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Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes

January 21, 6:45pm, Adelaide Oval

Match Overview

Monday night sees the defending champions host the tournament favourites when the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes do battle in a highly-anticipated clash at the Adelaide Oval.

The Strikers continued their inconsistent run of form when they were beaten by the Sydney Thunder to the tune of 71 runs at Spotless Stadium last Sunday. The Thunder won the toss and elected to bat before compiling an impressive total of 6/168 despite the ever-reliable Rashid Khan (2/21 off four overs) again proving difficult to get away.

When Adelaide reached 3/75 in the 13th over they looked set to launch a late innings assault but instead they fell in a heap, losing their last seven wickets for just 22 to be bowled out for 97 despite the best efforts of South African Colin Ingram (48 off 30 balls).

The Hurricanes added the Scorchers to their latest collection of victims, winners by four wickets after an excellent early spell from all-rounder James Faulkner (3/36 off four overs) helped keep Perth to an attainable 9/177. A classic knock of 69 off 39 balls from the evergreen George Bailey put them in touch, before Faulkner (28 not out off 20 balls) applied the finishing touches, blasting 14 off the first three balls of the final over to drag Hobart over the line in a thrilling win.

The Hurricanes were arguably a bit lucky to get away with the points against the Scorchers and they can ill afford to be so sloppy against the reigning champions who are hard to ignore at odds-against

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have won eight of their past ten matches at the Adelaide Oval.
  • The Strikers have won five of their past seven matches against the Hurricanes.
  • The Hurricanes have lost their last five matches at the Adelaide Oval.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide Strikers at 2.05 or bigger for 1 unit.

Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades

January 22, 7:15pm, Spotless Stadium

Match Overview

After both experiencing mixed results of late, Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades will be looking to find some consistency when they face off at Spotless Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Thunder were brutally unlucky not to come away with a win against the Brisbane Heat last Thursday when floodlight failure at the Gabba came to the rescue of the hosts with Sydney well on top.

Captain Shane Watson won the toss and backed up his own unfashionable decision to bat first with BBL08’s first century, plundering 100 off 62 balls including eight fours and six sixers to catapult the Thunder to a sizeable 4/186 from their 20 overs.

An early wicket each to Chris Jordan (1/6 off one over) and Gurinder Sandhu (1/3 off one over) had Brisbane floundering at 2/10 off three overs when the lights went out and the match was abandoned amid controversial scenes.

The Renegades continued their familiar struggles against city rivals the Stars, going down by six wickets at Docklands after 28 off 33 balls from Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi could only haul the Gades to an underwhelming 121 all out.

Kane Richardson continued his stellar season for the Renegades, capturing 2/17 off four overs, however, it was not enough as the Stars ran down the target with four balls remaining. With both sides possessing plenty of power at the top I’d expect both sides to come out of the blocks quickly in this one.

Key Stats

  • The Thunder have averaged 51 runs in the first six overs this season.
  • The Renegades have scored 50 or more in the first six overs in every away game this season.
  • The Thunder’s top three have scored 56% of their runs this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 1st Innings 6 Over Total 50 Runs or more at 2.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat

January 20, 7:15pm, Sydney Cricket Ground

Match Overview

After escaping with a point in the darkness at the Gabba, the Brisbane Heat will be looking to refocus against the battling Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Sunday night.

The Sixers must have hoped for their own home ground to encounter some floodlight failure on Wednesday night when they were swept aside by the Melbourne Renegades. Having been sent in to bat the Sixers made a disastrous start, slumping to 6/64 after 14 overs before some late hitting from Tom Curran (44 off 30 balls) dragged the Magenta Men to 9/115.

However the Renegades had few troubles with the target, breezing home with seven wickets in hand and 42 balls remaining despite another brace to spinner Steve O’Keefe (2/23 off three overs).

 

On Thursday night the Heat also made a poor start but this time in the field, conceding a sizeable 4/186 against the Sydney Thunder with Josh Lalor (0/29 off four overs) and debutant Jack Prestwidge (0/14 off two overs) the only bowlers not to concede more than eight runs an over.

After three overs in the chase, Brisbane were in dire straits at 2/10 with Bash Brothers Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn back in the sheds but ultimately they were saved by the Brisbane blackout with the match declared a no result. While the visitors look prohibitively short in the match odds, they appear sound value to clear the ropes more often than the unfittingly named Sixers

Key Stats

  • None of the Heat’s opponents are yet to hit more sixes than them in completed matches this season.
  • The Sixers have hit more sixes than their opponents in only two out of nine matches this season.
  • Between them Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum have hit the same number of sixes than the entire Sixers team this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Heat Most Sixes at 1.70 or bigger for 2 units

Melbourne Renegades v Melbourne Stars

January 19, 6:15pm, The Gabba

Match Overview

After a thumping win on Wednesday night the Melbourne Renegades will be hoping to carry that momentum into their clash with city rivals Melbourne Stars at Docklands Stadium on Saturday night.

The Renegades made light work of the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Wednesday, romping home by seven wickets. After winning the toss and electing to field, a couple of early wickets to Kane Richardson (3/26 off four overs) put the Renegades in control, before Mohammad Nabi ran through the lower order to finish with 4/25 off his four overs as the Sixers could only stammer to 9/115.

Captain Tom Cooper elevated himself to the top of the order to good effect, punching 49 off 33 balls as the Renegades strolled home with a casual 42 balls remaining to give their side a crucial net run rate boost.

The Stars continued their recent struggles with a 59-run defeat at the hands of the Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG on Monday night as a tight spell from Jackson Bird (0/27 off four overs) had little impact with the Hurricanes racking up 2/185 from their 20 overs.

The Stars lost wickets regularly throughout the chase and were eventually bowled out for 126 despite a valiant 35 off 26 balls from ‘keeper-batsman Seb Gotch. While the Stars have been struggling, they are set to field their strongest line-up so far this season with the return of players from international duty and I fancy them to claim another Derby victory.

Key Stats

  • The Renegades have won only two of their past 11 matches against the Stars.
  • The Stars have won their last five matches at Docklands Stadium.
  • In their history the Stars have only once lost four matches in a row.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Stars at 1.95 or bigger for 1 unit.

Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes

January 18, 9:30pm, Perth Stadium

Match Overview

With six wins from seven matches in BBL08 the latest assignment for the Hobart Hurricanes will be taking care of the reinvigorated Perth Scorchers at Perth Stadium on Friday night.

The Scorchers put together back-to-back wins to lift themselves off the bottom of the ladder, beating the Sydney Sixers by seven wickets at this ground on Sunday. The night did not start all that well for Perth who conceded a sizeable 5/177 in the field despite a solid effort from young quick Matt Kelly (2/32 off four overs).

However the Scorchers’ struggling batting unit finally found its feet with opener Cameron Bancroft striking an unbeaten 87 off 61 balls, while in-form captain Ashton Turner bludgeoned 60 off just 30 deliveries to carry the hosts home with seven balls to spare.

Meanwhile the Hurricanes continued on their merry way, swiping aside the Melbourne Stars by 59 runs at the MCG on Monday after an imperious 96 not out off 57 balls from opener Darcy Short allowed Hobart to rack up 2/185 batting first. The Stars were never really in the hunt as they folded for 126 with express quick Riley Meredith claiming a superb 4/21 off four overs.

