Adelaide Strikers v Perth Scorchers
Tuesday January 5, 7:40pm
First place on the ladder will be at stake when the Adelaide Strikers take on the Perth Scorchers at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
The Strikers have lost only one match so far this season (against the Sydney Thunder), although in their most recent clash they needed one of the greatest BBL innings of all time from Travis Head to pip the Sydney Sixers at the post in a thrilling encounter on New Year’s Eve. The entire middle-order has fired for Adelaide throughout the competition with captain Brad Hodge and youngster Alex Ross also enjoying very productive seasons. Their bowling has been solid without being outstanding, however coach Jason Gillespie will have been encouraged by the performance of left-arm orthodox John Holland against the Sixers who took his first wicket of the tournament and conceded only 21 off four overs in a high-scoring game.
The Scorchers have also lost just the one game so far, although it came against Tuesday’s opponents back on December 21 in Perth’s first game of the season. Since then the Scorchers’ highly-regarded bowling attack has clicked into gear, most recently restricting an under-strength Sixers outfit to just 8/112. After missing that opening loss to Adelaide, spearhead Jason Behrendorff has returned to great effect, taking six wickets at an average of 11.66 and economy rate of just 5.83. Evergreen spinner Brad Hogg has also been relatively miserly with the ball, conceding 6.43 runs an over, however he will be hoping to add to his wicket-tally, having captured just the single scalp in this year’s competition.
Both previous matches at the Adelaide Oval this season were high-scoring affairs with the home side narrowly defending 187 against the Melbourne Stars, then chasing down 176 in that aforementioned clash against the Sixers on New Year’s Eve. That means that the hosts have now won four of the past six clashes at Adelaide, establishing quite a formidable record at their home ground.
Despite that record the Strikers are slight outsiders for the match at 2.14 with the Scorchers favourites at 1.86. However with Perth winning their past three matches convincingly and Adelaide stumbling somewhat in their last couple these prices are fair so we have to look elsewhere for some value.
Although they have used a variety of bowlers first up, in every match so far this season the Strikers have conceded between 7-9 runs in the first over, while across their four games the Scorchers have scored between 7-9 with the bat in three. Adelaide tend to use one of their weaker bowlers up front, while Perth’s batting is dominated by the classy opening pair of Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh which explains the trend of a slightly higher-scoring first over. Therefore look to back Perth to score 7-9 runs in their first over at 2.75 or bigger.