WACA at 6.00pm
Game 1 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 31 runs at WACA (18/12)
Game 2 – defeated Melbourne Renegades by eight wickets (with four balls remaining) at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
Game 3 – defeated Brisbane Heat by 10 runs at WACA (29/12)
Game 4 – defeated Melbourne Stars by eight runs at MCG (4/1)
v Adelaide Strikers at WACA (8/1)
v Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium (11/1)
v Sydney Sixers at SCG (18/1)
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)
Game 3 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 14 runs at Adelaide Oval (28/12)
Game 4 – defeated Brisbane Heat by 31 runs 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)
Luke Ronchi has been one of the most consistent cricketers at Australian domestic level since the early 2000’s. The 30-year-old, who was born in the tiny New Zealand town of Dannevirke, has been the sole wicketkeeper for Western Australia for the past decade and has even represented Australia in a four One Day Internationals and three T20 matches. However Ronchi has had a very slow start to his Big Bash League campaign, producing scores of 13, eight not out and two. If he gets a decent opportunity against the Strikers, expect him to take it with both hands.
When Adelaide fans found out their international import was a guy by the name of Alfonso Thomas, you could almost hear the collective ‘who’s that?’ around the city. So who is Alfonso Thomas then? He’s 34-years-old and an outstanding T20 fast bowler. Thomas is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in domestic T20 history, claiming 137 wickets from 118 matches at an impressive average of 20.78. It’s amazing to think he has only played one T20 international for South Africa. After a slow start to the Big Bash League, Thomas will be keen to prove his value on the hard, bouncy WACA wicket.
1. Herschelle Gibbs
2. Marcus North (C)
3. Mitchell Marsh
4. Simon Katich
5. Luke Ronchi (WK)
6. Paul Collingwood
7. Brad Hogg
8. Nathan Rimmington
9. Nathan Coulter-Nile
10. Michael Beer
11. Ben Edmonson
1. Daniel Harris
2. Michael Klinger (C)
3. Callum Ferguson
4. Tom Cooper
5. Adam Crosthwaite (WK)
6. Cameron Borgas/Aiden Blizzard
7. Johan Botha
8. Aaron O’Brien
9. Kane Richardson
10. Alfonso Thomas
11. Jake Muirhead/Bryce McGain
With both of these teams in decent form and competing for a spot in the Big Bash League finals, this match on Sunday night should be an absolute ripsnorter.
Perth looked gone for all money against the Stars on Wednesday night after they were bowled out for 136, despite a blistering innings from Herschelle Gibbs at the top of the order. But the Scorchers’ bowling attack was tremendous in reply, restricting the Stars to 5-128 to move into outright second on the BBL ladder. Their pace quartet bowled a very full length, which made it difficult for the Stars batsmen to get away, and the spin duo of Brad Hogg and Michael Beer kept the runs down significantly.
Adelaide bounced back from a two-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a comfortable victory over the winless Brisbane Heat. Skipper Michael Klinger was in superb touch for his team, smashing 53 off 44 balls against the Heat to earn himself the Man-of-the-Match award. But Tom Cooper has shown even more promising signs in his past two innings, scoring 43 not out in both attempts at bat to cement his spot in the Strikers’ top order.
Tactically, the Strikers are one of the best teams in the Big Bash League. They use spin better than any other team, and it helps when you have the likes of Thomas and an in-form Kane Richardson sending them down quickly. The Strikers’ batting line-up is just as intimidating and a few players, including T20 specialist Daniel Harris and rising star Callum Ferguson, are due for runs.
However the Scorchers will enjoy the home-field advantage here and are in tremendous form. Gibbs is in lethal form at the top of the order and need just one or two players to stick around with him to possibly make a century. Expect the Scorchers to consolidate their spot in outright second.
Perth Scorchers to win ($1.90 – Sportingbet)
Herschelle Gibbs Scorchers High Bat ($3.50 – Sportsbet)