Slowly but surely creeping up to the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL standings, the Brisbane Heat will be looking to light up the Gabba tomorrow night with a fireworks spectacle in front of a roaring home crowd. The Renegades would be oozing confidence after defeating the previously-undefeated Hurricanes in their last game, the Heat also prevailed over the Thunder in Sydney as the rain decided the result of that match. Apart from Hobart, there hasn’t really been a group of dominant teams in BBL08 as of yet, that’s probably a huge plus for some of these teams in the lower half of the table like the Heat and Scorchers.
There’s still time for the Brisbane Heat to turn their BBL08 campaign around after yet another poor start to the tournament left them all at sea. Well, it just so happens that skipper Chris Lynn has dragged them out of the rubble with the help of Max Bryant, Ben Cutting and more recently Brendon McCullum who finally broke the drought in the runs department with an accelerating fifty at Spotless Stadium. Along with McCullum’s fine work at the top of the order, fellow bash brother Chris Lynn chimed in with his second half century of the tournament giving the Heat a tremendous launching pad at 3-155 with five overs remaining. Don’t ask me how, but Brisbane did their best to butcher the top orders efforts as they managed to lose five wickets in quick succession. The decision to play Matt Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne over the better-suited T20 batting duo of Joe Burns and Alex Ross was a big mistake in hindsight; both were dismissed without scoring which could see the Heat make that change for tomorrow night’s match.
As the marquee player of the competition, Chris Lynn hasn’t failed to deliver in BBL08 with 233 runs to his name at an average of 46.60, and the best is still yet to come. The return of local-leggy Mitchell Swepson in Sydney could indicate that the Heat are resorting back to their double-trouble spin combination, meaning that Ben Cutting will return to his role as the third seamer in their attack. Surprise, surprise, they haven’t really had a standout bowler this season yet which is usually the case. Quicks James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Afghani spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman have taken four wickets apiece, not a bad effort but in the same instance these guys don’t look like breaking a game wide open yet which is what the Heat are in search of.
Credit to the people who predicted the massive-upset win caused by the Melbourne Renegades the other night, it was an entertaining display of cricket to say the least! It also ended the Hurricanes five-game winning streak, a team that was starting to go above & beyond the rest it seemed. It was a rewarding win to state the obvious, but the biggest thing the Renegades would’ve taken out of that game was the all-round contribution with the bat. Apart from teenager Mackenzie Harvey and skipper Tom Cooper who is having a shocking run in the middle order, the rest of Melbourne’s batting order contributed some much needed runs to the scoreboard. The return of Aaron Finch proved handy, but it was Sam Harper, Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian who showed they’ve got what it takes to step things up a notch when called upon.
Veteran all-rounder Dan Christian has to be the Renegades biggest X factor, his aggressive batting and handy medium pace will continue to play a massive role in BBL08. Returning for just the one match, skipper Aaron Finch has departed for the ODI series against India which sees Marcus Harris return to the squad. Climbing the leading wicket takers this season, speedster Kane Richardson is proving to be lethal with the white ball in BBL08. Richardson has accumulated 11 wickets from six outings now and has taken three wickets on three separate occasions. Pakistan’s Usman Shinwari has been impressive at times, and leg-spinner Cameron Boyce is starting to make that specialist spin bowling position his own for his new team. Captaincy may be the only thing saving Tom Cooper from being axed from the XI at the moment, the Renegades recently left out experienced No. 3 batsman Cameron White which left many stunned, but at the same time his scratchy-form warranted it.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 26th match | Brisbane
- Chris Lynn
- Max Bryant
- Ben Cutting
- Brendon McCullum
- James Pattinson
Wildcard pick – Joe Burns
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 26th match | Brisbane
- Marcus Harris
- Dan Christian
- Kane Richardson
- Sam Harper
- Usman Shinwari
Wildcard pick – Tom Cooper
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Max Bryant 2. Brendon McCullum 3. Chris Lynn © 4. Joe Burns 5. Alex Ross 6. Ben Cutting 7. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 8. James Pattinson 9. Brendan Doggett 10. Mitchell Swepson 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Marcus Harris 2. Sam Harper (wk) 3. Cameron White 4. Tom Cooper © 5. Mohammad Nabi 6. Dan Christian 7. Beau Webster 8. Jack Wildermuth 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Kane Richardson 11. Usman Shinwari.
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.