Our Big Bash scribe gives his verdict on Saturday's fixture between the Heat and Hurricanes.
Friday sees top of the table Brisbane Heat take on mid-table Hobart Hurricanes in what should be a very interesting encounter. Brisbane Heat have had two fairly simple victories while the Hurricanes followed up a big victory in their opener with a very poor bowling display in their loss against the Melbourne Stars. The Heat will be looking to cement themselves at the top of the pile while the Hurricanes will be looking for a victory which will see them climb into the top four. Big Bash Game 10.
Heat v Hurricanes | Friday 30 December | Brisbane | 10:10
To Win Match
Heat 13/20 | Tie 35/1 | Hurricanes 5/4
Brisbane have started their campaign off with a bang. Two wins from two games means they sit top of the table at the time of writing. Their two victories came largely thanks to two brilliant individual performances that enabled them to collectively get the better of their opponents. In their first game, against the Strikers, they had Alex Ross’s brilliant innings of 64 off 36 balls to thank for their close ten run victory. In game two it was all about Chris Lynn’s 85 in an innings where no other top 7 batsman made more than 11. Mark Steketee and Samuel Badree have both bowled well and economically and have really made things easier for the batsmen.
One feels they need more big contributions, especially with the bat, to ensure they have no problems closing out games. In their first game the top 3 all got starts but it was Alex Ross at 4 who made a big score and in their most recent match they would have lost had Lynn not played that amazing knock. They will not be able to rely on individual brilliance every game as sooner or later they will come across a side who will make them pay for it. However, there have been enough signs that tell me a complete team performance is just around the corner for Brendon McCullum and his men.
It’s fair to say that the Hurricanes Batsmen are in superb form. Their two innings this season has seen totals of 200 and 188 posted with Tim Paine scoring 154 runs in the two matches. I wrote previously that this team have the players to make big scores and we saw that in their previous game against the Stars with George Bailey making a very quick 74. The only blight so far has been the form of Sangakkara who has contributed two very modest innings but once he finds form, opposition bowlers will be in trouble.
The bowling has been a slight worry but apart from one or two bad performances they have been okay. In their opener they kept a very good Sixers line up to just 140 with all the bowlers except Stuart Broad taking a wicket. In game two, the bowling fell apart and the Stars managed o chase 188 with 14 balls to spare. Shaun Tait has shown why they call him the wild thing after his first bowling contribution of 3 for 32 was followed up by a dismal none for 56. All in all, the Hurricanes look a good unit who have one or two cracks to cover, but once they do they should be a powerful force in this competition.
Verdict: Heat to Win at 13/20
I just think the Heat have more power in their top order. McCullum, Lynn and Ross have been brilliant so far and they have a great bowling attack to back them up. The Hurricanes have some form batsmen going for them, especially Paine, but their middle order is slightly overshadowed by the Heat’s. That’s where I think this game will be won at the end of the day, big middle order contributions. Back the Heat here.
Written by Dale Vos for @Hollywoodbets.