Adelaide Strikers v Perth Scorchers
Thursday 13 January 23:40
TV: live on Sky Sports
No Rashid Khan for hosts
Adelaide Strikers found themselves bottom of the pile not so long ago. But they now find themselves in fifth position (before the result of the Melbourne derby).
We've never been entirely convinced they are worthy of the lowly setting but fate may have finally conspired against them. The loss of strike bowler Wes Agar to a side strain is a significant blow, especially as Rashid Khan has now left the tournament.
Their batting will get stronger - Alex Carey and Travis Head return post-Ashes - and they have added Gloucestershire hitter Ian Cockbain to their ranks but their one strength was in the field and they are now depleted there. Matt Renshaw remains unavailable because of Covid.
Probable XI: Short, Hunt, Weatherald, Wells, Cockbain, Kelly, Scott, Nielsen, Thornton, Siddle, Fawad
Scorchers slightly shorn
Scorchers are looking strong for top spot. They have suffered only two defeats and would have been cheered by second-placed Sydney Thunder's defeat by Hobart Hurricanes. There is a clear water.
They have also been boosted by the fixture reshuffle, which gives them four days off before the start of the finals.
Cameron Bancroft and Colin Munro are out of their remaining group games while Scorchers are waiting to find out whether Josh Inglis and Mitch Marsh will be returned to them from the Ashes squad. This game may come too soon but neither are going to be involved in the fifth Test. Preview here. here.
Possible XI: Patterson, Hobson, Evans, Turner, Hardie, Sagar, A Agar, Tye, Kelly, Behrendorff, Hatzoglou
Strikers downed a 63% toss bias for the team batting first in Adelaide against the Hurricanes, winning by seven wickets after the visitors were restricted to 126. That was way below the average score of 167.
Previous first-dig scores in this edition were 187, 208 and 149. With Strikers shorn of their best bowlers, we would expect Scorchers to be targeting a minimum of 180 were they to bat first.
Five times this term out of ten batting first Scorchers have busted 180 or more, including 195 against Strikers. So we're looking at decent value wager on their innings runs at much better than evens. Here's hoping for 2.506/4.
Perth too powerful
Scorchers are 1.645/8 with Strikers 2.588/5. That's not a bad price about the Scorchers and Sportsbook have probably got it right with their quote of 1.538/15.
The loss of Rashid is such a huge blow. He took six wickets in his final match against Brisbane Heat, who were rolled for 90.
It is difficult to see how Strikers will contain the Perth batting and it should be a relatively comfortable day's work for the league leaders.
Munro smashed an unbeaten century in that previous meeting so Strikers will be pleased he is absent. Kurtis Patterson has been striking well, though and the tip match bat market may be top Perth in disguise. The opener appeals at4/1. Laurie Evans has also been in reliable form and gets a quote of 11/2.
For Strikers, Matt Short recorded a half-century in the previous meeting so favourite status at 13/5 appears to be justified. Peter Siddle is the same price for top Strikers bowler with little to beat.