Hobart Hurricanes v Brisbane Heat
Monday January 15th
Live on BT Sport
The Hurricanes won a dramatic contest on Wednesday, successfully defending a below-par total to hand Brisbane their first home defeat of the competition. Their own home record is not so great, though, so they would do well not to become over-confident in this contest.
In their favour, they do have the player who is currently the most talked-about batsman in BBL07. Forget Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum and even Shane Watson, it is Hurricanes opener D'Arcy Short who is whetting spectators' lips at the moment.
On Wednesday, Short set a BBL record in making 122. He then bowled four overs of left arm spin for just 20 runs. No other Hobart player passed 19. Only one other player in the match passed 33. That was Brisbane's Sam Heazlitt - and Short pinned him lbw.
The issue is, of course, that other players have to support Short. Hobart will look for a big improvement from their other batsmen on home territory. The bowling remains something of a work in progress, too, with the likes of Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills both expensive in Brisbane.
The Heat will, of course, be very keen to avenge that defeat. With teams above them in the table faltering they will see this as an opportunity to make up some lost ground.
Heazlitt aside, none of their batsmen really performed at the Gabba on Wednesday and they squandered the 64-run opening partnership between him and McCullum. Joe Burns had his first real failure of the competition, whilst Alex Ross suffered the ignominy of becoming the first player dismissed for obstructing the field in BBL history. All will need to improve, whilst it will be interesting to see if quick bowler Mark Steketee is risked after his mauling at the hands of Short on Wednesday. If they improve in these areas, they should still be too strong for their hosts today.
Venue and Conditions
This is the last game at the Bellerive Oval in BBL07. Weather hasn't played as much of a part in the games here as it has in other seasons. Assuming that continues to be the case then we can confidently say that, if you are batting second, it is vital to restrict your opponent to under 165, otherwise chasing becomes very tricky indeed.
After such a close finish on Wednesday, it isn't surprising to see the teams fairly evenly matched in the market. However, Hobart's win was based on such a one man performance that you have to fancy Brisbane at 2.0811/10 to take the points here.
Top Hobart Hurricanes Batsman
On Wednesday we said to look beyond Short and back Matthew Wade, because the odds on Short would be too...er...short. Well, they are going to be even shorter for this game, at around 4.03/1. For that reason, either Wade at around 5.04/1 or even Alex Doolan at around 4.57/2 will represent much better value.
Top Brisbane Heat Batsman
The money is always on the name players like McCullum when Brisbane play, but this means that he's another who is likely to be at an unattractively short price. Heazlitt will likely keep his place opening, especially as Jimmy Pierson, who had been struggling at the top of the order, seemed to thrive coming in lower down. Back Heazlitt to succeed again at odds of 4.57/2 or better.