Although the Scorchers’ top-order has shown signs of improvement, it’s hard to overlook the Hurricanes’ form in the early stages of the innings.

Key Stats

  • The Scorchers have won six of their past eight matches against the Hurricanes.
  • Between them Hurricanes’ openers Darcy Short and Matthew Wade are averaging 45.08 at a strike-rate of 138.21.
  • The Scorchers have outscored their opponents in the first six overs in only two of their past seven matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Hobart Hurricanes Highest 6 Over Total at 1.75 or bigger for 1 unit.

Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder

January 17, 6:15pm, The Gabba

Match Overview

After both recording thumping wins in their previous matches, both the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder will look to continue the momentum when they clash at the Gabba on Thursday night.

The Heat put paid to the Melbourne Renegades on Sunday night, recording the second-largest victory in BBL history when they won by a massive 101 runs. Brisbane actually lost the toss and were sent into bat, however they responded with vigour as opener Max Bryant (44 off 24 balls) got them off to a frantic start before familiar pair Brendon McCullum (69 off 43 balls) and Chris Lynn (66 not out off 44 balls) put on 89 from just 61 deliveries to lead the Heat to an imposing 4/192. The Queenslanders did not let up the field either with paceman Brendan Doggett claiming 3/16 off 2.5 overs as they routed the Renegades for just 91.

The Thunder also claimed a comprehensive victory on Sunday, winners by 71 runs against the Adelaide Strikers after a punishing 68 off 40 balls from captain Shane Watson steered Sydney to 6/168 from their 20 overs. In reply the Strikers absolutely capitulated, losing 7/22 to be bowled out for just 97 with returning all-rounder Arjun Nair capturing 3/12 off three overs. With two batting line-ups that lean heavily on their top three, I’m expecting to see plenty of runs scored in the powerplay at the Gabba.

Key Stats

  • The Heat have won their last four matches against the Thunder.
  • The Heat have scored 50 or more in the first six overs in seven out of eight matches this season.
  • The Thunder have scored 33% of their runs in the first six overs this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 1st Innings 6 Over Total 50 Runs or more at 1.85 or bigger for 2 units.

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades

January 16, 7:15pm, Sydney Cricket Ground

Match Overview

The Sydney Sixers will be looking to cement their place in the top four when they entertain the Melbourne Renegades at the SCG on Wednesday night.

The Sixers went down in their most recent encounter to the Perth Scorchers, beaten by seven wickets over in the west on Sunday. The Magenta Men actually out together one of their most impressive performances with the bat, racking up 5/177 from their 20 overs largely thanks to a sparkling 38 off 21 balls from captain Moises Henriques.

However the Sixers endured a nightmare in the field, encapsulated by their normally miserly spinner Steve O’Keefe returning figures of 0/36 off three overs as the Scorchers romped home in the penultimate over.

The Renegades were also beaten last Sunday, going down by a mammoth 101 runs to the Brisbane Heat after they conceded a sizeable 4/192 despite the best efforts of Dan Christian (2/24 off four overs).

Melbourne’s embarrassment was complete when they were bowled out for just 91 with some late-order hitting from Cameron Boyce (25 off 21 balls) a rare highlight.

Rather surprisingly the hosts have opened up underdogs for this one but we think the market looks the wrong way around so accordingly we will have a significant wager on the Sixers.

Key Stats

  • The Sixers have won four of their past five home matches.
  • The Renegades have won only two of their past six matches.
  • The Sixers have won five of their past six matches against the Renegades.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Sixers at 2.05 or bigger for 3 units.

Melbourne Stars v Hobart Hurricanes

January 14, 7:15pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Match Overview

Table-toppers Hobart Hurricanes will be looking to bounce back after their first defeat of BBL08 by overcoming the embattled Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Monday night.

The Stars were comfortably outgunned by the Adelaide Strikers on Friday night, going down by 41 runs. They actually made a promising start in the field, reducing Adelaide to 2/21, however they proceeded to leak 59 off the last six overs which allowed the Strikers to amass 5/178 despite some late wickets to English quick Liam Plunkett (4/36 off four overs).

Melbourne also made a positive opening to their second innings, racing to 0/50 in the sixth over before losing 4/15 and eventually being bowled out for 137 with makeshift opener Evan Gulbis top-scoring with a lusty 37 off 25 balls.

After starting the season with five wins, the Hurricanes finally succumbed to the Melbourne Renegades last Monday despite an unbeaten 70 off 53 balls from veteran George Bailey carrying them to a competitive 5/145 on the sluggish Docklands Stadium surface. Left-arm orthodox spinner Clive Rose certainly found conditions to his liking, producing a tight spell to finish with 1/15 off four overs but it was not enough as the Renegades ran down the target with six wickets in hand and four balls remaining.

Whilst we’re a bit hesitant to back the skinny odds available on the visitors, we see no such issues in siding with the Hurricanes’ red-hot opener.

Key Stats

  • The Stars have won only two of their past nine matches at the MCG.
  • However the Hurricanes have won only one of their last four matches against the Stars.
  • Darcy Short has top-scored in three of his past seven BBL matches and has been dismissed under 34 only once this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Darcy Short Top Hobart Hurricanes Batsman at 3.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers

January 13, 2:45pm, Spotless Stadium

Match Overview

It’s a quick turnaround for the Adelaide Strikers who just two days after their last match travel north to face the Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

After a promising start to the tournament the Sydney Thunder have slipped into the bottom half of the table, most recently beaten by the Brisbane Heat at this ground on Tuesday in a rain-marred affair. After winning the toss and electing to field first, the Thunder were on the back foot early with the Heat racing to 1/141 in just the 14th over, however spinner Jono Cook (3/27 off four overs) triggered a remarkable collapse of 6/11 as Brisbane eventually reached 8/186 from their 20 overs.

The Thunder’s chase got off to a slow start and when the rain arrived they were 2/34 off 5.3 overs, still 15 runs behind under the Duckworth-Lewis calculation which is where the match concluded.

Meanwhile the Strikers started to flex their muscle, putting paid to the Melbourne Stars by 41 runs on Friday night after they racked up 5/178 batting first off the back of a 74-run stand between middle-order pair Travis Head (43 off 31 balls) and Colin Ingram (57 off 41 balls). Although the Stars made a fast start in reply, reaching 50 without loss in the sixth over, returning craftsman Ben Laughlin ran through their batting unit to finish with 3/19 off 3.2 overs as Melbourne were eventually bowled out for 137.

With the hosts no longer able to call on destructive opener Jos Buttler and the Strikers now having the benefit of captain Head at their disposal, I’m expecting Adelaide to continue their big-hitting form.

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have hit more sixes than their opponents in their last five matches.
  • The Thunder have hit more sixes than their opponents in only one of their last five matches.
  • Departed opener Jos Buttler has hit 30% of the Thunder’s sixes this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide Strikers Most Sixes at 1.84 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat

January 13, 6:35pm, Simonds Stadium

Match Overview

After facing each other just three nights prior the Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat will do it all again at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium on Sunday night.

