Ed Hawkins is surprised the Pakistan hitman is so big to top score in a mismatch at The Gabba on Saturday...
"It is a surprise he is as big as 10/3, although it is frustrating that even in this depleted line-up Heat are being far too clever for their own good by not opening with him"
Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes
Saturday 8 January, 07:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Heat remain ravaged
Heat remain ravaged by Covid. This is a second-string team, made up of late call-ups from Melbourne club cricket. Unsurprisingly, they were well-beaten by Renegades last time out in a mismatch.
They are without (deep breath): Chris Lynn, Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Ben Duck-ett, Mark Steketee, JJ Peirson, Matt Kuhnemann, Jack Wildermuth and Cameron Gan-non. Oh, and Mitch Swepson is with the Ashes squad.
Jake Lehmann, the former Strikers opener, was called up and topped against Renegades with a decent half-century. Much depends on him and Fakhar Zaman.
Probable XI: Lehmann, Clayton, Fakhar, Heazlett, Cooper, Pfeffer, McGiffin, Prest-widge, McDonald, Grant Mujeeb
Hobart have so far been unaffected by Covid. But they are without opener Matthew Wade who missed the match for personal reasons. Peter Handscomb will lead the side instead.
That means D'Arcy Short should return to the opening berth alongside Ben McDermott, who hit consecutive centuries.
They must be disappointed with their English contingent. Harry Brook is having a terrible time, striking at just 79, while Jordan Thompson has been ineffective with bat and ball.
Brook and Thompson have both been dropped while Tom Lammonby, a late addition, made a duck in his one outing.
Possible XI: McDermott, Short, Handscomb, Jewell, Lammonby, David, Wright, Owen, Rogers, Meredith, Lamichhane,
In the two matches hosted so far The Gabba has been brilliant for batting. That or the Heat bowling has been wayward, not that it's relevant with all bar Mujeeb-ur-Rahmann of the first choice attack unavailable. Stars made 207 and Thunder 197.
If Hurricanes bat first more than 190 should be a minimum. In normal circumstances that might look more like 170. We wait to see if there's value from the 3.02/1 mark on the exchanges.
Another Covid mismatch
Hurricanes ae 1.261/4 with Heat 4.804/1. We're not surprised the match odds market has chalked up a mismatch.
The only way to have an interest is if Heat bat first and the recognised four from their top five get stuck in on a decent track.
It is not fanciful to reckon that the players who are more than capable of holding their own do exactly that. A decent start could well see 1.5 points lopped from their price. Otherwise we expect Hurricanes to be out of sight by the break.
Heat remain available at 3.505/2 to finish last. That's a price that has not updated since their latest defeat so with another incoming it is value.
McDermott's superb run with the bat will make him a popular bet at 15/8. There is nothing in the opposition ranks, bar Mujeeb who should worry him. Mujeeb has a decent record against Hobart and is the right favourite at 2/1 for most wickets.
For top Heat bat, should Fakhar not be the jolly here? It is a surprise he is as big as 10/3, although it is frustrating that even in this depleted line-up Heat are being far too clever for their own good by not opening with him.
Sandeep Lamcihhane's mystery has abated in recent times but to half of this Heat side he could well be a wizard. The 7/2 that he takes most wickets for the 'Canes looks like value.
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