We are back to a solitary match in the Big Bash League on Monday and it sees the two sides immediately outside the playoff zone battling it out when the Hobart Hurricanes take on the Perth Scorchers in what is a huge match for both teams.
The Perth Scorchers go into this match off a bit of good form over the weekend while the Hurricanes are beginning to struggle in the weight of some key absentees, so it will be interesting to see if this one goes with expectations or if the home side can turn it around.
The Hurricanes go into this one having lost four of their last five matches, so they will be looking for a turnaround in that form. If there is one thing that is going to give them confidence it will be the fact that the game they won came in the reverse meeting with the Perth Scorchers so that is very much something to cling on to. The issue with that is that D’Arcy Short made a ton in that game and he isn’t around for this one.
The real issue for the Hobart side at the minute is they are lacking any kind of quality with the ball with the exception of Qais Ahmad, and even his impact can be lessened with the pitches Hobart are playing on. It is going to take an insane individual effort from someone to get them out of this slump you fancy. They do still have big players with the bat and they will need them to come to the party, but the truth is their batting has been hit and miss all season.
The Scorchers needed a win last time out and they duly found it. They beat a Brisbane Heat side who were buzzing heading into that match so that was a really good win. Not only did it get the Perth side back on track, but it kept the Heat within their range and that might be just as important long-term. The one thing we do need to keep an eye on is the travelling that Perth are doing. It would be human nature for a poor performance to come along at some point.
The big thing about the Scorchers performance on Saturday was their batting line up all showed good form. Their whole top order with the exception of Sam Whiteman scored runs and he is only a replacement player anyway. With the options they have with the ball you would expect the Scorchers to get stronger in that department so if they can keep on scoring runs this could yet be a decent campaign for the former champions.
You can tell the Hobart Hurricanes are down to the bare bones because they have named an unchanged squad even though they have lost their last two matches. It might be that they can alter their starting XI from that.
It is less of a surprise that the Perth Scorchers have named an unchanged squad. They remain without Ashton Agar so we might see Liam Livingstone bowl more if the wicket is going to turn. If not Mitch Marsh could get some extra overs.
The previous match between these two was high scoring even though the Hurricanes had the Scorchers in all sorts of early trouble with the ball but I don’t expect that to happen again and as a result I can see this game being just as fruitful in terms of runs and boundaries, if not contain more of both. Hobart are going to have to utilise their batting line up as it is much better than their bowlers at present. Perth are in good form with the bat too.
The boundaries line for this match is 36.5 but that feels a little low, especially as we’re getting towards the stage of the tournament whereby we are seeing some short boundaries which are much easier to access with the quality of batting on show. I expect the batsmen to make hay at Blundstone and as a result of that over 36.5 of them looks the obvious way to play this sole Monday offering.
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