The Renegades made light work of the Heat up at the Gabba on Thursday, strolling home by eight wickets and with a whopping 26 balls to spare. After winning the toss and sending the Heat into bat, the night did not start ideally for the Renegades as Brisbane reached 1/68 in the 10th over before some excellent bowling from both Usman Shinwari (3/16 off four overs) and Cameron Boyce (2/17 off four overs) triggered a collapse and the Heat could only scramble to 8/144. In reply Sam Harper continued his promising start to the tournament with 56 not out off 40 balls, combining in a 106-run partnership with captain Tom Cooper who finally found some form with an unbeaten 36 off 28 deliveries.

There were not too many positives for the Heat, though former skipper Brendon McCullum made it back-to-back half-centuries, propping up his side’s innings with 50 off 47 balls, before an all too familiar middle-order malaise. Similarly there was little to write home about with the ball, with Brisbane looking increasingly reliant on Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman who again produced a tight spell of 1/23 off four overs.

In further bad news for the Heat, the slow pitch in Geelong should suit them even less so I fancy the Renegades to do the double over the Queenslanders.

Key Stats

  • The Renegades have now won their last seven matches against the Heat.
  • The Heat have won only two of their past ten matches.
  • The Heat have won only three of their past seven away matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK to LAY – Melbourne Renegades at 1.82 or bigger for 1 unit.

Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers

January 13, 9:35pm, Perth Stadium

Match Overview

The last match of a Sunday-triple header will take place at Perth Stadium where a resurgent Perth Scorchers host the plucky Sydney Sixers.

The Scorchers picked up just their second win of the season when they comfortably accounted for the Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Wednesday night. After winning only their second toss in seven games, Perth sent the Stars in and owed much to seamer Andrew Tye who brushed off his omission from the Australian ODI side with a brilliant spell of 4/18 off four overs, restricting Melbourne to 6/146 from their 20 overs. An opening stand of 75 between Cameron Bancroft (59 off 42 balls) and Michael Klinger (29 off 30 balls) put the Scorchers’ chase on the front foot, before the ever-reliable Ashton Turner put an exclamation mark on proceedings with a typically brutal 43 not out off just 22 balls to see Perth home with six wickets in hand and 14 balls remaining.

On Sunday the Sixers caused a boilover when they defeated the Adelaide Strikers by the same margin at the Adelaide Oval after another brace to spinner Steve O’Keefe (2/31 off four overs) kept the reigning champions to an underwhelming 5/150. In his last match for the Sixers before departing for test duty, English opener Joe Denly signed off in style with an unbeaten 76 off 60 balls carrying the Magenta Men to a comfortable win in the penultimate over. With question marks remaining over the hosts’ batting line-up and the Sixers gaining a burgeoning reputation for causing upsets, it’s hard not to see the away side trading shorter in this one.

Key Stats

  • The Scorchers have won only two of their past eight matches.
  • The Sixers have won six of their past nine matches as underdogs.
  • The Sixers have won three of their last four away matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK to LAY – Sydney Sixers at 2.10 or bigger for 2 units (trade out at 1.75 or better).

Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars

January 11, 6:30pm, Adelaide Oval

Match Overview

A depleted Melbourne Stars face a tough task as they travel west to take on defending champions Adelaide Strikers at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The Strikers’ undulating season continued when they went down to the Sydney Sixers by six wickets here last Sunday. Having won the toss and elected to bat, a second consecutive half-century to opener Jake Weatherald (50 off 40 balls) had them on the front foot before they lost 3/22 in 22 balls and in the end could only stumble to a below-par 5/150 off their 20 overs. As always the Strikers leant heavily on Rashid Khan to help them defend the target and though he produced another excellent spell of 2/25 off four overs the Sixers strolled home with ten balls to spare.

The Stars also suffered a relatively heavy defeat in their last match with the Perth Scorchers recording a six-wicket win despite 62 off 47 balls at the top of the order from Ben Dunk lifting the Stars to a competitive 6/146. Perth snuffed out any hope of a Melbourne revival by racing to 1/96 in the 14th over in reply and some late wickets to Dwayne Bravo (2/18 off three overs) only delayed the inevitable with the Scorchers home in the 18th over. With three of their top-order missing due to international duty, look for Stars stand-in skipper Nic Maddinson to stand tall.

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have won three of their last four matches against the Stars.
  • Nic Maddinson is one of only two Stars top-order batsmen with more than 500 T20 career runs.
  • In his last four BBL innings Nic Maddinson is averaging 47.66 at a strike-rate of 202.86.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Nic Maddinson Top Melbourne Stars Batsman at 6.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades

January 10, 7:15pm, Gabba

Match Overview

A rejuvenated Brisbane Heat outfit welcome the Melbourne Renegades to the Gabba on Thursday night.

The Heat made it back to-back victories with a 15-run win over the Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Tuesday night in a rain-reduced match.

After being sent in the Bash Brothers Brendon McCullum (56 off 35 balls) and Chris Lynn (54 off 30 balls) were at their destructive best as they led Brisbane to 1/141 in the 14th over, before a stunning collapse of 6/11 set back any thoughts of a record total with the visitors eventually finishing on 8/168.

However that proved to be more than enough with the Thunder slipping to 2/34 in the sixth over after some tight bowling from James Pattinson (1/6 off two overs) before the rain arrived and washed out the remainder of the match.

The Renegades also returned to the winner’s circle with a tight seven-wicket win against the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night after three wickets to Kane Richardson (3/38 off four overs) helped restrict the Hurricanes to 5/145.

A welcome return from discarded test opener Aaron Finch (42 off 39 balls) got the Gades’ chase off to the perfect start and although the pursuit stalled through the middle of the innings, all-rounder Dan Christian (25 not out off 13 balls) was on hand to ensure that the Renegades got home with four balls to spare.

With Finch unavailable again due to international duty and the Heat getting their groove back, I’m backing the hosts to overcome a poor record against their opponents and make it three wins on the trot.

Key Stats

  • The Heat have won two of their past three matches when batting first at the Gabba.
  • Since the start of BBL05 Aaron Finch has scored 15% of the Renegades’ total runs.
  • The Renegades have won their last six matches against the Heat.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane Heat at 1.90 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers

January 9, 7:15pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Match Overview

The in-form Melbourne Stars host a desperate Perth Scorchers outfit at the MCG on Wednesday night.

The Stars recorded their third win on the trot when they made light work of the Sydney Thunder at Metricon Stadium on Saturday. After losing the toss and being asked to field first, the Stars strangled the Thunder batting-line up with both Scott Boland (2/28 off four overs) and Marcus Stoinis (2/29 off four overs) exhibiting excellent changes of pace on the way to restricting Sydney to 8/135.

Stoinis then got the chase off to brisk start with 34 off 22 balls, before Nick Larkin (41 not out off 41 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (41 not out off 31 balls) shared in an unbeaten third-wicket stand of 80 to see the Stars home in the 18th over.

On the same night the Scorchers slumped to their fifth defeat in six matches this season as their misfiring batting unit could only conjure 6/135 batting first against the Brisbane Heat despite another valiant innings from captain Ashton Turner (47 off 30 balls). Fired up after his exclusion from the Australian ODI squad, Nathan Coulter-Nile produced a fiery spell of 3/25 off four overs, however the Heat still strolled home with five wickets in hand and ten balls remaining.

On the vast expanses of the MCG I cannot envisage too many maximums being struck in this contest.

