Thu, Jan 23, 1:26pm by Brad McGrath
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THE equation is simple for Brisbane Heat in their final round clash against Hobart Hurricanes – win this game and they will play in the Big Bash League semi-finals and earn the right to defend their title.
It’s almost as simple for the Hurricanes – win this game and they will replace the Heat in the finals.
The Hurricanes have been installed $1.80 favourite mainly because of their home ground advantage, while Brisbane is at $1.90.
Who: Hobart Hurricanes vs. Brisbane Heat
What: Big Bash League
Where: Blundstone Arena
When: January 23, 7.40pm Local time
Watch: Live on Channel 10
Tickets: Available at the gate or visit www.bigbash.com.au
In December the Hobart Hurricanes chased down a record 3-209 to defeat the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba. Brisbane batted first with Dan Christian smashing 70 off 40 deliveries, Joe Burns contributing 69 off 45 and Craig Kieswetter making a rapid-fire half century. In reply the Hurricanes got off to a flyer with Ben Dunk smashing 67 off 33 deliveries with the next highest Jon Wells, who hit 36 off 20 balls. Ben Hilfenhaus (10 not out) recovered from some harsh treatment when bowling to hit the winning runs for the Hurricanes.
Hobart Hurricanes: Tim Paine (c), Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Ben Dunk, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Shoaib Malik, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Joe Mennie, Jon Wells.
Brisbane Heat: James Hopes (c), Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon, Ryan Harris, Craig Keiswetter, Chris Lynn, Alister McDermott, Luke Pomersbach, Chris Sabburg, Mark Steketee, Daniel Vettori.
The Hobart Hurricanes know that their destiny is in their own hands. They will have a parochial crowd behind them at Blundstone Arena and will go into the match confident that they can replace the Heat in the top four and play in the semi-finals. One thing is for sure – they won’t be able to give up 209 runs again and expect to win the match. They must bowl with more discipline. Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin and Doug Bollinger loom as the key men with the ball. The Hurricanes are well aware that they have struggled to take wickets which is backed up by them having bowled a team out once this tournament. Tim Paine, Ben Dunk, Travis Birt and star all-rounder Shoaib Malik loom as keys with the willow. The Hurricanes desperately need more from Birt who is yet to make a big score this Big Bash League season.
Brisbane Heat won the tournament from fourth last season and if everything goes to plan and they defeat the Hurricanes they have the team to do it again. The likes of captain James Hopes, Ben Cutting, Luke Pomersbach, Craig Kieswetter, Daniel Vettori and Ryan Harris are all world class players and have the ability to swing a game on their own. Like the Hurricanes they know they can’t bowl as poorly as they did last time the two clubs met. Interestingly Ryan Harris has been named in the 13-man squad and is a strong chance to play with the Australian selectors keen to let their pace stalwart blow out the cob webs before he heads to South Africa for a three match Test series. If Harris plays it swings the match to the Heat’s advantage. The Heat have plenty of experienced campaigners and the expected crowd of 20 thousand should not bother them.
Hobart Hurricanes have been installed $1.80 favourite with www.sportsbet.com.au, but the Heat are not without some friends, and have been priced at $1.90.
Hurricanes star Travis Birt has endured a below par season but has shown glimpses that he is ready to explode, the powerful hitter is paying $4.50 to make the most runs for his team. On the other side there is not much value with Peter Forrest at $5.50 looking the best option to bet on for most runs.
The Heat have the team to win the Big Bash League and defend their title, they are proven on the big stage and can handle an away crowd. I think they will win by five wickets or 50 runs. A double of Brisbane Heat to win with Ryan Harris ($3.27) to take the most wickets and you should get a good run for your money.
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