With the points table starting to take shape, every win is vital from this point onwards in the tournament for both the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades who’ve been up & down so far. The BBL heads to Geelong in Victoria yet again, last season’s match at this venue proved to be a low-scoring affair as the Renegades got the job done against the Sixers comfortably.
Going by what happened at this venue in last year’s BBL match, the pitch is expected to hold up and prove quite difficult to score runs on. It certainly appeared that way when the Sydney Sixers batted first on it, posting a sluggish 8/111 at the end of their innings. Both Aaron Finch and Cameron White were able to make light-work of the Sixers target as they chased down the runs with 27 balls in hand, it’s almost as if they were batting on a different surface. This time around they’ll be without skipper Aaron Finch, not to mention the struggling-Cameron White who appears to be in a bit of a form slump with the bat this season. On top of that, Renegades captain Tom Cooper is having an absolute nightmare with the willow himself in BBL08. In his four matches, Cooper has managed a mediocre-29 runs which begs the question, did the Renegades choose the right man to lead them in this season’s tournament? The men in red haven’t really had a standout performer with the bat in BBL08, former Heat & Hurricanes all-rounder Dan Christian would probably be the closest to that mark with some handy contributions in the middle order.
Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi started the tournament well with the bat, but he’s just started to lose touch as well. It’s vital that their experienced campaigners in Cameron White and Tom Cooper start producing some decent scores; otherwise they could find themselves amongst the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers. Nabi’s form with the bat may have gone walkabout, but on this Geelong wicket he may well be a key factor in the match with the ball. Along with Dwayne Bravo’s 3 wickets, Nabi also picked up an economical 2/22 opening the bowling in Geelong last time and could be used in a similar-role. Up until the Melbourne derby at the MCG, fast bowler Kane Richardson had been in exceptional form with the ball. Figures of 3/23, 2/39 and 3/22 in his first three matches helped the Renegades succeed, now he’ll be looking to bounce back against the Strikers tomorrow night.
Registering his second fifty of the tournament in the New Year’s Eve clash at Adelaide Oval, Strikers wicketkeeper & opening batsman Alex Carey has given his team the boost that they so desperately needed after a couple losses in a row. With a packed Adelaide crowd wanting to see their team perform, skipper Colin Ingram ended 2018 in style as he bulldozed 75 off 43 deliveries to give the home side a more-than competitive score. While Carey managed to pick gaps in the field & hammer the rope with 9 boundaries, Colin Ingram just simply took the aerial route and lifted 6 maximums over the fence as the scoring rate skyrocketed. The innings finished a tad-slowly, but no damage was done as they restricted the Thunder’s innings to 155. All-rounder Cameron Valente should come back into the squad for Peter Siddle who’s on test duties, potentially even batting him above Jake Lehmann could increase the scoring rate towards the back-end of their innings.
The Strikers middle order is a bit of a question mark, Matt Short has scored just one fifty and Jono Wells looks to get busy when at the crease but isn’t a big boundary hitter, Lehmann is yet to show anything of significance. With last games man of the match out of the side, the Strikers will once again look to Rashid Khan’s leggies to have a major impact. Despite the quality of this Adelaide attack, some of their big names have struggled to take wickets this season. Ben Laughlin has picked up just 1 wicket in four games, while Michael Neser is barely any better with 2 from four appearances as well. This could be the game to turn things around though given how dominant this Strikers attack was in BBL07, each and every one of their bowlers is capable of turning a match on its head which must be in the back of the Renegades minds as well. The Renegades have a slight-advantage over the visitors having already played here, but most people will tell you that the Adelaide Strikers aren’t a team to write off, particularly in these circumstances.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 18th match | Geelong, Victoria
- Mohammad Nabi
- Dan Christian
- Kane Richardson
- Sam Harper
- Cameron White
Wildcard pick – Usman Shinwari
Top 5 fantasy picks | Adelaide Strikers | BBL | 18th match | Geelong, Victoria
- Alex Carey
- Michael Neser
- Rashid Khan
- Jono Wells
- Cameron Valente
Wildcard pick – Matt Short
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Sam Harper (wk) 2. Mackenzie Harvey 3. Cameron White 4. Tom Cooper © 5. Mohammad Nabi 6. Dan Christian 7. Beau Webster 8. Jack Wildermuth/Joe Mennie 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Kane Richardson 11. Usman Shinwari.
Adelaide Strikers (possible) – 1. Alex Carey (wk) 2. Jake Weatherald 3. Colin Ingram © 4. Matt Short 5. Jono Wells 6. Jake Lehmann 7. Michael Neser 8. Cameron Valente 9. Rashid Khan 10. Ben Laughlin 11. Billy Stanlake.
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.