Key Stats

  • The Stars’ last three matches have had nine or less sixes.
  • There have been no more than seven sixes in all of the Scorchers’ matches this season.
  • There have been nine or less sixes in nine of the past ten matches at the MCG.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Total Sixes 9 and Under at 1.80 or better for 1 unit.

Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat

January 8, 7:15pm, Spotless Stadium

Match Overview

After breaking their BBL08 duck the Brisbane Heat will be looking to make it back-to-back wins against the Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Thunder slipped outside the play-off spots when they were comfortably accounted for by the Melbourne Stars at Metricon Stadium on Saturday. Batting first, the Thunder were in early trouble at 2/28 in the fourth over and while all-rounder Daniel Sams added some much-needed punch with 42 off 25 balls including four sixes, Sydney could still only make a below-par 8/135 from their 20 overs. Sams rounded out an excellent match by capturing 1/28 off 3.2 overs with the ball, however his efforts were in vain as the Stars cruised home by eight wickets with 16 balls to spare.

On Saturday night the Heat finally got off the mark in this year’s tournament after a bamboozling spell of 2/10 off four overs from spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman restricted the Scorchers to 6/135. An uncharacteristically sedate 33 off 34 balls from captain Chris Lynn anchored the chase, before all-rounder Ben Cutting (26 not out off 16 balls) applied the finishing touches as Brisbane ran down the target with five wickets in hand in the 19th over.

On the sluggish surface at Spotless look for a healthy price about there being no half-century scored.

Key Stats

  • The Heat have won their last three matches against the Thunder.
  • The Thunder have only two players who have scored fifties in this season’s competition.
  • The Heat have scored only two fifties in total in this season’s competition.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Back Fifty Scored, No at 5.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes

January 7, 7:15pm, Docklands Stadium

Match Overview

After three consecutive defeats the Melbourne Renegades will be looking to get their season back on track by getting one over the undefeated Hobart Hurricanes at Docklands Stadium on Monday night.

The Renegades were brushed aside by defending champions Adelaide Strikers to the tune of 32 runs in Geelong on Thursday night. Despite another incisive spell from leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2/16 off four overs), the Strikers still reached a solid 6/158 on an uneven surface with Pakistani recruit Usman Shinwari (1/40 off four overs) proving particularly expensive.

The Gades’ chase never really got off the ground with a well compiled 33 off 36 balls from Beau Webster a rare highlight as they struggled to 9/126.

On Friday night the Hurricanes made it five from five in BBL08 with a thrilling five-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers after off-spinner Johan Botha (3/22 off four overs) helped restrict his former side to 8/161 on a pacey Bellerive pitch. In reply Darcy Short continued his incredible form with 64 off 42 balls, before a late surge from George Bailey (30 off 17 balls) allowed Hobart to sneak home on the penultimate ball of the match.

Although the Hurricanes are unbeaten, I’m not sure the conditions at Docklands will suit them all that well so I’ll be backing the Renegades to consign Hobart to their first defeat of the tournament.

Key Stats

  • The Renegades have won five of their past six matches against the Hurricanes.
  • The Hurricanes have won six of their past seven matches, but only two of their past six away matches.
  • The Renegades have never lost four consecutive matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Renegades at 2.05 or bigger for 1 unit.

Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers

January 6, 6:45pm, Adelaide Oval

Match Overview

Defending champions Adelaide Strikers will be hoping to continue their recent run of good form against the inconsistent Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval on Sunday night.

The Strikers moved into the top four with a comfortable 32-run win over the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong on Thursday night. A powerful 71 off 44 balls to opener Jake Weatherald got Adelaide off to an ideal start as they powered to 60 without loss after seven overs before eventually moving to 6/158 on a pitch that was not straightforward.

After a relatively lean start to the tournament, Strikers all-rounder Michael Neser found his groove, picking up 2/10 off three overs as the Renegades could only stammer to 9/126.

The Sixers maintained their stop-start beginning to BBL08 by falling to the Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets on Friday night despite 61 off 40 balls to Daniel Hughes lifting them to a competitive 6/181. Although Hobart were ahead of the game throughout the chase, a tight spell from seamer Sean Abbott (2/29 off four overs) kept the Magenta Men in the contest before they eventually succumbed in the final over.

There’s no doubt that both of Strikers’ opening batsmen have shown some form but what shouldn’t be overlooked is that they keep perishing in the same manner.

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have won their last three matches against the Sixers.
  • The Sixers have won two of their last three away games.
  • The Strikers first dismissal has been caught in four out of five matches this season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide Strikers First Dismissal Caught at 1.50 or bigger for 1 unit.

Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat

January 5, 6:30pm, Perth Stadium

Match Overview

Two of struggling sides of BBL08 will do battle on Saturday night with the Perth Scorchers hosting the Brisbane Heat at Perth Stadium.

The Scorchers crashed to their fourth loss from five matches this season, going down by just a solitary run to the Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday night. On a slow pitch, left-arm orthodox Ashton Agar strangled the Thunder middle-order with 2/27 off four overs which helped restrict them to 6/142 off 20 overs.

When Perth slumped in familiar style to 5/54 it seemed the contest was over, however a stunning rear-guard from Ashton Turner (60 not out off 36 balls) took the Scorchers to the brink of a famous victory but ultimately they fell short by narrowest of margins.

Meanwhile the Heat remain winless after going down by five wickets to the Sydney Sixers on New Year’s Day despite a trademark 84 off 55 balls to captain Chris Lynn lifting them to 7/164. A tight spell from returning quick James Pattinson (0/29 off four overs) gave Brisbane the ascendancy in the chase, however they proceeded to leak 75 off 39 balls at the back end of the match the hand the Sixers victory in the final over.

In a clash of contrasting styles, we’ll be backing the Heat to clear the ropes more frequently than their hosts.

Key Stats

  • The Scorchers have hit more sixes than their opponents in only one of their past nine matches.
  • The Heat’s opponents have hit more sixes than them in only two of their past nine matches.
  • The Heat have hit more sixes than the Scorchers in their last four matches against each other.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane Heat Most Sixes at 1.70 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder

January 5, 6:15pm, Metricon Stadium

Match Overview

Both the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will be looking to cement their places in the top four when they take on each other at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

The Stars made light work of city rivals the Renegades at the MCG on New Year’s Day, romping home by seven wickets. The night didn’t start all that well for the Stars when the Gades reached 0/52 batting first, however a superb spell from West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo (3/27 off four overs) stopped them in their tracks and they eventually meandered to 9/148.

Muscular all-rounder Marcus Stoinis then made the most of his promotion to the top of the order, belting an unbeaten 78 off just 49 balls to ensure that the Stars breezed home with 13 balls remaining.

The Thunder were also last-start winners, edging out the Perth Scorchers by just one run in a thriller at Spotless Stadium after 55 to opener Jos Buttler allowed them to reach 6/142 on a sluggish surface. Fawad Ahmed made the most of conditions, picking up 2/22 off four overs before Daniel Sams (0/36 off three overs) overcame some early horrors to narrowly defend 20 off the final over.

At a neutral venue the Thunder look to have the superior form and quality so I’ll be backing them to get the job done.

