look to chase.
There are two remarkable winning streaks that must at some point come to an end. Sooner or later the Hurricanes will lose the toss. At some point, they will be beaten. But the chances of the Renegades managing to see them off here are looking slim. Their whole squad is lacking some star quality, their batting has misfired badly on too many occasions and their bowlers do not have enough to work with. On the other hand, it has all come together for the Hurricanes and they should make it six wins out of six at the Renegades’ expense.
We are backing Hobart Hurricanes for the win!
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