KFC Big Bash League: Brisbane Heat vs Perth Scorchers Preview

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Our cricket writer previews Friday's KFC Big Bash fixture between the Strikers and the Scorchers to be played at the Gabba.

Friday’s KFC Big Bash League fixture will see Perth Scorchers make the trip to the Gabba to take on the Brisbane Heat in what should be a cracker of a fixture.

Both sides were among the pre-tournament favourites with both having made good starts to the current campaign. It's all shaping up quite nicely, let’s take a look:

Heat vs Scorchers | Friday 5 January 2018 | The Gabba, Brisbane | 10:35

To Win Match
Heat 72/100 | Tie 35/1 | Scorchers 23/20

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Brisbane Heat
Following back-to-back defeats against the Strikers and the Renegades, the Heat desperately needed a big performance against the Stars last time out. Dan Vettori got the response he was looking for from his side as they crushed the Melbourne side in a nine-wicket victory.

Of course, Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum will get the plaudits for the victory, but the groundwork was laid by the wrist-spin duo of Yasi Shah and Mitch Swepson. Shah finished on figures of 4-0-16-1 while Swepson stole the show with his 4-0-14-3.

A similar performance will be required against an admittedly weaker batting line-up. You wonder whether or not Shadab Khan will come back into the side. He was given the day off last time out but should return which gives Vettori a bit of a headache. Does he risk going into the match with three wrist-spinners or will one of Swepson or Shah make way for Khan?

I doubt we’ll see three spinners so expect Shah to drop out in all likelihood with Josh Lalor also coming back into the side for one of the seamers. Other than that, we shouldn’t see too much tinkering from the XI that got the job done against the Stars.

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Perth Scorchers
The Scorchers have got their title defence off to the ideal start, winning all four of their opening matches. The formula, for the most part, hasn’t really changed much either – they don’t really score many runs but they do a magnificent job of restricting opposition batsmen.

They did show last time out that they are more than capable of chasing down some of the bigger scores. Michael Klinger (83) and Ashton Turner (45) combined brilliantly to successfully chase 167 against the Sydney Sixers last time out. A comfortable enough victory with five balls to spare indicated once again that the Scorchers can definitely go all the way again this season.

Looking ahead to Friday’s clash, they’ll need their vastly experienced attack to hurt the Heat early on. Mitchell Johnson and Jhye Richardson will have their work cut out for them bowling to McCullum and Lynn. If the two are allowed to bat through the Power Play and beyond, the Scorchers will struggle.

Justin Langer will be hoping his top order isn’t tested too much. The pressure on Klinger to hold the innings together in big chase might just prove too much. He’ll need support from Turner, Hilton Cartwright and Adam Voges should that be the case. Expect Voges to bat first if he wins the toss tomorrow.

Verdict: Perth Scorchers 23/20
Undefeated and sitting pretty at the top of the table, I simply can’t believe that you can get the Scorchers at 23/20 here. They’ve demonstrated over the last two seasons just how difficult they are to beat both home and away and should shade the Heat on Friday morning. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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