Key Stats

  • The Thunder have won their last five matches against the Stars.
  • The Stars have won only three of their past eight matches.
  • The Stars have won only two of their past nine matches away from the MCG.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Thunder at 1.90 or bigger for 2 units.

Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers

January 4, 7:15pm, Bellerive Oval

Match Overview

The Hobart Hurricanes will be looking to continue their unbeaten run against the improving Sydney Sixers at Bellerive Oval on Friday night.

The Hurricanes made in four from four in BBL08 with a thumping six-wicket win over the Perth Scorchers in Launceston on Sunday night. After winning a third consecutive toss and electing to field first, Hobart got off to a perfect start with a wicket from the first ball of the match and the Scorchers never really recovered, staggering to 8/107 with young Canes quick Riley Meredith (3/15 off four overs) exhibiting plenty of pace and aggression.

Last season’s runners-up then made short work of the target, cruising home in the 18th over with six wickets in hand as Alex Doolan notched a crisp 41 not out off 36 balls.

The Sixers welcomed 2019 in with a stunning five-wicket win over the Brisbane Heat at Metricon Stadium on New Year’s Day despite the Heat racking up 7/164 amid another excellent spell from English quick Tom Curran (3/25 off four overs).

The Magenta Men appeared to be struggling at 3/83 after 12 overs, however captain Moises Henriques struck a sublime 57 off 37 balls, before Jordan Silk (46 off 25 balls) continued his excellent form to help the Sixers steal the match in the final over. While the hosts look prohibitively short in the match odds, they do appear to hold a clear advantage in the early exchanges.

Key Stats

  • The Hurricanes have won only one of their past three matches against the Sixers at Bellerive Oval.
  • In this year’s tournament the Hurricanes’ average score after six overs is 1/51.
  • In this year’s tournament the Sixers’ average score after six overs is 2/35.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Hobart Hurricanes Highest 6 Over Total at 1.70 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers

January 3, 7:15pm, Simonds Stadium

Match Overview

After slipping to consecutive defeats, the Melbourne Renegades will be hoping to get back on track against the Adelaide Strikers at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium on Thursday night.

After a strong start to the tournament, the Renegades find themselves firmly pitched in mid-table after being comfortably accounted for by the Melbourne Stars on New Year’s Day. After being sent in the Renegades actually made a promising start, with openers Sam Harper (30 off 16 balls) and Mackenzie Harvey (21 off 15 balls) reaching 52 without loss in the fifth over, however the ‘Gades stagnated through the middle of the innings and could only reach a mediocre 9/148.

After starring with the bat, Harper pulled off two smart stumpings from the bowling of Cameron Boyce (2/23 off four overs) but it was a rare highlight as the Stars breezed home with seven wickets in hand and 13 balls remaining.

Like their opponents the Strikers have also opened their BBL08 campaign with two wins and two losses, although most recently they outgunned the Sydney Thunder by 20 runs after a frenzied 75 off 43 balls from captain Colin Ingram led them to 4/175 from their 20 overs.

Adelaide remained on top throughout the chase and eventually kept the Thunder to 6/155 with Peter Siddle making a welcome return by claiming 3/20 off four overs. With the Strikers appearing to find their feet and the Renegades’ form heading south I fancy the visitors to get the job done here.

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have won six of their past nine matches.
  • The Strikers have won four of their past six matches against the Renegades.
  • The Renegades have won only three of their past ten home matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide Strikers at 1.85 or bigger for 2 units.

Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers

January 2, 7:15pm, Spotless Stadium

Match Overview

After back-to-back defeats the Sydney Thunder will be hoping they can arrest the decline by defeating the struggling Perth Scorchers at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Thunder slipped to another defeat on New Year’s Eve, going down to the Adelaide Strikers by 20 runs at the Adelaide Oval. The Strikers got off to rapid start, screaming to 1/108 in the 12th over, however some canny death bowling from left-arm quick Daniel Sams (2/24 off four overs) kept Adelaide in check as they eventually finished on 4/175 from their 20 overs.

In reply the Thunder also made a promising start, reaching 1/74 in the 10th over, however a steady stream of wickets saw the run rate required spiral out of control and they could only reach 6/155 with Callum Ferguson (47 off 39 balls) top-scoring.

Pre-tournament favourites the Scorchers continued their struggles with the bat, limping to 8/107 against the Hobart Hurricanes at Launceston on Sunday night. After top-scoring with 32 off 37 balls, talented all-rounder Ashton Agar then produced an excellent spell with the ball, picking up 2/19 off four overs but it was not enough as the Hurricanes strolled home with six wickets in hand and 15 balls remaining.

In what has already been a low-scoring tournament, the visitors’ high-quality bowling attack and misfiring batting unit should ensure that no matter who bats first there won’t be a surfeit of runs in this one.

Key Stats

  • The Scorchers have won five out of seven matches against the Thunder.
  • The Scorchers are only averaging 128 from their last five matches when batting first.
  • When bowling first the Scorchers have kept their opposition to under 140 in three of their past six matches.

Betting Strategy

LAY – 1st Inns Runs 150 or more at 2.00 or better for 1 unit.

Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers

January 1, 2:00pm, Metricon Stadium

Match Overview

The Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers will be hoping to kick-off 2019 with a bang when the two sides meet at Metricon Stadium on New Year’s Day.

The Heat slumped to successive defeats to start BBL08, going down by 15 runs to the Hobart Hurricanes at this stadium back on December 22. A superb spell from Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2/23 off four overs) put Brisbane in the box seat as they restricted the Hurricanes to 6/159 from 19 overs.

However after a brisk start in which they reached 1/42 in the fifth over, the Heat suffered another collapse and were eventually bowled out for 144 with the only saving grace a venomous innings from all-rounder Ben Cutting who belted 58 from just 32 deliveries.

The unfancied Sixers, meanwhile, knocked over the previously unbeaten Melbourne Renegades by 32 runs at Docklands in spite of only making a timid 7/132 which was guided by a typically patient 30 off 33 balls from middle-order rock Jordan Silk.

When the Renegades sauntered to 2/50 in the eighth over they looked well ahead of the game but a smothering spell from debutant Ben Manenti (2/13 off four overs) coupled with another outstanding effort from English all-rounder Tom Curran (3/18 off four overs) triggered a monumental collapse and the Gades could only struggle to 9/99 on a sluggish pitch.

Conditions are likely to be vastly different at the pacey Metricon but based on each team’s form line there’s enough margin to suggest that the Sixers will trade as favourites at some stage.

Key Stats

  • The Heat have lost their last six matches.
  • The Sixers have won six of their past eight matches.
  • The Sixers have won seven of eight matches against the Heat.

Betting Strategy

 BACK TO LAY – Sydney Sixers at 2.10 or bigger for 2 units (trade out at 1.75 or better).

Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades

January 1, 7:15pm, MCG

Match Overview

The 14th Melbourne Derby will be a particularly special occasion as the MCG will play host to the Stars and Renegades on New Year’s Day.

After dropping their first two games of BBL08, the Stars opened their account with a comfortable five-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Thursday night.

A mesmerizing spell from Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane (2/18 off four overs) complemented by some canny death bowling from left-arm quick Jackson Coleman (3/18 off three overs) limited the Sixers to a meagre 9/130 from their 20 overs.

