Somehow, someway, the Perth Scorchers have dominated the tournament from the outset despite losing a significant bunch of key players through injury & national commitments. They take on the Brisbane Heat who are fresh off a commanding victory against the Stars at the ‘G’.
After copping a hiding in the New Years Eve clash against the Strikers at Adelaide Oval, the Brisbane Heat responded in the best way possible as they delivered a knockout blow to the Stars who continue their poor start too BBL 07. It was well & truly the “Bash Brothers” who took centre stage under lights and crucified the Stars bowling attack for almost the entire run chase. It was McCullum who raced out of the blocks the fastest with an intent to inflict some scoreboard damage on the opposition early in the innings, that only spurred on his partner Chris Lynn who found his range at the halfway mark. Against his own will it seemed, McCullum decided to take on his weakness of spin bowling head on which was both bold & daring, but it paid off as the Heat skipper contributed a crucial 61 as well as putting on a 101-run partnership with Lynn. The Heat were taking no prisoners in this one, elevating Lynn up the order with his skipper to create a dynamic opening combination which paid off big time. It’s a high probability that the Heat will keep the Bash Brothers together in the opening stand up at the Gabba against the Scorchers, they have an increasingly talented batting line-up to fall back on if things turn pear-shaped anyway. Apart from the Strikers, opposition teams in the BBL have found it near-impossible to restrict the impact of the Heats damaging batting line-up.
Four-consecutive wicketless outings later, Heat leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson broke the shackles with a match winning performance with the ball as the Stars struggled to handle the up and coming star on the MCG wicket. The two key wickets of English-duo Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen put the Stars in a horrible position thanks to Swepson, finally registering in the wickets column for BBL 07 in arguably his most influential performance to date in this format. The loss of Shadab Khan was a huge one for Brisbane, but surprisingly, Yasir Shah has been just as impressive and looks to be one of the Heats key contributors in the wickets department for the remainder of the tournament. The spin-duo of Shah and Swepson is a handy one, but the Heat are still struggling to find any consistency in the pace department which will always hurt your chances of winning. Just when they looked to have found a wicket-taking seamer in Josh Lalor who started his campaign impressively with six wickets, a thumb injury will keep him sidelined for the time being. This is where Mark Steketee, Brendan Doggett and Cameron Gannon have to step up, all three have looked restricted in their ability to make crucial breakthroughs so far which is a lingering problem in the Heats bowling attack.
The Scorchers notched up their fourth-consecutive win at the WACA in what should have been seen as a last over thriller, only to be gifted to them on a silver platter thanks to a shaky-Sean Abbott who’s execution just wasn’t there in the end. The Sixers plummeted down the table, while the Scorchers only added to their already-impressive start to BBL 07 marking four wins on the trot. In a feel-good story for cricket, the tough times veteran opening batsman Michael Klinger has endured in the past few weeks saw him return to his absolute best on the field, belting a sublime 83 runs off 61 balls which helped his team get over the line. The mental strength of this man is something to be admired, his cricketing talent however has always been a great feature of his game. There’s an element of unknown in Perth’s batting department which mightn’t be such a bad thing, opposition bowlers don’t know their weaknesses which can only play into the batsmen’s hands. Ashton Turner was once again destructive in his quick-fire 45, hoisting the ball over the fence three times in that crucial partnership with Michael Klinger. The Heat’s bowling attack is nothing special, especially in the fast bowling department which should give the Scorchers top order a good crack at taking on the fielders with pace coming onto the bat.
As always, it’s highly likely that the Scorchers will have a plan in position for this unrelenting Heat batting combination they’re up against. Resting Mitchell Johnson who has been one of their most impressive bowlers so far is a risky proposition, there’s no doubt he would have made an impact somewhere in the innings. Ashton Agar returns to the side after missing out on the initial XI to play the fifth & final Ashes test in Sydney yesterday, but his inclusion is also seen as a tactical ploy against some of the Heats top order batsmen who aren’t that fond of spin bowling. The 24-year-old will also be a huge addition in general, his athletic fielding and destructive ball-striking will be a vital asset to the Scorchers up at Brisbane. Perhaps the biggest weapon of them all against the Heats batting utility is Andrew Tye, the man of many variations. Starting BBL 07 like a house on fire, Tye already has thirteen wickets including a hat-trick and five-wicket haul to go along with it. His change ups should test the techniques of the Heat batsmen, but on home turf they might look to go after Tye which forces more pressure onto David Willey and Jhye Richardson who’s pace could be at a disadvantage against the likes of McCullum, Lynn, Burns & Ross.
Top 4 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 18th match | Brisbane
- Chris Lynn
- Brendon McCullum
- Mitchell Swepson
- Alex Ross
Wildcard pick – Cameron Gannon
Top 4 fantasy picks | Perth Scorchers | BBL 18th match | Brisbane
- Hilton Cartwright
- Andrew Tye
- Ashton Agar
- Michael Klinger
Wildcard pick – Joel Paris
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Chris Lynn 2. Brendon McCullum © 3. Joe Burns 4. Alex Ross 5. Ben Cutting 6. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 7. Cameron Gannon 8. Brendan Doggett 9. Yasir Shah 10. Mark Steketee 11. Mitchell Swepson.
Perth Scorchers (possible) – 1. David Willey 2. Michael Klinger 3. Hilton Cartwright 4. Ashton Turner 5. Adam Voges © 6. Ashton Agar 7. Tim David 8. Josh Inglis (wk) 9. Joel Paris 10. Jhye Richardson 11. Andrew Tye.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.