Wed, Jan 24, 7:33pm by Staff Writer
After nearly six weeks of pulsating action, the 2017-18 Big Bash League regular season is reaching its conclusion, with the final two matches of the competition taking place this Saturday.
The Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers are already guaranteed a home semi-final, but with two positions still up for grabs, a win is crucial for the Brisbane Heat, Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes.
Melbourne Stars versus Hobart Hurricanes
Saturday. 27 January 2018 at 4.10pm AEDST
Kevin Pietersen will be hoping to leave the MCG on Saturday afternoon a winner in his final match for the Melbourne Stars.
The Stars have had a dreadful season and are clearly the worst team in this season’s Big Bash, recording only one win. After starting 0-2, the Hurricanes have played some sensational cricket, led by rising star D’Arcy Short.
Short has been rewarded for his excellent Big Bash form, being named in Australia’s T20 team to face England in the coming week.
The Hurricanes are in third spot on the table with five wins and four losses, but are far from safe.
The Melbourne Renegades are just a game behind, with two games in hand and the Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat are just a game behind, meaning the Hurricanes must win this match to make finals.
The entire stars roster has been a disappointment this season, from their experienced campaigners in Pietersen and Glenn Maxwell to some of their up and coming players such as Liam Bowe and Evan Gulbis.
We won’t be backing the Stars to beat the Hurricanes in a must win match up, with Hobart all the rage at $1.66 at Sportsbet.
For a little bit of extra value though, we are keen on D’Arcy to score 50 or more runs at $3.32, against a very poor Melbourne Stars bowling attack.
Best bet- Hobart Hurricanes to win at $1.66
Value bet- D’Arcy Short to score 50 or more runs at $3.32
Brisbane Heat versus Melbourne Renegades
Saturday, 27 January 2018 at 7.20pm AEDST
The Brisbane Heat suddenly find themselves in 9th position on the table with a game to play, but would still make the Big Bash finals with a win on Saturday night and if other results go their way.
The Heat began the season with promise, but an injury to batsman Chris Lynn stunted their season and they have had some terrible losses, particularly to the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers.
The Renegades may have their fate in their own hands depending on the result of their match against the Thunder on Wednesday, but will face a tough trip to Brisbane, with a win securing a playoff position.
The Renegades have been cruelled by injury this season as well, with Mohammed Nabi out, as well as Brad Hodge with appendicitis. Added to that, Aaron Finch is unavailable due to Australian duty.
All in all, it leaves the Renegades short on talent at a crucial time in the season.
The Heat are supposedly going to welcome back Chris Lynn, who has missed five games with injury. It will be intriguing to see what sort of form and fitness Lynn is in, because when he is fit he is one of the most prolific strikers of the cricket ball in the world.
On balance, the Heat should be able to beat the currently assembled Renegades team, who despite all the promise they showed at the beginning of the season, have failed to fire against the better teams and in the big moments and will once again end their Big Bash season in disappointment.
Best bet- Brisbane Heat to win at $1.85
*Odds from Sportsbet
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