After being dropped from the test side, ‘keeper-batsman Peter Handscomb took complete control of the chase, thumping 70 from just 35 balls including nine fours and three sixes as the Stars coasted home in the 15th over.

The Renegades’ most recent match was also against the Sixers, however it resulted in their first loss of the tournament, beaten by 33 runs despite keeping the Magenta Men to just 7/132 thanks largely to a probing spell from Kane Richardson (3/22 off four overs).

A sparkling 30 off 25 balls to debutant Mackenzie Harvey got the Renegades’ chase off to a bright start, however they proceeded to lose 6/31 and could only crawl to 9/99 on a surface that got progressively slower.

Despite that last-start loss, the Renegades boast a superior bowling attack and can call on more batting depth than their neighbours so I’m willing to have a significant investment on the away side here.

Key Stats

  • The Stars have won only two of their past seven matches.
  • The Renegades have won seven of their past nine away matches.
  • The Renegades have won the last two Melbourne Derbies played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Renegades at 2.00 or bigger for 3 units.

Hobart Hurricanes v Perth Scorchers

December 30, 7:15pm, Aurora Stadium

Match Overview

The Hobart Hurricanes will be hoping they can solidify their position on the top of the table when they host the Perth Scorchers at Launceston on Sunday night.

The Hurricanes made it three wins from as many starts in BBL08 when they overran the Sydney Thunder by five wickets at Bellerive Oval on Friday night. The night didn’t start all that well for Hobart as they conceded a whopping 6/193 despite a tight spell from left-arm orthodox Clive Rose (2/30 off four overs). However the Hurricanes approached the chase with gusto, led by an opening stand of 120 off 73 balls between Matthew Wade (85 off 49 balls) and Darcy Short (58 off 39 balls) enabled them to eventually run down the target in the final over.

The Scorchers got their first win of the season on Boxing Day when a devastating spell from Jhye Richardson (3/7 of three overs) helped them dismantle the Adelaide Strikers for just 88. A steady knock from first drop Will Bosisito (36 not out off 34 balls) ensured that Perth reached the target with few concerns, although despite top-scoring Bosisito may struggle to retain his place in the side with Cameron Bancroft available again. While the Hurricanes are running hot I believe the Scorchers have enough class to cause an upset in this one.

Key Stats

  • The Hurricanes have won three of their last four matches.
  • However the Scorchers have beaten the Hurricanes in six of their past seven clashes.
  • The Scorchers have also won six of their last ten away games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth Scorchers at 2.05 or bigger for 1 unit.

Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder

December 31, 6:45pm, Adelaide Oval

Match Overview

The Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder will be hoping to see 2018 off with plenty of fireworks when they clash at the Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve.

After a mixed start the season the Strikers were pummelled by the Perth Scorchers on Boxing Day at Perth Stadium. Having been sent into bat the defending champions had no answer to the Scorchers’ much-vaunted attack, rolling over for just 88 despite some late pyrotechnics from Rashid Khan (21 off 12 balls). Rashid then produced another superb spell with the ball, finishing with 0/9 off his four overs but it was not enough to save Adelaide’s blushes as they crashed to a seven wicket defeat in the 18th over.

Similarly the Thunder dropped their first game of the tournament after winning their first two despite racking up an impressive 6/193 batting first against the Hobart Hurricanes thanks largely to a blazing 89 off 54 balls from opener Jos Buttler.

But with left-arm quick Daniel Sams producing an uncharacteristically expensive performance (0/54 off four overs), the Hurricanes managed to overhaul the significant target in the final over with seven wickets in hand. While it’s hard to find any value in the match odds, there should be a nice price about English dynamo Buttler continuing his destructive form.

Key Stats

  • The Strikers have won their last three matches against the Thunder.
  • Jos Buttler has top-scored in four of his past six matches for the Thunder.
  • An opening batsman has top-scored against the Strikers in three of their past six matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK  – Jos Buttler Top Sydney Thunder Batsman at 3.50 or bigger for 1 unit.

Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Sixers

December 29, 7:00pm, Marvel Stadium

Match Overview

The Melbourne Renegades will be looking to maintain their perfect start to BBL08 by claiming another win over the Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Renegades made it two from two with a stunning come from behind win away to the Adelaide Strikers last Sunday. For the second successive match the Renegades won the toss and elected to field but were not able to replicate their heroics in the field against the Scorchers as the defending champions reached 5/174 from their 20 overs despite Kane Richardson picking up 2/39 from his four overs.

When the ‘Gades slipped to 5/82 in reply it seemed the match had got away from them until an incredible unbeaten partnership of 94 off 48 balls from all-rounders Mohammad Nabi (48 not out off 30 balls) and Dan Christian (49 not out off 27 balls) saw them storm home with five balls to spare.

The Sixers had no such luck in their most recent encounter, going down by five wickets to the Melbourne Stars after they could only muster 9/130 batting first despite the best efforts of Jordan Silk (41 not out off 37 balls).

The Stars knocked the stuffing out of the chase early, racing to 1/91 off nine overs before some late wickets to Ben Dwarshuis (3/26 off 3.5 overs) added some respectability to the scorecard though the Sixers still succumbed in the 15th over.

There’s no doubt the Renegades hold the edge in this one but their superiority is enhanced when their high-class bowling attack meets the Sixers’ misfiring batting unit.

Key Stats

  • The Renegades have won four of their past five matches.
  • The Sixers have won only one of their past seven away matches.
  • The Sixers have scored over 160 in only two of their past eight matches when batting first.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Renegades at 1.72 or bigger for 1 unit if they bat first (for 2 units if they bowl first).

Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Thunder

December 28, 7:15pm, Bellerive Oval

Match Overview

On Friday night unbeaten sides Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder will battle it out for top spot on the ladder in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash at Bellerive Oval.

Last season’s finalists Hobart secured their second win of the season with a comfortable six-wicket win against the Melbourne Stars at this venue on Christmas Eve. After winning the toss and electing to field first, laconic but deadly paceman Jofra Archer quickly got to work, picking up 3/25 off four overs as the Hurricanes restricted Melbourne to 5/155 from their 20 overs. A dashing 52 off 37 balls at the top of the order from ‘keeper-batsman Matthew Wade kick-started the chase before veteran George Bailey saw Hobart home with a swift 27 not out off 18 balls as they claimed victory in the 19th over.

The Thunder made it two from two on Monday when they blew away the Sydney Sixers with a stunning 63 off 37 balls from English opener Jos Buttler catapulting them to an imposing 6/169 from 20 overs. Key spells from leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (3/33 off four overs) and left-arm quick Daniel Sams (3/30 off four overs) ensured that the Sixers were never really in the hunt as the Thunder ran out winners by 21 runs. With the match looking too close to call, we’ll be looking to exploit a recent trend around how the Thunder have been losing their first wicket.

Key Stats

  • The Hurricanes have won six out of eight matches against the Thunder, however the Thunder have won two of the past three.
  • The Thunder have lost their first wicket to a bowled dismissal in three of their past seven matches.
  • Jos Buttler has been out bowled in three of his past seven T20 matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Thunder First Dismissal Bowled at 4.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Stars

December 27, 7:15pm, Sydney Cricket Ground

Match Overview

With two losses to start the tournament, the Melbourne Stars will be determined to secure their first win of BBL08 against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Thursday night.

