Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades
Thursday December 9th, 08:15 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Strikers seeking revenge
The issues that come with scheduling a major cricket tournament in Australia mean that the Strikers and the Renegades play their reverse fixture just two days after the teams served up a thriller at the Marvel Stadium.
In a tight contest, Peter Siddle may have returned best bowling figures but the game was arguably lost as the seamer took 3/42 in his four overs. There were some definite positives from within the bowling attack where the opening pair of George Garton and Dan Worrall kept things tight while sharing four wickets.
The Strikers will want more from their key bowler Rashid Khan as BBL 11 progresses and there are some concerns in the batting department too. Harry Neilsen top scored against the Renegades with just 30 and the top six shouldn't have left the responsibility with the lower order.
Renegades make a rare defence
Melbourne Renegades went against modern T20 trends by successfully defending a modest total on Tuesday. Kane Richardson's team also had issues with just one expensive bowler as Reece Topley went for 43 from his four overs and the left armer will need to respond in Adelaide.
Overall, Tuesday's win showed many positives after the Strikers seemed to be cruising at the halfway point. Three wickets from Zahir Khan sealed the Player of the Match award while skipper Richardson matched him for economy rate.
The batting line up is likely to have to perform without Aaron Finch for one more game. The injured former captain is targeting a comeback against Brisbane Heat next Monday so the likes of Sam Harper and Mackenzie Harvey will have to take responsibility once again.
Teams Switch to Adelaide Oval
Having conceded home advantage in Tuesday's defeat, the Strikers will be happy to return to the Adelaide Oval for the repeat. The home side won five of their eight matches here last season while the ground also hosted a high-scoring Sydney derby.
The Thunder's 232 in that neutral game lifted the average first innings score to 167 while five of those matches went to the side batting first. There is some grim weather around Australia at the moment but the conditions are expected to be clear so it could be a day to take first knock and look to post 170 as a minimum target.
They may have lost the first game but Adelaide Strikers lead the way in the match betting market at 1.865/6. Renegades follow as the outside bet at 2.1211/10. It would be very neat if the Strikers exacted revenge and levelled it up at one win apiece between these two. In 2020/21, both games were played at the Adelaide Oval and the points were shared.
I don't, however, feel that this game will follow the script and, as I look back at last year's results, they underline an issue in this Strikers squad. Early top scores at the Oval were made by Phil Salt and Alex Carey with Travis Head contributing later on. All three are missing for different reasons and Adelaide look much weaker this year.
Aaron Finch is a big miss for Melbourne but they compensated on Tuesday and, if anything, the Renegades can take advantage of the Strikers' absentees to complete a more comfortable win this time.
I'd been tempted to back Mohammad Nabi as Melbourne's top batsman even before being reminded that he top scored in the Renegades' win over Adelaide last year. Nabi made an undefeated 71 that day and, while he failed on Tuesday, the all-rounder is a dangerous hitter down the order.
Nabi is listed at 9/2 on the sportsbook and can be good value if his side loses early wickets. Other options in this market include Sam Harper at 12/5, Mackenzie Harvey at 3/1 and Unmukt Chand at 7/2.
English cricket followers currently looking away from the Ashes series will be interested in the progress of George Garton. If he can just stay fit, the left armer can be a force at international level in all three formats.
I'm sticking with two tips this time but there is an interesting third option in the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook. A figure of 13/2 is on the table for Garton to hit a 6, take a wicket and take a catch and, while he only managed the wickets on Tuesday, he's a capable all-rounder who can back up his bowling in the other disciplines.