Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers
Monday December 21, 7:10pm
The Perth Scorchers begin their title defence by taking on the Adelaide Strikers, fresh from over-turning pre-season favourites the Melbourne Stars, at the WACA on Monday night.
The Scorchers have retained the core of their trophy-winning side, with the likes of Michael Klinger, Michael Carberry, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and the evergreen Brad Hogg returning, while they have also been boosted by the inclusion of Australian representatives Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile for this match. To cap it off they have recruited star English all-rounder David Willey to replace the wily Yasir Arafat, leaving them with one of the more formidable squads in the history of Australia domestic T20 cricket.
However they may have to be at their best to overcome the Strikers who held off a late charge to overcome the Stars at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. Young middle-order batsman Alex Ross turned the game with a superb 65 off just 31 balls and will be keen to test himself against the best attack in the competition.
The WACA, or “Furnace” as it is dubbed by Scorchers fans, is a tough place for opposition teams to come with the home side having won eight out of the past ten clashes there over the last two seasons of the competition.
With such a strong squad it comes as no surprise that Perth are warm favourites at 1.6 but that price is too short to be backing, especially after the Strikers’ impressive performance against the Stars. Nor would we want to oppose the Scorchers, given the incredible depth of their line-up.
The dismissals market is actually where the value may lie in this match. The Strikers’ opening pair of Craig Simmons and Tim Ludeman have a propensity to get out caught, with the first wicket being caught for Adelaide in nine out of their past 10 matches. Similarly last season at the WACA eight of ten first dismissals were caught so look to back the visitors’ opening partnership to perish in this manner.