On Christmas Eve the Sixers went down to city-rivals the Thunder by 21 runs at Spotless Stadium, cancelling out their opening victory against the Perth Scorchers. Despite some excellent bowling from English all-rounder Tom Curran (3/24 off four overs), the Magenta Men still conceded a sizeable 6/169 with young leg-spinner Lloyd Pope (0/24 off two overs) continuing his difficult initiation to Big Bash cricket. The Sixers’ chase never really got off the ground as they stumbled to 6/56 before some late hitting from Curran (62 off 40 balls) and Sean Abbott (35 off 28 balls) lifted them to a respectable 9/148 at the conclusion of their 20 overs.

Meanwhile the Stars continued their struggles from last season, going down by six wickets to the Hobart Hurricanes after 47 off 31 balls from new skipper Glenn Maxwell lifted them to 5/155 at Bellerive Oval on Monday. There were some encouraging signs from Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who claimed 3/24 off four overs, however Hobart cruised to the target in penultimate over with West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo (0/38 off three overs) enduring a difficult afternoon. In what shapes as a tight contest we’re expecting the Stars’ new skipper to once again have a significant say on proceedings.

Key Stats

  • The Sixers have lost two of their last three matches against the Stars at the SCG
  • The Stars have won only one of their past six matches.
  • Glenn Maxwell has top-scored in four of his past eight T20 matches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK –  Glenn Maxwell Top Melbourne Stars Batsman at 3.75 or better for 1 unit.

Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers

December 26, 7:15pm AEDT, Optus Stadium

Match Overview

After dropping their first two games, pre-tournament favourites Perth Scorchers will be desperate to get off the mark against defending champions Adelaide Strikers at Perth Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Scorchers went down to the Sydney Sixers by 17 runs at the SCG on Saturday despite an excellent start in which they reduced the Sixers to 3/30 inside five overs.

Once Jason Behrendorff (2/28 off four overs) concluded his probing spell, the remainder of Perth’s bowlers failed to keep the pressure on as Sydney reached a competitive 4/164.

The Scorchers then made their own disastrous start with the bat, slumping to 3/9 before a 99-run partnership between Ashton Turner (49 off 39 balls) and Hilton Cartwright (53 off 39 balls) gave them some hope though they eventually fell well short of the target.

The Strikers were also last-start losers despite making an impressive 5/174 batting first against the Melbourne Renegades thanks largely to 65 off 41 balls from Matt Short and a busy 42 off 30 balls from Jono Wells.

With the Renegades reeling at 5/82 in the 12th over off the back of another incredible effort from Rashid Khan (2/13 off four overs) it seemed like the reigning champions would secure their second win from as many games in BBL08 but some profligate death bowling from Billy Stanlake (2/43 off four overs) and Ben Laughlin (0/39 off 3.1 overs) saw Melbourne storm home in the last over with five wickets in hand.

With two of the most highly-respected bowling attacks taking on each other, I’m happy to oppose first innings runs here.

Key Stats

  • The Scorchers have scored 160 runs or more in only one of their past five matches.
  • The Strikers have conceded 160 runs or more in only four of their last ten matches.
  • The Scorchers have conceded 160 runs or more in only five of their last 15 matches at home.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – 1st Innings Runs 160 Runs or more at 1.85 or better for 1 unit.

Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Stars

December 24, 3:45pm AEDT, Bellerive Oval

Having overcome the Brisbane Heat on Saturday night, the Hobart Hurricanes will be looking to make it consecutive wins against the Melbourne Stars at Bellerive Oval on Christmas Eve.

After losing the toss and being sent into bat, Hurricanes opener Darcy Short picked up from where he left off in BBL07 with a timely 67 off 52 balls to lead Hobart to a competitive 6/159 off 19 overs.

The Heat got off a to a blazing start in reply, racing to 1/42 in the fifth over, but they were initially restrained by Johan Botha (2/30 off four overs) and Jofra Archer (2/23 off four overs), before all-rounder James Faulkner (3/25 off 4.3 overs) cleaned up the tail to knock Brisbane over for 144 and secure a 15-run win.

Although their bowlers conducted themselves astutely, the home side will be hoping that English left-arm quick Tymal Mills will be available after missing their season opener due to a hamstring injury.

The Stars had no such luck in their first encounter, going down to the Sydney Thunder by the identical margin of 15 runs in a rain-marred affair at Manuka Oval.

After another impressive display by Adam Zampa (2/23 off four overs) restricted the Thunder to 5/181 off their 20 overs, a lengthy rain delay saw the Stars’ target revised to 90 off eight overs which proved too much after they slumped to 5/33 in the fifth over, eventually finishing on 6/74 thanks to 28 off 13 balls from Nick Larkin.

Those sorts of top-order collapses have been all too familiar for the Stars in recent times and with the Hurricanes’ batting line-up heavily reliant on their top three we’ll be looking to back the hosts to have the ascendency in the first six overs.

Key Stats

*The Hurricanes have outscored their opponents in the first six overs in three of their past five matches.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents in the first six overs in only one of their past five matches.

*The Hurricanes have never beaten the Stars at Bellerive Oval.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Hobart Hurricanes Highest 6 Over Total at 1.80 or bigger for 1 unit.

Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers

December 24, 7:15pm AEDT, Spotless Stadium

There’s plenty to look forward to in the 14th Sydney derby with both the Thunder and Sixers winning their opening fixtures ahead of their clash at Spotless Stadium on Christmas Eve.

The Thunder overcame both the Melbourne Stars and the inclement Canberra weather to get their BBL08 campaign underway with a win on Friday night at Manuka Oval. Having been sent into bat the Thunder found themselves in early strife at 3/59 after eight overs, however the innings was rescued by a superb knock from 19-year-old Jason Sangha who smashed a sparkling 63 off 36 balls to elevate the Thunder to a strong 5/181 from their 20 overs.

Following some rain the Stars target was revised to 90 from eight overs but their hopes were scuppered early by a superb spell from Daniel Sams (3/5 off two overs) as they stammered to 6/74.

The Sixers also looked in trouble early on after batting first, slumping to 3/30 before a 124-run partnership from Daniel Hughes (62 off 44 balls) and Jordan Silk (67 not out off 49 balls) drove them to a competitive 4/164 against the Perth Scorchers. It was then the Scorchers turn to feel the heat as a miserly spell from Steve O’Keefe (3/19 off four overs) had them reeling at 3/9 and unlike their opponents they never recovered with the Sixers running out victors by 17-runs.

With a strong recent record in the derby and a superior top-order it’s hard not to see the hosts trading shorter in this one.

Key Stats

*The Thunder have won four of their past six matches against the Sixers.

*The Sixers have won only one of their past five away matches.

*The Sixers have scored 170 or more in only one of their past 15 matches.

Betting Strategy

  BACK TO LAY – Sydney Thunder at 1.72 or bigger for 2 units (trade out at 1.40 or better).

Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades

December 23, 7:15pm AEDT, Adelaide Oval

Having both kick-started their campaigns with a win, both the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades will be looking to make it two from two when they clash at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday night.

The Strikers opened the tournament with a five-wicket win over the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday night.

