After facing off on Monday, the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes do battle again on Friday night, this time at the Adelaide Oval.
After being sent in by the Hurricanes at Bellerive Oval, the Strikers’ innings followed a familiar pattern, flying out of the blocks in the powerplay, before stumbling through the middle overs to ultimately record an under-par total. On this occasion they raced to 0/40 in the fourth over, before losing 3/6 in ten balls which precipitated a sharp downturn in their run rate, scoring only 34 between the fifth and 12th overs.
Adelaide did manage to step it up slightly towards the back end, largely thanks to a controlled 55 off 45 balls from captain Brad Hodge, but were still left with an underwhelming 143 from their 20 overs.
Once again it was Ben Dunk (31 off 17 balls) who kick-started the Strikers opening onslaught, however once he was dismissed his fellow batsmen – with the exception of Hodge – failed to consolidate, with powerful West Indian Kieron Pollard continuing his poor tournament in which he has scored just 45 runs from four innings’.
After defending an inferior total against the Sixers in their previous match, Adelaide may have held out some hope of doing the same against Hobart but their prospects were swiftly crushed by an opening stand of 105 which allowed the Hurricanes to mow down the target comfortably. Nevertheless, menacing paceman Billy Stanlake delivered another impressive spell, finishing with 1/17 off four overs, although the recalled Michael Neser endured a nightmare evening with his 1.4 overs costing 28.
The Hurricanes not only got their season back on track on Monday, but received a much-needed net run rate boost thanks to the convincing margin of victory over the Strikers. Despite not getting any overs in their opening three games, it was seasoned all-rounder Dan Christian who triggered the Strikers’ collapse, picking up a remarkable 5/14 from his four overs, including the key wickets of Hodge and Travis Head.
Playing his first game of BBL06, fellow all-rounder Simon Milenko had what could only be described as a mixed night, claiming the wickets of both openers but still conceding a whopping 50 from his four overs.
With the bat, explosive opener Darcy Short led the charge with a dynamic 60 off 39 balls, including seven fours and three sixes. His opening partner Tim Paine maintained his steady presence at the other end, compiling 41 off 42 balls which made him the first player in BBL06 to reach 200 runs for the tournament.
Although he still looked decidedly out of touch and rode his luck at times, Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara will be hoping to gain some confidence from his unbeaten 22 off 20 which is actually his highest score from his past nine BBL innings’. After sitting out on Monday with an elbow injury, veteran quick Shaun Tait is set to come back into the starting XI, possibly at the expense of Milenko.
The first match at the Adelaide Oval between the Strikers and Heat saw over 400 runs scored, however in the next encounter the hosts comfortably defended 152 against the Sixers. I’d suggest the earlier match provides a stronger form-line as conditions still looked good for batting in the Sixers game. It’s also worth noting that the average score in the first six overs across the first two games at the Adelaide Oval is a substantial 1/63.
- The Strikers have won only one of their last five games.
- However the Strikers have won five of their past seven games at the Adelaide Oval.
- The Hurricanes have won only two of their past eight games.
- Since the start of the 2014/15 season, the Hurricanes have only won consecutive games twice.
- Eight of the Strikers’ last ten matches have seen 10 or more total sixes.
Despite Hobart’s overwhelming victory at home, the market does not quite know what to make of this prompt rematch, again finding it hard to separate the sides.
One might have thought the Strikers would be a bigger price here, as while they have promised much – particularly with the bat – they have delivered very little of any substance. Granted they are different gravy at home where their record is particularly strong and the venue seems to be the primary factor in keeping the odds so close together. I do suspect that at some point the Strikers’ batting will click all the way down the order and they will finally deliver the sort of commanding total they have been threatening, but in order to side with the hosts I’d be wanting a much bigger price, given their output in this tournament thus far.
Similarly, the Hurricanes are also tough to trust, as while they can look world-beaters one match then often quickly revert to playing like paupers in the next, as evidenced by the fact they have struggled to put together back-to-back victories for some time now. Their batting definitely appears to be their stronger suit, but when you consider that they stumbled against the Heat’s toothless bowling attack, they certainly cannot be relied upon to even get a foothold in the game. Their bowling too is wildly inconsistent and this is perhaps best illustrated by successive overs on Monday which cost 4, 13, 3, 20 and 2.
All up I just cannot invest in either of these sides without a more attractive price, which leads me to a couple of side markets in order to unearth some value.
These teams may have been highly inconsistent throughout BBL06, however one area where they have shown some uniformity is in the number of sixes that have been hit in their games. Matches involving the Strikers this season have averaged 14.3 sixes with every game producing at least 11. All four Hobart matches have also produced 11 or more maximums, with their average per game a sizeable 12.8.
Furthermore if we extend back to the start of last season, matches involving the Strikers have averaged 12.5 sixes, whilst those featuring the Hurricanes have averaged 10.1. The Strikers record over a longer period is particularly compelling, with eight of their past ten games producing 10 or more sixes.
Already this season Ben Dunk, Darcy Short, Jake Weatherald, Brad Hodge, Tim Paine and George Bailey have all hit five or more sixes, while the likes of Travis Head, Dan Christian and Kieron Pollard are more than capable of clearing the ropes on multiple occasions, which is why I’m confident that the total number of sixes will comfortably exceed the 9.5 mark.
Additionally, as I touched on earlier, the Strikers have been particularly damaging in the opening overs, averaging 55.3 in the first six with Dunk striking at a remarkable 184.33 in the tournament and his opening partner Weatherald going along at a more than acceptable 134.92. Meanwhile the Hurricanes have struggled to identify which of their bowlers are best suited to the powerplay, using seven different options so far.
That muddled thinking is borne out in the data where they have conceded an average of 60.8 in the first six overs, with three of four sides managing to score 60 or more. Therefore I’m happy to back the Strikers to get off to another fast start and rack up at least 50 in those first six overs.
BACK – Over 9.5 sixes at 1.50 or bigger for 2 units.
BACK – Adelaide Strikers 6 Over Total 50 Runs or more at 2.00 or bigger for 1 unit.