Tue, Jan 30, 9:59am by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Thursday February 1, 7:40PM AEDT
Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth
TV: Channel Ten
The Big Bash League now heads to the knockout stage of the competition where we head west for the first semi finals.
For the first time in BBL history, this season saw each franchise play 10 matches in the regular season, up from eight games.
The result, a familiar one with last year’s champions the Perth Scorchers finishing the regular season as minor premier and earning the right to host the first semi final of BBL 07 at its shiny new arena, Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers enter the semi finals on a high after defeating the second placed Adelaide Strikers last Thursday by four matches in their final game at the WACA, more commonly known by their fans as ‘The Furnace’.
Will Optus Stadium be as hot for the home side? This remains to be seen, with the new venue not proving to be a hit for the national side over the weekend as Australia were defeated by England in their 50 over clash on Sunday.
The Scorchers will do battle with the fourth placed Hobart Hurricanes, who despite scoring 185 in their final regular season match were defeated by the bottom placed Melbourne Stars who overhauled the targets with three wickets in hand and five balls to spare.
To add to that, Hobart’s season record of five wins from ten games fares poorly to Perth’s eight wins from ten, they have to travel to Perth for the match and do so without the competition’s top scorer D’Arcy Short, who is unavailable due to earning Australian T20i honours and you get the impression this is going to be a tough ask for them.
If you have confidence in the Hurricanes, you can get them at $2.40 for the win with the Scorchers a clear favourite at $1.57.
In their earlier match this season played at the WACA, the Scorchers got over the line in a tricky chase of 168, with Cameron Bancroft 54 (36) and Ashton Turner 50* (27) ensuring the home side got the points with four balls to spare.
The fact D’Arcy Short only scored 11 (13) from the 167 scored that game is one positive for Canes fans. The most entertaining battle of the match was all rounder Simon Milenko’s duel with Mitchell Johnson which the underdog Milenko emerged victorious striking an important 66* (37) at number six with Johnson going wicketless at 0-35 from his four overs.
Man of the match from that game, Ashton Agar, who took 2/14 (4) and scored 13* (11), will also be missing due to his Australian T20i call up. But the Scorchers do get back both the Marsh brothers, with both Shaun and Mitchell expected to line up in the orange.
For the Hurricanes, they will get back explosive opener and Australian test and one-day wicketkeeper Tim Paine from the national side.
For Hobart to win they will need their big names to deliver and a couple of them have been a bit disappointing this season. Captain George Bailey has yet to pass fifty this season but has looked promising in his past couple of games, scoring 37 (33) against the Scorchers and 32 (20) against the Stars.
Prized English recruit Tymal Mills has been underwhelming and expensive with the ball, but has shown moments of brilliance such as his caught and bowled effort to dismiss Kevin Pietersen of the Melbourne Stars at the MCG last Saturday.
We’ll give you three betting options to consider for each side that look to explore the betting markets available to you:
Sam Whiteman to score over 23.5 runs – $2.37
(Alternate Team A – Batsman Q Total Runs)
Joel Paris – $5.00
(Top Scorchers Wicket Taker)
Ashton Turner – $21.00
(Top Match Batsman)
George Bailey / Tymal Mills – $15.00
(Top Team B Run Scorer/ Wicket Taker Double)
Tim Paine – $4.60
(Team B – Batsman A to Score 50)
Tymal Mills – $21.00
(Man of the Match)
With Tim Paine having batted on the Optus Stadium surface Sunday night, nearly guiding the tail to victory with 34 (44) and being the last batsman dismissed, he may have some unfinished business at the venue.
Suggested Bet: Tim Paine (Team B – Batsman A to Score 50) – $4.60
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