After winning the toss and electing to field, their bowlers weathered an early storm before putting the skids on the Heat middle-order and dismissing the hosts for 146 as star leg-spinner Rashid Khan produced another masterful display with 3/19 off his four overs.

‘Keeper-batsman Alex Carey anchored the chase perfectly with a supreme 70 off 46 balls, before the busy Jono Wells (24 not out off 22 balls) applied the finishing touches to have Adelaide over the line with five balls remaining.

On Thursday night the Renegades registered their first ever win over the Scorchers as three wickets each to Kane Richardson (3/23 off four overs) and Dan Christian (3/22 off three overs) helped to bowl the tournament favourites out for a meagre 103.

Although there were some early nerves as the Gades stuttered to 4/17, some counter-punching from youngster Sam Harper (36 off 25 balls) and all-rounder Mohammad Nabi (35 off 27 balls) steered the Renegades home with four wickets in hand and 28 balls to spare.

In a match featuring two excellent bowling attacks, I’m expecting that the batsmen will struggle to clear the boundary in this one.

Key Stats

*Nine of the Strikers’ past 13 matches have featured 11 or less sixes.

*Three of the Renegades’ past five matches have featured 11 or less sixes.

*Five of the past eight matches between the Strikers and Renegades have featured 11 or less sixes.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 11.5 sixes at 1.80 or better for 1 unit.

Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers

December 22, 3:30pm AEDT, Sydney Cricket Ground

After being stunned by the Renegades in their season opener the Perth Scorchers will be hoping to hit back swiftly against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Saturday.

The Sydney Sixers get their BBL08 campaign underway at home and will be boosted by the inclusion of English duo Joe Denly and Tom Curran who are expected to play key roles with both bat and ball. Denly looks set to come in at first drop following young guns Daniel Hughes and Jack Edwards, with the experience of Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk propping up the middle-order.

In the field Curran will add crucial support to fellow seamers Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis, while it remains to be seen whether the Sixers will blood young leg-spinners Lloyd Pope and Dan Fallins so early in the tournament.

The Scorchers are still licking their wounds after a four-wicket loss to the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday which came after they were bowled out for just 103 bating first despite the best efforts of veteran opener Michael Klinger (28 off 32 balls). An excellent spell from new-ball specialist Jason Behrendorff (2/17 off four overs) gave Perth some hope as the Renegades slumped to 4/17 to in reply, before they found their way out of trouble and run down the target in the 16th over.

With the Sixers lacking the potency that the Renegades boasted with the ball, I’m expecting the Scorchers to bounce back with a win here.

Key Stats

*The Scorchers have won nine of their past ten matches against the Sixers.

*The Sixers have won only four of their past eleven matches.

*The Scorchers have won six of their past nine matches away from home.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Back Perth Scorchers at 1.80 or better for 1 unit.

Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars

December 21, 7:15pm AEDT, Manuka Oval

Last season’s cellar-dwellers Melbourne Stars will look to kick-start their BBL08 campaign with a win over the Sydney Thunder at Manuka Oval on Friday night.

New Thunder coach Shane Bond has looked to the British Isles to bolster his side with English pair Jos Buttler and Joe Root notable additions to a top-order already featuring captain Shane Watson and fellow veteran Callum Ferguson.

Sydney’s bowling attack will be heavily weighted to slow-bowling options with frontline tweakers Fawad Ahmed and Chris Green set to be supported by all-rounders Arjun Nair and Jason Sangha.

The one area where the Thunder look a bit short is in the pace bowling department with Pat Cummins unavailable due to international duty, leaving Gurinder Sandhu, Daniel Sams and Sam Rainbird to carry the can.

Injury has robbed the Stars of opener Nic Maddinson and ‘keeper-batsman Seb Gotch, while Peter Handscomb also misses out due to Australian duty, leaving the top-order looking a tad brittle.

In addition to premium wrist-spinners Adam Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane, the Stars boast three of the finest all-rounders in T20 cricket in Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Dwayne Bravo so they are not light on firepower.

As a trading strategy I would suggest backing the fielding side when the spinners are on and laying them with the quicks at the bowling crease, but if you’re looking for a pre-match wager I’d lean towards the Stars on account of possessing more match-winners.

Key Stats

*The Thunder have won only two of their past six matches.

*The Stars have beaten the Thunder in two out of three matches played away from the MCG.

*In T20 cricket Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Dwayne Bravo have scored a combined 8597 runs at a strike-rate of 136.62 and have taken 578 wickets at an average of 25.58.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Stars at 2.05 or better for 1 unit.

Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers

December 20, 7:15pm AEDT, Marvel Stadium

Last season’s defeated semi-finalists open their BBL08 campaigns against one another with the Renegades and Scorchers doing battle at Docklands Stadium on Thursday night.

The Renegades line-up has been hampered by international representation and injury with Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris and Beau Webster all unavailable, while young all-rounder Will Sutherland is still on the comeback trail after suffering stress fractures of the back in September.

Luckily for the Renegades their squad contains a number of players who can contribute with both bat and ball such as Dan Christian, Mohammad Nabi, Jack Wildermuth and Mackenzie Harvey.

In the absence of Finch, Tom Cooper will lead the side and play a key role alongside fellow veterans Cameron White, Tim Ludeman and Cameron Boyce.

Historically the Scorchers’ strength has been their bowling and this summer looks no different with an international-strength attack featuring Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Agar and new Pakistani leg-spinner Usman Qadir.

Perth’s batting may not appear quite as imposing but they can still call on evergreen opener Michael Klinger, international all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and dangerous hitter Ashton Turner.

With a dominant record against their opponents I expect the tournament favourites to take a care of an undermanned Renegades outfit.

Key Stats

*The Scorchers have beaten the Renegades in each of the eight matches they have played against each other.

*The Scorchers have won 11 of their past 14 matches.

*The Renegades have won only one of their past six matches at Docklands Stadium.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth Scorchers at $1.80 or better for 2 units.

Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers

December 19, 6:15pm AEDT, The Gabba

BBL08 kicks off with a bang as defending champions Adelaide Strikers travel north to take on the exciting Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday night.

The Heat have once again procured one of the most thrilling and damaging batting line-ups in the competition, led by new captain Chris Lynn and former skipper Brendon McCullum, but also boasting plenty of depth via the likes of Joe Burns, Alex Ross, Sam Heazlett and James Peirson.

Brisbane have also taken steps to improve a misfiring bowling attack via the acquisitions of firebrand James Pattinson and Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman who will supplement a host of local options.

All-rounder Ben Cutting shapes as an important player, with his clean hitting and changes of pace a feature at the conclusion of both innings’.

The Strikers have retained the nucleus of their squad that took them to the title last season, although they will again rely heavily on opening pair Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald for a fast start, as well as experienced South African Colin Ingram who is expected to lead the side in the absence of Travis Head.

Adelaide’s primary strength lies in their bowling attack with superstar leggie Rashid Khan at the forefront, along with Australian representatives Billy Stanlake, Michael Neser and Peter Siddle.

With a more balanced side I think last season’s champions can cause an upset in the tournament opener.

Key Stats

*The Strikers have won six of their past eight matches.

*The Heat have won only two of their past seven matches.

*The Strikers have won three of their last four matches against the Heat.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide Strikers at $2.00 or better for 2 units.


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