Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat: Back Rashid to spin Strikers to much needed win

Peter Siddle
Peter Siddle's experience will be a key factor for the Strikers against Brisbane Heat

Two struggling teams meet at the Adelaide Oval and Matt Harris is backing Strikers' Rashid Khan to make the difference

"While conceding 196 against the Thunder, Heat could only call upon five bowlers and that lack of flexibility in an underperforming attack is where Adelaide can take advantage."

Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat
Thursday, December 23rd: 08:15
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Strikers struck down at the death

Hindsight is always 20/20, not only in T20 cricket but in any form of the game. Australian commentators were none too complimentary about George Garton as he prepared to bowl the 19th over against the Sixers on Tuesday and maybe they had a point. Had Peter Siddle sent down those six deliveries maybe we'd be talking about a narrow Adelaide win as opposed to a four-wicket defeat.

The main positive for the Strikers came in the 17th over when Rashid Khan claimed Moises Henriques and Dan Christian in two balls. Teams are no longer content to sit back on Rashid and the leg spinner responded under pressure with figures of 3/20.

Rashid aside, there are concerns in the bowling attack while the batting unit should have set a stiffer target on Tuesday. At 84/2 after 9.3 overs, the Strikers should have been posting 160+ and it may have been a different game.

Heat extinguished by rampant Thunder

Brisbane Heat's last outing resulted in a heavy defeat to Sydney Thunder after Saqib Mahmood had reduced them to 15/5. A late rally from Xavier Bartlett and Mark Steketee gave the scorecard some respectability but the result never looked in doubt.

The concerns start with Chris Lynn who is short of form and the issues run through the batting order. Tom Cooper replaced Tom Abell as an X-Factor sub on Sunday but we could see Abell return, possibly at the expense of his underperforming compatriot Ben Duckett.

Ahead of that Thunder game I'd suggested that Heat would need more from their spinners Mujeeb ur Rahman and Mitchell Swepson. There was a response from Swepson but Mujeeb was expensive, as were the seamers.

Adelaide Oval hosts crucial game

The Strikers return to the Adelaide Oval for the first time since match six when they were comfortable winners over Melbourne Renegades. A total of 149 appeared to be sub-par but it was more than enough for the Renegades who slumped to 100 all out.

The corresponding fixture from BBL 10 followed a similar pattern although the Strikers posted a much higher total of 197 before dismissing Brisbane for just 111. Across the ten matches played here last season, the average first innings score was 169.

Six of those ten games went to the side taking first knock but, with two shaky batting units, it will be a day to win the toss and insert.

Adelaide likely winners but prices looks short

There is a big gap in the result betting for this game with the Strikers clear favourites at 1.75/7, followed by Brisbane Heat at 2.47/5.

Three Big Bash bonus points are all that separate these two sides in the table. Both have one win from four and, while it's still early days, it's just starting to look as though Adelaide and Brisbane are starting to drift away from the top three.

There are problems in both camps but the bigger issues lie with Brisbane Heat. While conceding 196 against the Thunder, Heat could only call upon five bowlers and that lack of flexibility in an underperforming attack is where Adelaide can take advantage.

Back Heazlett to lead the resistance

I've been impressed with Sam Heazlett across a number of Big Bash tournaments. He's largely consistent with the bat and may have been unlucky not to add to his solitary ODI cap back in 2017.

Heazlett has top scored for Brisbane once in four games at BBL 11 with 44 from 29 balls against the Renegades and I'm backing him at 4/1 to do so again. With Chris Lynn at 21/10 struggling and Ben Duckett at 7/2 not certain of his place, Heazlett can offer some relative value in this market.

Spin to win with Rashid Khan

It's an obvious conclusion to draw but I feel that Strikers' Rashid Khan will be the key player in this game. Form batters may want to target him but Brisbane's batting is brittle and the leg spinner should take full advantage.

I'm keeping with the above two tips for Thursday but there are plenty of Rashid-based options if you want a third. Firstly and most obviously, he is quoted at 11/5 to be Adelaide's leading wicket taker.

Over at the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook there are some innovative picks. Rashid to hit a six, take a wicket and a catch is at 8/1 while any bowler to take five wickets looks particularly interesting at 20/1. In this type of match against struggling batsmen, Rashid could be the man to convert at those odds.

Matt Harris' BBL P/L

Staked: 9pts
Returns: 8.85pts
P/L: -0.15pts

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