Our prediction is Perth Scorchers to win!
Match 21 of the 2018-19 Big Bash League sees the start of the sixth round of matches with Perth Scorchers hosting Brisbane Heat. Both of these sides come into the match on the back of defeats and are not in the best of form. The Scorchers were comprehensively beaten by Hobart Hurricanes and then went down to Sydney Thunder by just one run in their last match. Heat, meanwhile, are yet to win any of their first three matches and badly need to get on a winning run to keep their hopes alive.
When these two sides met last season, Heat hosted and ran out winners by 49 runs – coincidentally the match was exactly one year ago on this date. However, the Scorchers lead the head to head between these two with five wins to four and they also have the edge (3-2) when they meet in Perth. This time around, this is a basement battle with the losers in danger of losing touch on the rest of the pack.
The start of the season has been disappointing for Perth fans. Used to seeing their team in contention for honours, they have only seen them win once, when they made the best use of a spicy pitch to beat Adelaide Strikers by seven wickets. Apart from that, they have lost to both Sydney teams, Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes.
However, those defeats all came away from home and a return to Perth could put a spring back in their step. At home, they have won 27 and lost 12 and that is reason for optimism. They should also be more comfortable in their new stadium than their opponents.
Despite the run of defeats, Perth have stayed consistent with their team selection and with Cameron Bancroft now back in the team following his ban, they may play the same team for the third match in a row.
Predicted team line-up: Michael Klinger, David Willey, Cameron Bancroft (wk), Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner (c), Hilton Cartwright, Will Bosisto, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye.
Almost nothing has gone right for the Heat since the start of the tournament. They are yet to win a toss and have lost both batting first and second. All three of their losses have come at home, where Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers have all left with the points.
They are heavily reliant on Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting with the bat as Brendon McCullum is out of form and with the ball, no player has taken more than two wickets in an innings.
Heat have been reasonably consistent in selection, usually rotating their fast bowlers around but otherwise making few changes. However, batsman Sam Heazlett is under pressure and could find himself replaced by Matt Renshaw or Alex Ross. With the Perth pitch expected to be quick, they may play just one spinner and bring in an extra quick bowler – either Mark Steketee or Brendan Doggett.
Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw, Brendon McCullum, Ben Cutting, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Josh Lalor, James Pattinson, Brendan Doggett, Mujeeb Ur Rehman
The only game played at the Perth Stadium so far saw a lively pitch which the Scorchers got the most out of against Adelaide Strikers in a low-scoring game. That was a short while ago now, meaning it might have settled down since. Nevertheless, both teams will be ready for anything. It is forecast to get warmer and warmer as the week goes on with no chance of rain prior to or during the match.
Perth Stadium is a 60,000 capacity stadium that was only completed in 2017. Replacing the famous WACA as the home of Western Australia and the Scorchers, it recently hosted its first Test match between Australia and India. There have only been two Twenty20s played here – one in last season’s BBL and one earlier this year so there is still a sense of expecting the unexpected here.
For the first few weeks of this year’s BBL, teams were keen to field first and allow their opponents to set a target. However, gradually, some teams are feeling confident enough to bat first. Heat have yet to win a toss so far while the Scorchers have only won the toss once, when they fielded at this venue against the Strikers. With a potentially unpredictable pitch in the offing, expect both to look to do the same.
Both of these teams are in dire needs of points to turn around poor form and kickstart their seasons. Heat have had quite a break since their latest match and that may not be a good thing. They are now under pressure to perform on the road. It does not help them that they come up against a Scorchers side that is formidable at home. Here, the Scorchers have the chance to bounce back quickly from an agonising defeat to Sydney Thunder and they should take the opportunity to get back to winning ways and continue Heat’s winless run.
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