Big Bash League 2016/17: Hobart Hurricanes v Perth Scorchers

Hobart Hurricanes v Perth Scorchers

Saturday 21st January 4:20pm AEDT

The Hobart Hurricanes will be hoping to keep their slim finals hopes alive by defeating the Perth Scorchers at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.

Hobart Hurricanes

The Hurricanes’ BBL06 campaign looked down and out when they were staring down a huge deficit against the Melbourne Renegades last Thursday, reeling at 2/19 chasing the Renegades’ monumental 4/222. But their prospects were revived by an astonishing innings from 22-year-old Ben McDermott who bludgeoned his way to 114 off just 52 deliveries, completely changing the course of the match, and potentially the Hurricanes’ season.

McDermott received vital support from George Bailey who compiled a more sedate 59 off 42 balls, before it was left to English quick Stuart Broad to take 11 from the four balls he faced and drag Hobart over the line in a last-ball thriller. Earlier, things had looked pretty dire for Hobart as the Renegades took 100 off the final seven overs to set the Hurricanes a record chase.

In his first appearance for the season, firebrand Jake Reed picked up two wickets but also conceded 54 from his four overs, although in no truth none of the Hobart bowlers could claim to have had an enjoyable evening, all conceding at least nine runs an over. After an electrifying start to the season, Hurricanes skipper Tim Paine has fallen away badly, with his golden duck against the Renegades making it just 18 runs from his past three innings’.

However the chief concern for the Hurricanes remains their bowling with half of their bowlers used in this tournament leaking runs at more than 10 an over. Even if they win here, the Hurricanes will need other results to fall their way if they are to finish in the top four, and they will also be hoping for a sizable boost to their flagging net run rate.

Perth Scorchers

The Scorchers still harbour hopes of a home final, although depending on how other results play out there is a slim chance they could miss the top four altogether so they certainly won’t be taking it easy here. Most recently they suffered a disappointing home loss to the Melbourne Stars, going down by seven wickets to surrender a top-two spot on the ladder. After winning the toss and batting first, Perth got off to the worst start imaginable, losing their first four wickets for just 13 inside four overs.

However an unorthodox ploy from coach Justin Langer to send bowler Andrew Tye in as a pinch-hitter paid dividends as he swung his way to 42 off 33 balls, steering the Scorchers towards a respectable total. An unbeaten stand of 51 between Ashton Agar (29 off 20) and Tim Bresnan (20 off 15) eventually lifted the Scorchers to a defendable 7/134.

The early scalp of opener Luke Wright to young fast-bowler Jhye Richardson gave Perth some hope, however their prospects were quickly scuppered by some assured batting from the Stars who reached the target for the loss of only three wickets and with 16 balls remaining. Richardson was the pick of the Scorchers bowlers, finishing with 2/26 off three overs, however Tye continued his unusual evening by conceding a surprising 37 from his four overs.

One positive in the field for the Scorchers was the tight bowling displayed by spinner Ashton Agar who has conceded runs at just 5.32 an over in his last two games, after going at 10.03 in his first four matches. The Scorchers also welcome back skipper Adam Voges and ‘keeper Sam Whiteman, who have recovered from a hamstring injury and concussion respectively.

Bellerive Oval

All three matches at Bellerive Oval this season have been won by the side batting second, with scores of 188, 143 and 161 all chased down comfortably. Deposed Australian batsman George Bailey has enjoyed his time on home soil in BBL06, scoring 149 runs in three innings at Bellerive this season without being dismissed.

Key Stats

  • The Hurricanes have won only three of their last 11 matches.
  • The Hurricanes have won only one of their past five matches at Bellerive Oval.
  • The Scorchers have won their last four matches against the Hurricanes.
  • The Scorchers have won four of their past six away games.
  • 11 or less total sixes have been hit in ten out of 14 matches involving these teams in BBL06.

The Verdict

Punters are expecting the Scorchers to cement their place in the top four, installing them as healthy favourites to kill off the Hurricanes’ season.

While they look likely to qualify for a sixth-successive semi-finals appearance, the Scorchers’ batting has been arguably one of the most disappointing aspects of the tournament. Boasting a line-up high on quality and rich in depth, they have not reached 180 since their opening fixture against the Adelaide Strikers. Moreover they have only managed four individual half-centuries across their seven matches in BBL06 so far, which indicates that Langer’s constant tinkering of the batting order has not delivered the desired results.

Luckily for Perth they have been outstanding in the field. Despite missing key bowlers such as Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile, their entire bowling unit has come to the party, with only two of their bowlers averaging more than 25 and the majority conceding runs at less than eight runs an over. Although they face a side who is coming off a record run chase, I fancy their bowlers should have the Hurricanes’ volatile batting unit covered, however concerns over their own batting is enough for me to leave the Scorchers’ price alone.

In their last match we saw the best and worst of the Hurricanes, conceding runs at an alarming rate in the field, before running down a colossal target in the most implausible of circumstances. It is unlikely they will be allowed the same latitude by a sharp Scorchers attack, however their batting does contain plenty of power with the new threat of young McDermott not to be underestimated. However, what seems to be more consistent is their profligacy in the field where they have conceded runs at 9.26 an over throughout the tournament.

Furthermore there are question marks over their ability to beat a higher-class opponent, having been comfortably accounted for by the Stars and Heat earlier this season, so while I won’t be opposing the Hurricanes in this one I certainly won’t be backing them either.

Moving away from the match odds, in their last encounter the Hurricanes shared an incredible 22 sixes with the Renegades, however it’s prudent to note that this was only the second time in seven matches where the total sixes have exceeded 11.The Scorchers share that same record, with five of their seven games featuring no more than 11 sixes, including four that produced seven or less. Perth may boast an imposing batting line-up, but as we know it has been misfiring and as a result has not managed more than three sixes in the majority of their games.

Similarly while the Hurricanes showed what they are capable of against the Renegades, that was the exception more than the rule, with their line-up failing to exceed five maximums more often than not in BBL06. Backing under 11.5 sixes allows us to oppose the Scorchers’ out-of-sorts batting, but get with their frugal bowling, and with the market likely to overreact to the previous match it seems a perfect opportunity to exploit.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Under 11.5 Sixes at 1.90 or bigger for 1 unit

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