The second half of the double header in the Big Bash League on Saturday sees the bottom two colliding at the Perth Stadium when the former champions Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat do battle in a huge match for both teams.
These two sides have played eight matches between them so far this season and have just one solitary victory to their name so it goes without saying that picking up a win here is of the utmost priority.
The side many acknowledge as the best in this competition have got themselves into a right old hole in the early stages of the current campaign. They have played five matches and only managed to come out on top in one of them. Strangely enough that came against the defending champion Adelaide Strikers, which highlights their credentials at the very least.
The big problem for the Scorchers has been their batting. They just have nothing going with the bat and the only time they have won this season was when they were chasing less than 100 runs. Even then they made hard work of what should have been an easy run chase. I don’t think the pitch in the new stadium is helping them but they should still be performing better than what they are doing.
The scheduling has been a little weird for the Brisbane Heat and as such they have only played three matches so far this season but those games have seen them resoundingly beaten on each occasion. It goes without saying that if they are going to achieve anything this term they will need to start winning and pretty quickly although they do have plenty of games in hand of the other teams should they get some form and continuity going.
Part of the problem they have had is that their much hyped up batting line up hasn’t got going just yet and that is not helpful because their strongest suit is clearly with the bat. The other thing that hasn’t really helped them much is playing a couple of home matches so far on the Gold Coast. They still have 11 matches to play but they have to get their batting order firing if they are going to take advantage of them.
The Perth Scorchers will have Mitchell Marsh back for this match after he was dumped by Australia for the final Test match. He could return for anyone in the top order in truth. David Willey opened the batting last time out. It will be interesting to see if he stays there. Sam Whiteman and Usman Qadir have been left out with Matthew Kelly coming in.
Brisbane Heat have left Sam Heazlett out of their ranks for this match. Australia international Matt Renshaw comes in for him. Alex Ross will be looking for his first appearance of the season while Brendan Doggett has been included in the squad.
I’m expecting a low scoring match here. The wicket in Perth does not look conducive to free scoring and although the dimensions of the ground are pretty small neither of these batting line ups are firing freely. Both sides have enough in their bowling attacks to suggest that they can get stuck into each top order and that can keep the scoring low.
With that in mind I think a boundaries line of 34.5 is a touch on the high side here. Every match either internationally or in this tournament this summer has been low scoring and that is not likely to suddenly change now. Perth doesn’t ship many boundaries but they don’t hit many either. I’ll play the under.
WON – Back Under 34.5 boundaries for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
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