KFC Big Bash: Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades Preview

Batsman hits ball
The Renegades will be desperate to keep their tournament hopes alive with a win over the Strikers on Friday. 

The Big Bash returns on Friday following Australia’s third ODI against Pakistan. We’ll be able to look forward to the Brisbane Heat welcoming the Melbourne Renegades to the Gabba.

The Renegades absolutely have to win this match to keep their tournament aspirations alive while the Heat will be looking to secure a home semi-final as well as final if they get that far.

Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Renegades | 20 January | The Gabba, Brisbane | 10:30

To Win Match
Heat 9/10 |Tie 35/1 | Renegades 9/10

Brisbane Heat
The Heat come into this match off the back of a stellar season which sees them on the brink of finishing top of the pile. It’s worth mentioning that the only other time the side from the Australian East Coast finished in the play-off places, they won the tournament outright.

That win came in BBL02 Kemar Roach delivered a magnificent performance with the ball to defeat the Perth Scorchers at the WACA. They were magnificent in their last match where they managed to stomp the Melbourne Stars without the services of Chris Lynn (injured on international duty) or Brendon McCullum (suspended for slow over rate).

McCullum will make a welcome return to the side following his one game suspension and will look to stamp out the errors that could well have cost them their last win had the Stars not put in such an average performance. Misfields, wides, no-balls, bowlers being removed from the attack for bowling beamers – that will all have to be quashed against a Renegades side who are fighting for their lives.

The Heat management should maybe look in at making a change to their bowling attack with Ben Cutting having a bit of a nightmare season. Although he’s picked up seven wickets, he’s conceded 10 an over in his seven matches – simply not good enough for a team that has title aspirations.

Melbourne Renegades
It’s do or die time for the Renegades. Failure to win this match will result in their elimination from the competition. They would obviously like a win, but what they really need is a big win in order to up their net run rate.

They came through their last game pretty tidily with a six run win over the Strikers at the Adelaide Oval. A beautiful 53-ball 85 from Marcus Harris helped push his side’s total to 171 from their 20 overs. This was followed up by a superb bowling display from Thisara Perera who finished up with figures of 3-25-4.

Much of the Renegades chance of winning this match will rest on the shoulders of the top and middle order. The likes of Aaron Finch, Cameron White, Tom Cooper, Cameron Ferguson and Marcus Harris have generally done a good job of sharing the runs without anyone going on to get a big score but that might need to change against a strong Heat batting line-up.

There will definitely be runs available against the likes of Cutting and Tymal Mills. Both are solid enough bowlers, however, they can get quite expensive. If Mills – especially with his pace – misses his lines, expect the Renegades to cash in square of the wicket. This match should make for very interesting viewing.

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Verdict: Melbourne Renegades 9/10
To put it simply, the Renegades have more to play for in this match. A win keeps their tournament hopes alive while a loss will see Finch and his men reduced to watching the rest of the BBL on television. Back the Renegades’ big players to step up on the biggest stage. 

Value Bet: Aaron Finch to top score for the Renegades 24/10
Finch has been excellent this season following a very disappointing limited overs tour of South Africa. He’s the fourth-highest run scorer in the tournament thus far averaging 40.42. There’s a bit of value to be found here at 24/10. 

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.

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