Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes
Tuesday, 29 December 19:10
The Brisbane Heat will be playing for survival in the competition when they host the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba on Tuesday.
Favourites for the wooden spoon prior to the start of the tournament the Heat have regrettably lived up to expectations, losing their first three matches including a last-start mauling by the Perth Scorchers on Boxing Day. In those three games the Heat have taken just seven wickets with Andrew Fekete the only bowler to take more than one, highlighting their deficiencies with the ball. The batting has been more promising, however they could only manage 7/117 against the Scorchers with captain Chris Lynn contributing 75.
The Hurricanes have split their opening two matches, bouncing back from a first-up thumping by the Sydney Sixers by overturning the Heat a week ago by 20 runs. In that match captain Tim Paine lead the way with the bat with his unbeaten 87 laying the platform for an imposing total of 3/184, while Dan Christian proved an unlikely hero with the ball, capturing 2/22 off four overs. Hobart will be looking for a greater contribution from overseas cult-hero Darren Sammy who thus far has scored only two runs and has conceded a costly 14 an over with ball in hand.
The Gabba is generally a high-scoring ground with the first innings total averaging 168 in five games since the start of last season. Despite that the chasing side has won three out of those five matches, while in the other two the side batting second fell only marginally short in chases of 165 and 199.
The visitors are 1.78 favourites to claim their second consecutive win over the Heat, who are 2.27 outsiders. However one area where the beleaguered Brisbane side could hold an edge is the ability to clear the ropes. Despite winning only two of their past 11 matches the Heat have only lost the sixes count on five occasions while in their last 10 games the Hurricanes have hit the most sixes just once.
So while it’s hard to have enough faith in a struggling Brisbane outfit to lay the Hurricanes in the match odds, one area where you can oppose the away side is in the battle to hit the hit the most sixes where they will likely be priced at around even money.