Etihad Stadium at 7.00pm Monday 2 January
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)
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)
Game 1 – defeated Brisbane Heat by seven wickets (with eight balls remaining) at SCG (16/12)
Game 2 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 42 runs at Blundstone Arena (21/12)
Game 3 – defeated Melbourne Stars by two runs at SCG (27/12)
v Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium (2/1)
v Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium (8/1)
v Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval (10/1)
v Perth Scorchers at SCG (18/1)
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 will look to continue his good form with the Renegades against the Sixers.
Stephen Smith has all the talent in the world and has so much potential at such a young age. But it’s far to say the 22-year-old is struggling for form at the moment and is in desperate need of a confidence boost. Smith has been getting plenty of starts with the bat but failing to go on with them, however it doesn’t help when he bats so low down the order. The leg-spinning all-rounder showed promising signs with the ball against the Stars, taking 2-27 from his four overs, so he might be back into some form from that viewpoint. But a confident knock with the bat from Smith tonight will get him, and his teammates, up and about.
1. Aaron Finch
2. Brad Hodge
3. Glenn Maxwell
4. Shahid Afridi
5. Andrew McDonald (C)
6. Nathan Reardon
7. Graham Manou (WK)
8. Abdul Razzaq
9. Shane Harwood
10. Dirk Nannes
11. Shaun Tait
1. Dwayne Bravo
2. Michael Lumb
3. Nic Maddinson
4. Steven Smith (C)
5. Moises Henrqiues
6. Ben Rohrer
7. Peter Nevill (WK)
8. Dominic Thornley
9. Brett Lee
10. Mitchell Starc
11. Stuart MacGill
Etihad Stadium will host its second game of the Big Bash League when the struggling Melbournians host a Sydney side that looks good at home but struggles interstate.
After starting the competition with two poor losses, the Renegades bounced back with a gutsy win over the Sydney Thunder at Etihad Stadium on Friday night. Finch and Brad Hodge opened the innings for the first time in the tournament and didn’t disappoint, putting on 82 for the first wicket. Then Shahid Afridi proved why he has taken the most wickets in international T20 cricket, picking up 3-21 from his impressive four-over spell.
The Sixers have won both of their home games, but they did lose to the Hurricanes down in Hobart. However their gutsy two-run win over the Stars last week was mightily impressive. Dwayne Bravo was pushed up to open the batting and didn’t disappoint, smashing 51 off 39 deliveries to help the Sixers to 9-166.
There’s no doubting the Sixers’ bowling attack. With the likes of Brett Lee, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely and Stuart MacGill, there is a great mix of variety and experience. However it is their batting which is the big issue. Michael Lumb, Nic Maddinson and Ben Rohrer are their only recognised batsmen, so plenty of pressure always goes onto the likes of Smith, Bravo and Moises Henrqiues, who is severely out of form at the moment.
Under the Etihad Stadium roof and with a win finally under their belts, expect the confident Renegades to get the chocolates in this one.
Melbourne Renegades to win ($1.67 – Sportsbet)
Brad Hodge Renegades High Bat ($3.75 – Sportsbet)