Two form teams meet in the Big Bash League on Sunday when the table topping Brisbane Heat look to move a step closer to a top two finish when they play host to the Hobart Hurricanes, who will be eyeing up a spot in the top four.
That is the reward for the Hurricanes if they can win this match. They will end the evening in the top four and controlling their own destiny. The Heat will near enough secure a top two finish if they win so there is much to like about this one.
The season of the Brisbane Heat was always going to go one of two ways. They were either going to feel sorry for themselves at getting close to title success last year without being able to get over the line, or they were going to use the disappointment of losing in the final as fuel and come back even better. Seven matches in, the Heat are yet to lose this season so we can safely say it is the latter option that they have chosen and they have to be considered title challengers again.
The Brisbane Heat are certainly doing nothing to dispel the theory that the bowling attacks win these tournaments. Their bowling has been excellent all season and if it continues to fire like it has done so far in this campaign the Heat are going to go close. The other thing that will make them go close is the fact that their batting has fired much more often than it hasn’t. They bat pretty deep which allows them to take advantage of the powerplay and they look like they’ll be tough to beat.
The Hobart Hurricanes started their season in sticky fashion with three defeats in their opening four games but successive victories since then have levelled up their ledger and the reward for that will be a spot in the top four should they come out ahead in this match. If you wanted to you could argue that the Hurricanes haven’t beaten anything in those last two matches but from the position they were in they would have been under pressure in both games so they were certainly welcome wins.
The three wins Hobart have achieved this season have come in two victories against bottom of the pile Melbourne Renegades and the other was against second from bottom Sydney Thunder. They have also all been won while chasing and we saw with the Melbourne Stars on Saturday that when a team comfortable at chasing are asked to post a target it can be a completely different ball game. Hobart don’t seem anything like as confident when they post a score.
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Only Daniel Sams has more wickets than Xavier Bartlett this season and if the Heat seamer can pick up some more scalps in this one, especially with the new ball, then it would do some way to setting up a Brisbane win.
Ben McDermott has returned to the Hobart side in good form and if he can catch fire again then on a ground which wouldn’t be close to being big enough for him he could well set the Hurricanes on their way to a victory.
I expected the Brisbane Heat to be much shorter for this match than they actually are. They will probably lose at some point but the Hobart Hurricanes need to beat someone in the top four before I believe they are the real deal and now just someone who have taken advantage of a nice part of the schedule. I always look to be on the better bowling attack in this format of the game and that definitely looks to be the Heat in this one.
The Hobart Hurricanes might have the edge with the bat in hand but you sense some of that will be negated if they are asked to bat first and even then the edge is only literally that. Brisbane are at home, they haven’t really looked like losing this season and have a bowling attack which is able to deliver the goods in any conditions. Brisbane are yet to concede more than 162 this season and you sense Hobart will need more than that to win here. I’m with the home side.
Back Brisbane Heat to beat Hobart Hurricanes for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365