With both these two teams hovering around the middle of the BBL standings in 2017/18, this match in particular is a very important one as the competition begins to heat up at rapid pace around about this time in the tournament.
The Heats dominant record at home suggests they have nothing to worry about, but the loss of Chris Lynn might have just made this contest a lot more interesting for tomorrow nights clash at the Gabba. Initially picked for the Australian ODI squad in the Gillette ODI series, Lynn has suffered yet another set back due to a frustrating calf injury that is set to keep the big-hitting Queenslander out for roughly three weeks. Viewed by many as the Heats biggest X factor in the side, Brisbane will try to cover for the loss of Lynn with the middle order set to stand up a lot more frequently in his absence, they certainly don’t lack the talent & class in that area of their game.
Skipper Brendon McCullum now holds the key to how well the Heat start their innings, the former Black Caps superstar has done a reasonably good job if you factor in how aggressively he plays against the new ball. Baz’s best score at the Gabba in BBL 07 came against the Melbourne Stars in their tournament opener where he left nothing in the tank during his quick-fire 40. With Lynn out of the side, Jimmy Peirson should return to the top of the order alongside McCullum, opening up a spot in the lower order for an incoming player in the 13-man squad, possibly Marnus Labuschagne. The Heats middle order is something to admire though, it features three exciting strikers of the ball in Joe Burns, Alex Ross and Ben Cutting who have all played some influential knocks so far in the tournament. Burns in particular has been a standout for the Heat with the bat, averaging 50 in his five innings at the crease.
By far their best performance with the ball in BBL 07, the Brisbane Heats bowling attack bowled out the Perth Scorchers to win their last match in Brisbane thanks to some menacing fast bowling from Brendan Doggett and Mark Steketee who picked up eight wickets between the two of them. So far in the tournament, the Heat have been far more effective in the spin department with the likes of Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah looking like the more dangerous options, even leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson with his player of the match performance at the MCG saw spin dominate once again. It might just be that the fast bowlers are sick and tired of seeing spin headline the Heats attack, making their mark in the last match on a Gabba wicket that offered plenty of assistance for the seamers. Doggett claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in just his fifth match, and Mark Steketee was just as impressive dismissing the Scorchers top order early. Rarely do we see these types of efforts backed up from a fast bowling unit, but they’ll need to be at their best to restrict an inform D’Arcy Short who’s bat is still smoking from his past three innings in the BBL.
A confident Hobart Hurricanes outfit will set their sights on yet another victim when they travel to the Gabba in what should be an entertaining contest between two batting supremos of the competition. Led by D’Arcy Short’s continuous onslaughts at the top of the order, the Hurricanes have worked their way up to fifth spot on the BBL points table and could continue to climb if they can knock off the Brisbane Heat at home. That is a challenge in itself, it’s one of those trips that could either go horribly wrong or see you come out on top in one of the upsets of the tournament, either way the Heat are a huge speed bump when it comes to hosting teams in Brisbane.
As mentioned above, D’Arcy Short’s emphatic form guide in his past three stints for the Hurricanes would have bowling attacks worried, and rightly so. It all started with a formidable 97 at Spotless Stadium against the Thunder, just missing out on his maiden T20 century which was than followed by another Short-whirlwind down in Hobart where he once again just fell short of triple figures in his 96, and most recently put together another decent knock against the Sixers. Coming off a fairly-inconsistent BBL 06, Short has been anything but that in BBL 07 and looks set to play another destructive knocks at the Gabba tomorrow night. Rarely do we see George Bailey kept quiet in any form of the game, but it’s been a strange one so far for the Hurricanes skipper who’s scored just 40 runs in total so far. In all fairness to George, he hasn’t been required thanks to Matthew Wade, Ben McDermott and of coarse D’Arcy Short who have been doing most of the damage.
Similar to the Brisbane Heat, the Hurricanes haven’t been all that impressive with the ball in BBL 07 which speak volumes for Hobart’s batting line-up. The one difference separating these two teams in this area of the game would be International recruit Jofra Archer who has been a major contributor for the Hurricanes in the wickets department. Don’t be fooled by Archer’s laid back approach to the crease, he hits the wicket hard and produces some serious pace & bounce which has surprised almost every team he’s come across so far. It’s a good attribute to have, and with eight wickets in the tournament so far I’d say he’s enjoying the conditions in Australia, particularly his new home in Hobart. In fact, it was the first time Archer didn’t have an impact on the match in their last outing against the winless-Sixers who used his pace to their advantage keeping the West Indian wicketless. On this flat & hard Brisbane wicket, expect Tymal Mills and Archer to have most of the say with the ball, spinning conditions for Clive Rose and Cameron Boyce aren’t exactly promising and could see them struggle.
Top 4 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 24th match | Brisbane
- Joe Burns
- Brendon McCullum
- Mark Steketee
- Brendan Doggett
Wildcard pick – Jimmy Peirson
Top 4 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 24th match | Brisbane
- Ben McDermott
- D’Arcy Short
- Jofra Archer
- Matthew Wade
Wildcard pick – Alex Doolan
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 2. Brendon McCullum (c) 3. Sam Heazlett 4. Joe Burns 5. Alex Ross 6. Marnus Labuschagne 7. Ben Cutting 8. Mark Steketee 9. Brendan Doggett 10. Yasir Shah 11. Mitchell Swepson.
Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. D’Arcy Short 2. Alex Doolan 3. Matthew Wade (wk) 4. Ben McDermott 5. George Bailey (c) 6. Dan Christian 7. Simon Milenko/Nathan Reardon 8. Jofra Archer 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Clive Rose 11. Tymal Mills.