Sun, Dec 18, 2:37pm by Kevin Pitstock
WHERE AND WHEN
Adelaide Oval at 5.30pm
ADELAIDE STRIKERS CAMPAIGN:
v Melbourne Renegades at Adelaide Oval (18/12)
v Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium (23/12)
v Hobart Hurricanes at Adelaide Oval (28/12)
v Brisbane Heat at ‘Gabba (3/1)
v Perth Scorchers at WACA (8/1)
v Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval (10/1)
v Melbourne Stars at MCG (19/1)
MELBOURNE RENEGADES CAMPAIGN:
v Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval (18/12)
v Perth Scorchers at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
v Sydney Thunder 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)
Daniel Harris certainly isn’t a household name amongst Australian cricket fans. But he could be by the end of the BBL. Not many people realise how good of a T20 player the 31-year-old is. Harris has scored 1112 runs from 34 matches, averaging a phenomenal 38.34 per innings. Perhaps his finest T20 innings came in his last match at the Champions League when he blasted 108 not out from 61 balls to help the Redbacks to 2-214. Harris isn’t a tall or intimidating man, but he has one of the best eyes for a batsman in the country. He could be the standout in an already strong Strikers batting line-up.
Dirk Nannes wasn’t born an oil painting, but he was certainly born a natural T20 bowler. The 35-year-old is one of the most successful T20 bowlers of all time, capturing 163 wickets, including a haul of five, from 129 matches at an average of 20.60. He has also represented Australia and the Netherlands at international level and has been a huge success, claiming 28 wickets from 17 matches. Nannes is fast, very fast, and pitches the ball in extremely difficult spots for batsman to hit. No wonder he was one of the Renegades’ early recruits and why he will be such an important player tonight.
ADELAIDE STRIKERS LIKELY TEAM:
1. Daniel Harris
2. Michael Klinger (C)
3. Tom Cooper
4. Callum Ferguson
5. Cameron Borgas
6. Adam Crosthwaite (WK)
7. Aaron O’Brien
8. Brendan Drew
9. Kane Richardson
10. Nathan Lyon
11. Bryce McGain
MELBOURNE RENEGADES TEAM:
1. Aaron Finch
2. Meyrick Buchanan
3. Shahid Afridi
4. Andrew McDonald (C)
5. Graham Manou (WK)
6. Glenn Maxwell
7. Abdul Razzaq
8. Aaron Heal
9. Shane Harwood
10. Dirk Nannes
11. Shaun Tait
These two teams are based in states that have been very successful on the T20 domestic scene over recent years, so this one should be an absolute cracker.
The Strikers have a number of quality players in their line-up, with Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper and Nathan Lyon all having exposure at international level recently. They are also well coached by Darren Berry, the man who led the Redbacks to success in the last state T20 competition.
However, one glance at the Renegades’ bowling attack and you’d be shaking in your boots if you were a batsman. Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Shane Harwood are extremely quick and can really hurt batsmen if they get tangled in a mess. Add the accuracy of Andrew McDonald and Abdul Razzaq, plus the spin of Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Heal and the always colourful Shahid Afridi, and you’ve got perhaps the best bowling attack in the Big Bash league.
But an upset could be on the cards here. Brad Hodge, perhaps the best T20 batsman in the worldm is a huge loss for the Renegades and when he goes, they don’t seem to bat too deep. Yes the Renegades have an awesome bowling attack, but there will probably be too much pressure on the top five batsmen to deal with.
And we can’t take anything away from the Strikers, because the majority of them won the Big Bash competition with South Australia last season. They just look the more balanced team on paper here and will make excellent use of their spinners on a slower track than usual. Strikers to win.
Adelaide Strikers to win ($2.15 – Centrebet)
Daniel Harris, Strikers High Bat ($4.50 – Sportsbet)
Dirk Nannes, Renegades Most Wickets ($3.75 – Centrebet)
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