Ed Hawkins previews the Boxing Day clash from Docklands and places faith in an Aussie opener to thrive
"Sportsbook go 7/5 that he hits a four and a six, 7/2 that he top scores for Perth and 13/2 hat he is top match bat"
Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades
Sunday 26 December 10.15
TV: live on Sky Sports
Perth appear to be in unstoppable form. It's five wins from five and with 17 points already qualification for the play-offs is assured.
However, they were a little sloppy in the field against the Renegades last time. Allowing the weakest batting unit to get 185 was perhaps a bit complacent.
Not that it mattered. They still won by 27 runs after posting 206. And they did so without in-form opener Kurtis Patterson who missed out with a tight hamstring. This one might come too soon.
There is concern about the form of Josh Inglis. He seems to have taken omission from Ashes duty badly with scores of 2-0-2-6 in all cricket since.
Probable XI: Bancroft, Inglis, M Marsh, Munro, Evans, Turner, A Agar, Tye, Behrendorff, Mills, Haztoglou
Renegades tried seven bowlers to try to stem the flow against Scorchers. Only Kane Richardson could emerge with credit.
The clue to how best to keep Perth quiet could be spin, though. In that game skip Nic Maddinson and Mohammad Nabi bowled an over apiece, costing 16 runs. Perhaps they should have bowled more.
Reece Topley is causing an issue. Taking up an overseas slot and going at 9.7 an over is no good. At least Aaron Finch has returned to the side. He top scored against Perth but there is very little to beat.
All-rounder Jono Merlo returns to the 13-player squad, in place of batter James Seymour.
Probable XI: Finch, Harvey, Harper, Maddison, Nabi, Fraser-McGurk, Sutherland, Prest-widge, Richardson, Topley, Zahir
Before Perth's onslaught the average first-innings score at Docklands had been 146. And Renegades made use of a flat track, too. Despite that we'd still be inclined to short the home team's runs batting first because of historic weaknesses and strengths with their batting and Perth bowling respectively.
The run glut could well push up the runs line to a level out of line with previous reality. Shorting Renegades runs in the mid 150s could well be a very solid option for some.
But we note the 11/1 about both sides scoring 180. It's big because of Renegades' batting woes. It was interesting to hear Maddinson say that they were going to attack and be more gung-ho than previously.
Hope for Perth price jump
Perth were 1.695/7 to win at Docklands only a few days ago. They are now 1.564/7. It just highlights what a great price that was.
We just don't see how Renegades can live with Perth for this one. A revert to type after they were reasonably competitive could be on the cards.
No matter. We'll place an order for 1.705/7 Perth in the hope that Finch might be able to biff a few past the rope in the powerplay to get the price up.
It would be even better if Renegades put down a good total. We'd bet Perth to get anything up to 220 against a weak attack. As Maddinson said: "Everyone believed that 200 was a chaseable score and that we had the line-up to get it done."
Inglis is interesting us. Is he in a rut or is this the life of a T20 dasher when a clutch of low scores are a risk?
Sportsbook go 7/5 that he hits a four and a six, 7/2 that he top scores for Perth and 13/2 hat he is top match bat. He's a gun player who just needs a score and then there will be no stopping him.
Mitchell Marsh, who dominated the Renegades in the previous meeting, is 7/4 to top. Patterson is also 7/2. Finch is 15/8 for Renegades. Bet all the Sportsbook markets here .
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l