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Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorchers

T20 Big Bash League: Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers Betting Preview – Thursday 22 December, at the Etihad Stadium, 7.00pm

MELBOURNE RENEGADES CAMPAIGN:

Game 1 – lost to Adelaide Strikers by 67 runs at Adelaide Oval (18/12)
v Perth Scorchers at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
v Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium (30/12)
v Sydney Sixers at Etihad Stadium (2/1)
v Melbourne Stars at MCG (7/1)
v Brisbane Heat at Etihad Stadium (12/1)
v Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena (18/1)

PERTH SCORCHERS CAMPAIGN:

Game 1 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 31 runs at WACA (18/12)
v Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
v Brisbane Heat at WACA (29/12)
v Melbourne Stars 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)

KEY PLAYERS:

Without looking at statistics, most would think Andrew McDonald isn’t the best genuine T20 player of all time. But when you crunch the 30-year-old’s numbers, it’s hard not to be surprised. McDonald has been very consistent for Victoria, Leicestershire and the Delhi Daredevils in his 68-game T20 career so far. He averages 35.22 with the bat, to go with his nine half-centuries and a highest score of 96 not out. McDonald is just as effective with the ball, taking 65 wickets at 23.40, with best figures of 5-13. He is an excellent skipper selection for the Renegades and will be keen to lead his side to a great comeback victory tonight.

Nathan Rimmington crossed over from Queensland to Western Australia before the start of the 2011-12 domestic season and has fitted in nicely. The pace man has taken 14 wickets from his three first-class matches, but hasn’t quite had the same success in the 50-over format. However the 29-year-old is about to come into his prime as he lines up for the Scorchers in the Big Bash League. Rimmington has an outstanding T20 domestic record, taking 31 wickets from 23 matches at an excellent average of 18.16. He is quick and handy with both the new and old ball, but his biggest asset is his full-length bowling at the end of an innings. After an impressive 1-7 off two and half overs on Sunday, Rimmington will be keen to continue his good form under the Etihad Stadium lights tonight.

MELBOURNE RENEGADES LIKELY TEAM:

1. Aaron Finch
2. Meyrick Buchanan
3. Glenn Maxwell
4. Shahid Afridi
5. Andrew McDonald (C)
6. Graham Manou (WK)
7. Nathan Reardon
8. Abdul Razzaq
9. Aaron Heal
10. Dirk Nannes
11. Shaun Tait

PERTH SCORCHERS LIKELY TEAM:

1. Herschelle Gibbs
2. Shaun Marsh
3. Simon Katich
4. Marcus North (C)
5. Paul Collingwood
6. Mitchell Marsh
7. Luke Ronchi (WK)
8. Brad Hogg
9. Nathan Rimmington
10. Michael Beer
11. Ben Edmonson

Bookmaker Odds & Tips

Both of these teams will be keen to bounce back tonight after two underwhelming performances in the first round of the Big Bash League.

Two men who will be keen to bounce back will be express pace duo Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait. They were slaughtered by the Adelaide Strikers on Sunday, conceding 1-38 and 1-41 off three overs each respectively. Both men know they are better than that and should thrive under the roof tonight.

Perth will be boosted by the huge inclusion of star batsman Shaun Marsh, who will be out to prove his fitness ahead of the Boxing Day Test. The left-hander has been out of action over the past month due to a nagging back injury, but has been given the green light by Cricket Australia to take his place in the Scorchers’ line-up. If he plays without discomfort, Marsh will be wearing a baggy green on Boxing Day.

Burt perhaps the biggest factor in determining tonight’s winner will be the pitch and conditions. The roof will be closed and a drop-in pitch, developed in Alexandra just north of Melbourne, will be in play. This gives the Renegades a huge advantage, because they have trained and surrounded themselves in the rarefied setting. Perth hasn’t.

Despite still missing stars batsman Brad Hodge due to injury, the Renegades should be too strong at home. The bowling attack, led by Nannes and Tait and well supported by Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Aaron Heal and Andrew McDonald, looks far too strong on paper. Expect the boys from Melbourne to fire on their unique home turf.

Best Bets For Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorchers:

Melbourne Renegades to win ($1.80 – Sportsbet)

Shaun Marsh Scorchers High Bat ($4.00 – Sportingbet)

Shaun Tait Renegades Most Wickets ($4.50 – Centrebet)