Wednesday’s KFC Big Bash tie sees the table-topping Heat welcome the Scorchers to the Gabba in what promises to be an epic encounter.
Can the Heat stretch their lead atop the standings or will the men from Australia’s West Coast spring a bit of a surprise under the lights in Brisbane? Let’s take a look:
Brisbane Heat vs Perth Scorchers | Wednesday 11 January | The Gabba | 10:30
To Win Match
Heat 9/10 | Tie 35/1 | Scorchers 9/10
It’ll be interesting to see how the Heat get on without Chris Lynn who has been called up to Australia’s ODI squad to do duty against Pakistan. The Queensland native has been in sensational form this season for the Brisbane franchise notching up scores of 29, 85*, 84*, 13 and 98*. What’s most impressive about these numbers, however, is his strike rate of 154.50.
Lynn’s absence leaves a massive void that needs to be filled. There’s no doubt that Brendon McCullum will pick up some of the slack left behind by Lynn’s departure. More will be needed from the likes of Jimmy Peirson, Alex Ross and Joe Burns who have all contributed, but will need to step it up to fill the void.
The Heat will take inspiration from their last match in which they absolutely steam-rolled Wednesday’s opposition in a nine-wicket victory. McCullum (50*) and Lynn (98*) starred that time around as the Scorcher’s 173 was chased down in just 14.4 overs.
All in all, the Heat look to be in good shape heading into this match. Obviously, Lynn will be a big miss but they’ve got more than enough quality to get the job done, especially against a Scorchers side who have lost a couple of players to the national side.
The Heat lose Lynn to the national side while the Scorchers have to deal with the loss of Mitch Marsh. He’s top scored for the Western Australians so far in the tournament while also bagging three wickets in his five games.
Ian Bell and Michael Klinger will need to step up while the likes of AJ Turner and Sam Whiteman will need to start chipping in with bigger scores more consistently. They'll know that big scores here will cement their places in the side going into the business end of the competition.
While the Scorchers have been good with the bat, they’ve been excellent with the ball. The attack, led by David Willey, AJ Tye and Mitchell Johnson have done magnificently well to restrict opposition totals while taking wickets at regular intervals.
I have little doubt that the Perth franchise will be smarting from their loss at the hands of the Heat eight days ago. They’ll look to get McCullum early and put pressure on a middle order that’s had the luxury of seeing Lynn and the former Kiwi skipper do most of the work with the bat.
Verdict: Scorchers 9/10
The Scorchers will be raring to go following their defeat five days ago at the hands of the Heat. The Brisbane franchise will also likely struggle without Lynn to anchor the innings with the Scorcher’s bowlers turning the screw on some of the “lesser” batsmen. The Perth side are my pick here.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.