Adelaide Oval at 7.00pm Wednesday 28 December
Game 1 – defeated Melbourne Renegades by 67 runs at Adelaide Oval (18/12)
Game 2 – lost to Sydney Thunder by six wickets (with nine balls remaining) at ANZ Stadium (23/12)
v Hobart Hurricanes at Adelaide Oval (28/12)
v Brisbane Heat at ‘Gabba (3/1)
v Perth Scorchers at WACA (8/1)
v Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval (10/1)
v Melbourne Stars at MCG (19/1)
Game 1 – defeated Perth Scorchers by 31 runs at WACA (18/12)
Game 2 – defeated Sydney Sixers by 42 runs at Blundstone Arena (21/12)
v Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval (28/12)
v Sydney Thunder at Blundstone Arena (1/1)
v Brisbane Heat at ‘Gabba (6/1)
v Melbourne Stars at Blundstone Arena (9/1)
v Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena (18/1)
Aaron O’Brien is another man who has ventured over to South Australia from another state in search of a second opportunity. And hasn’t he made the most of it. The 30-year-old bowling all-rounder has slotted into the side across all three formats ever so nicely. But O’Brien is at his best in the shortest form of the game. He isn’t a major turner of the ball and prefers to keep the runs down then take wickets, meaning he is the perfect T20 spinner. Having said that, O’Brien has claimed 33 wickets from 34 matches at an impressive average of 24. The left-arm orthodox spinner was clearly the Strikers’ best player against the Thunder on Friday night, capturing 4-26 from four overs. Can he repeat his feat on home soil?
Hobart knew it had bought a bargain when it picked up Phil Jaques in the Big Bash League auction. After all, this is a man who has scored centuries at an average of 47.47 from 11 Tests. But the 32-year-old has adapted brilliantly to the T20 format and is one of the cleanest strikers in the competition. Jaques averages an impressive 30.48 from 54 T20 domestic matches, including nine half centuries. He played an awesome innings against the Sydney Sixers last Wednesday, smashing 73 from 55 balls. Jaques will be looking to continue his hot form on the batsman-friendly Adelaide surface.
1. Daniel Harris
2. Michael Klinger (C)
3. Aiden Blizzard
4. Callum Ferguson
5. Cameron Borgas
6. Johan Botha
7. Adam Crosthwaite (WK)
8. Aaron O’Brien
9. Kane Richardson
10. Alfonso Thomas
11. Bryce McGain
1. Phil Jaques
2. Jonathon Wells
3. Travis Birt
4. Owais Shah
5. Tom Triffit (WK)
6. Rhett Lockyear
7. Jason Krejza
8. Rana Naveed
9. Xavier Doherty (C)
10. Ben Laughlin
11. Michael Hogan/Matt Johnston
These teams are two of the most underrated in the Big Bash League, so a win over one another here would be a massive morale booster before the finals series in late January.
Adelaide will be keen to bounce back after a disappointing performance against the Thunder. The Strikers may have won if it wasn’t for Chris Gayle, who smashed a match-winning century to guide his team to victory.
Hobart won its second straight game last round when it comprehensively defeated the Sixers. Jaques and Travis Birt put on over 100 for the second wicket to guide their team to a comfortable 42-run win.
The Hurricanes will be without star paceman Ben Hilfenhaus as he is currently on national duty at the MCG. But Michael Hogan has been in terrific touch on the domestic scene this season and would be a more than handy replacement.
Both teams’ bowling attacks have variety and depth. The Hurricanes have an outstanding pace attack, headed by T20 specialist Rana Naveed, while the Strikers play three spinners and use it to their advantage.
But on the flat Adelaide Oval wicket, this match will be won by the batsmen. And on paper, the Strikers bat a little deeper than the Hurricanes and should pull through with a win. Their top five is close to the best in the competition. If they bat first, watch out Hurricanes – you could be chasing a big score.
Adelaide Strikers to win ($1.77 – Sportingbet)
Daniel Harris Strikers High Bat ($4.25 – Sportsbet)
Rana Naveed Hurricanes Most Wickets ($3.50 – Centrebet)