Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Renegades Big Bash Betting on Wednesday 18 January, 2012 at Blundstone Arena at 4.00pm.
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)
Game 3 – defeated Adelaide Strikers by 14 runs at Adelaide Oval (28/12)
Game 4 – defeated Sydney Thunder by five wickets (with eight balls remaining) at Blundstone Arena (1/1)
Game 5 – lost to Brisbane Heat by three runs at ‘Gabba (6/1)
Game 6 – lost to Melbourne Stars by 19 runs at Blundstone Arena (9/1)
v Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena (18/1)
Game 1 – lost to Adelaide Strikers by 67 runs at Adelaide Oval (18/12)
Game 2 – lost to Perth Scorchers by eight wickets (with four balls remaining) at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
Game 3 – defeated Sydney Thunder by six runs at ANZ Stadium (30/12)
Game 4 – defeated Sydney Sixers by eight wickets (with 14 balls remaining) at Etihad Stadium (2/1)
Game 5 – lost to Melbourne Stars by 11 runs (under D/L method) at MCG (7/1)
Game 6 – lost to Brisbane Heat by 12 runs at Etihad Stadium (12/1)
v Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena (18/1)
Owais Shah has looked at home since slipping on a Hurricanes shirt, especially in the past three matches. The 33-year-old English veteran has only been dismissed three times in his six matches and has scored 233 runs. Despite his team’s losses in the past two consecutive games, Shah has been outstanding, conjuring knocks of 69 and 55 during the Hurricanes’ two chases. The Renegades need to get the right-handed batsmen in as early as possible and dismiss him just as quickly, otherwise he could cause some serious headaches for Andrew McDonald’s men.
Aaron Finch has really announced himself as genuine world-class batsman over the past 12 to 18 months. The 25-year-old has become a regular member of Victoria’s top order and even forced his way into opening the batting in the Sheffield Shield. But Finch is at his best in the T20 format, using his brute strength and power to hammer bowlers to the boundary. The right-hander averages more in domestic T20 (36.54) than any other format. In fact he’s played two matches for Australia, including one against England this year where he hit 53 not out in front of his home crowd at the MCG. Finch played a lovely knock of 72 during the Renegades’ most recent loss, so he will be keen to continue that form into Wednesday’s match.
1. Phil Jaques
2. Jonathon Wells
3. Travis Birt
4. Owais Shah
5. Tom Triffit (WK)
6. Rhett Lockyear
7. Matt Johnston
8. Jason Krejza/Michael Hogan
9. Rana Naveed
10. Xavier Doherty (C)
11. Ben Laughlin
1. Aaron Finch
2. Brad Hodge
3. Glenn Maxwell
4. Andrew McDonald (C)
5. Shahid Afridi
6. Nathan Reardon
7. Abdul Razzaq
8. Graham Manou (WK)
9. Shane Harwood
10. Aaron Heal
11. Dirk Nannes
This is a must-win game for both sides. One team needs to win to keep its finals hopes alive, while the other is assured of a spot in the finals but needs to win to ensure a home semi-final.
Hobart was the form team of the Big Bash League – until it lost its way with the ball and perhaps got a little complacent. The Hurricanes have conceded big totals of 201 and 203 in their past two games against the Heat and the Stars respectively.
On both occasions, the opposition was batting first – and we all know how difficult it is to chase a big total, rather than set a big total. All the bowlers need to do is to find those awkward line and lengths again and mix up the pace as much as possible. Winning the toss and batting first might help too.
Despite Melbourne’s poor campaign to date – you could probably say it has been the most disappointing team of the tournament – it is still a chance of making the finals. However the Renegades have to win this game by a big margin and rely on a few other results to fall their way.
At times, the Renegades have looked invincible. Unfortunately it’s just been that – at times. With the likes of Finch, Brad Hodge, Andrew McDonald, Shahid Afridi, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait, you would have though the Renegades would be pushing for a home final at this stage. But inconsistency, plus an ageing roster, has meant results haven’t always gone their way.
In reality though, it’s close to impossible to see the Renegades making the finals now, so morality amongst the men in red could be an issue. In complete contrast, the Hurricanes should be ripe for this match coming off two straight losses and knowing a win is a necessity if they want a home semi-final. If Xavier Doherty wins the toss and bats first, the Hurricanes are on their way to victory.
Hobart Hurricanes to win ($1.77 – Sportsbet)
Travis Birt Hurricanes High Bat ($3.25 – Sportsbet)
Shahid Afridi Renegades Most Wickets ($3.50 – Centrebet)