Both the Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat have started their BBL 07 tournaments with wins, now they’ll face off for top spot on the points table at Etihad Stadium. There’s a possibility the Renegades might be able to restrict the versatile Heat under the roof, this match could go either way though.
If the Renegades can’t post a reasonable total, their bowling attack will more than likely have very-little chances to turn the match around. If the Renegades field first and can’t contain the Brisbane Heat all-star line-up, they’re just about cooked as well, vise versa. As intimidating & aggressive as they are, the Brisbane Heat aren’t impossible to run through with the ball, very difficult maybe, but they too have their weaknesses. Fresh off a five-wicket haul, Dwayne Bravo might be the game changer who goes after one of Brendon McCullum or Chris Lynn in an attempt to lure them into a false shot which he’s been doing to opposition batsmen for over a decade now. Given McCullum’s weakness against spin, Brad Hogg and Mohammad Nabi should come into play quite early, even Chris Lynn isn’t as keen on the spinners compared to the quicks. Both batsmen prefer pace on the ball, so expect Tom Cooper to open the bowling once again. Don’t expect Kane Richardson to have much impact on this lifeless-Etihad wicket either, this is a pitch custom made for batting so the spinners should be able to slow it up and cause some problems.
It was a shock to everyone that despite being named in the 13-man squad prior to the match, batting phenomenon Chris Lynn was sitting on the sidelines for the Brisbane Heats BBL 07 opener against the Stars. To a certain extent though, it wasn’t a huge surprise given Lynn’s countless injuries had kept him out of a handful of games over the past couple of years. After scoring a sensational fifty against the Stars on Wednesday, Heat top order batsman Joe Burns has been left out of the squad due to a groin strain which is a particularly big blow given Lynn is no certainty to line-up again the Renegades tomorrow night. Baz McCullum was at his aggressive best against the Stars, dispatching 40 runs off just 22 deliveries in an entertaining battle against the Stars bowling attack. McCullum’s motto seems to be “hit out or get out”, and he doesn’t muck around slashing at basically anything that he likes the look of. Given the name “the sweepologist” by former Australian quick & channel ten commentator Damien Fleming, Alex Ross produced a brilliant 51 without using the shot to affect which was understandable given the bounce of the Gabba wicket. With Brendon McCullum and Alex Ross looking in good touch and Ben Cutting letting loose down the order with his powerful ball striking, the Heat are in a good position to welcome back Chris Lynn and form a formidable batting combination.
Having posted a total of 206/7 at the end of their innings, a score like that usually gets you home every day of the week. In this instance, the Brisbane Heat almost fell victim to a Marcus Stoinis onslaught that dragged on until the last over where he fell on 99 in one of the most exciting comebacks that wasn’t to be of all time. McCullum would have had his heart in his mouth for a moment, but thankfully that 200+ total was enough to keep the Melbourne Stars at bay. In almost a mirror-image of BBL 06, the Heat are really grappling at straws in their bowling attack and barely defended a total in excess of 200. It’s good to see that Cameron Gannon has been added to the 13-man squad, the Heat need as many options as they can get after Josh Lalor, Mark Steketee and Brendan Doggett only took three wickets between them. Although expensive, Pakistani spinner Shadab Khan made an impact with the ball taking 2/41, the big wickets of Luke Wright and Glenn Maxwell. Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson bowled well without reward, he should be a pivotal asset on this Etihad wicket where the ball tends to hold up making timing difficult at times for the batsmen. All-rounder Ben Cutting continued his poor form with the ball, conceding 22 runs off just one over the other night against the Stars, the Heat can’t afford that against the Renegades.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 6th match | Melbourne
- Cameron White
- Aaron Finch
- Dwayne Bravo
- Mohammad Nabi
- Marcus Harris
Wildcard pick – Brad Hodge
Top 5 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 6th match | Melbourne
- Brendan McCullum
- Shadab Khan
- Alex Ross
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Mitchell Swepson
Wildcard pick – Josh Lalor
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. Marcus Harris 3. Cameron White 4. Tom Cooper 5. Brad Hodge 6. Dwayne Bravo 7. Tim Ludeman (wk) 8. Mohammad Nabi 9. Jack Wildermuth/Will Sutherland 10. Kane Richardson 11. Brad Hogg.
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 2. Brendon McCullum (c) 3. Sam Heazlett/Chris Lynn 4. Marnus Labuschagne 5. Alex Ross 6. Ben Cutting 7. Shadab Khan 8. Mark Steketee 9. Josh Lalor 10. Brendan Doggett/Cameron Gannon 11. Mitchell Swepson.