Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Renegades
Monday, 4 January 19:40 EST
The Hobart Hurricanes will be looking to make it four wins on the trot when they host the Melbourne Renegades at Bellerive Oval on Monday night.
After an opening round thumping by the Sydney Sixers, Hobart haven’t looked back with consecutive wins over the Brisbane Heat followed by a tight victory over the previously unbeaten Sydney Thunder on Friday. Former Australian T20I captain George Bailey has been in outstanding form for the Hurricanes and his 56 off only 29 balls against the Thunder was arguably the difference. Their bowling has laboured at times but leg-spinner Cameron Boyce has been consistent throughout the tournament, averaging 15 with the ball at an economy rate of 6.80, while veteran tearaway Shaun Tait found some rhythm on Friday, taking 3/16.
The Renegades are in the polar opposite situation to the Hurricanes, having lost their last three matches after a first-up win over the Heat. Most recently the Renegades lost a thrilling derby encounter to the Melbourne Stars who chased down the 162 set by the Renegades with five balls to spare. Like Hobart, the Renegades have mostly struggled in the field with at least one bowler conceding more than 10.5 runs an over in every match so far. On a more positive note the Renegades are yet to compile less than 160 with the bat with the top three of Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle and Cameron White all in ominous form.
The two matches already played at Bellerive Oval in this season’s competition suggest that plenty of runs will be scored with totals of 184 and 163 only narrowly defended. Also look out for some particular carnage in the final overs with 26 and 32 coming off the last two overs in the first innings in those games, the likes of which we could see replicated with a couple of relatively weak bowling attacks and plenty of finishing power.
Given the respective ladder positions and the home advantage enjoyed by the Hurricanes it should come as no surprise that they are 1.82 favourites with the Renegades 2.22 outsiders. As a trading strategy you could do far worse than getting with the batting side and opposing the team in the field as both these sides have performed far better with bat in hand than with the ball.
However another way to take on the bowlers is to side with a large number of sixes occurring. Games involving the Renegades have averaged 14 sixes this season and while games involving Hobart have averaged only 10, their second clash with Brisbane produced a healthy 16 sixes.
With a pair of mediocre bowling attacks and a number of batsmen more than capable of clearing the ropes, such as Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, George Bailey, Dan Christian and Darren Sammy, I’ll be looking to back 14 or more sixes at around 3.00 or bigger.