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Strikers look to put chokers’ tag behind them against Heat

Tue, Dec 20, 3:19pm by Senior Writer

Preview: Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat

Date and Time: Wednesday December 21, 7:40pm AEDT

Venue: Adelaide Oval

TV: Channel 10

The Adelaide Strikers go into their opening Big Bash League clash with Brisbane Heat as slight favourites with bookmakers after a busy off-season in the recruiting department.

The Strikers went and got big-hitting Tasmanian Ben Dunk, while they also re-gain the services of Keiron Pollard and Callum Ferguson, who missed last year’s campaign through injury. They have also signed English all-rounder Chris Jordan as cover for Adil Rashid, who is currently with the England team in India.

The Strikers were raging favourites to win the 2015-16 title after losing just one of their group games last year, but they failed in the semi-finals against eventual champions Sydney Thunder. It was the second year in a row they finished top and lost a home semi.

The Strikers are rated a $9 chance to win the title, while the Heat are $7, but the Strikers’ home advantage sees the bookies put them up at $1.80 and the Heat at $2.

The home side have an experienced and talented batting line-up to rely upon. Travis Head showed his quality in the recent ODI series against New Zealand with a pair of half centuries. Head ($3.75) is favourite to top score against the Heat, while Tim Ludeman, the ever-consistent opening batsman who averages over 30 in T20 with a strikerrate of over 120, is second pick at $4.33.

NT batsman Jake Weatherald earnt himself a Strikers contract by staring for SA in the Matador Cup, including an impressive 141 from 104 balls. He is $4.50 to top score, while Craig Simmons is $5 and Dunk and their ever-green skipper Hodge are $5.50.

Brisbane’s big off-season signing was Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum, who has undergone back surgery since retiring from international cricket earlier this year. The skipper has a huge amount of Twenty20 experience with over 250 T20s and nearly 7000 runs under his belt. He’ll look to partner with Chris Lynn, who is the reigning BBL player of the year after scoring 378 runs off 218 balls in last year’s tournament.

Lynn is $3.30 to top score for the Heat in this match, while McCullum is $3.75. Jimmy Peirson is next best at $5, while Joe Burns at $5.50. Lynn is also favourite to be player of the match at $7 and top scorer overall at $5.50.

You get the feeling the problem for the Heat will be with the ball, where they lack a bit of depth. Leg-spinner Sammy Badree was their leading wicket-taker last year but the Adelaide Oval doesn’t generally suit the spinners, which leaves them a little short of options.

Adelaide, with Ben Laughlin, Kane Richardson and Jordan, have a bit more depth in the bowling department and we expect that will be the key difference.

Suggested Bet: Adelaide Strikers to win at $1.80.

Match 

Adelaide Strikers $1.80

Brisbane Heat $2

Top Strikers Runscorer 

Travis Head $3.75

Tim Ludeman $4.33

Jake Weatherald $4.50

Craig Simmons $5

Ben Dunk $5.50

Brad Hodge $5.50

Jono Dean $6

Kelvin Smith $7

Kieron Pollard $11

Alex Carey $21

Chris Jordan $26

Top Heat Runscorer 

Chris Lynn $3.30

Brendon McCullum $3.75

Jimmy Peirson $5

Joe Burns $5.50

Alex Doolan $7

Sam Heazlett $7

Marnus Labuschagne $9

Nathan Reardon $9

Alex Ross $11

Jack Wildermuth $13

Man Of The Match 

Chris Lynn $7

Travis Head $8

Brendon McCullum $9

Ben Dunk $10

Ben Laughlin $10

Ben Cutting $12

Samuel Badree $13

Craig Simmons $13

Tim Ludeman $13

Jake Weatherald $13

Others $15 or better


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