Ed Hawkins says retaining faith in two superstars at inflated odds at the MCG on Saturday could pay off...
"Heat’s tournament will almost certainly be over with a defeat. Their run rate is inferior to everybody else, and if that’s not a clue as to why no-one should touch them with a barge pole I don’t know what it is"
Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat
Saturday 25 January, 08:00
Live on BT Sport
Stars, already assured top spot in the ladder, have lost their way. They have lost their last two and they have lost Hylton Cartwright to a suspected fractured hand. It also appears they have called time on Haris Rauf's participation, which is an odd call.
Rauf has been replaced by fellow Pakistan pacer Dilbar Hussain, which suggests Stars won't wait for the man who was so important in their rise to the top. Rauf, involved in Pakistan-Sri Lanka, would be available for the knockouts.
The injury to Cartwright is also significant. His ascension to open with Marcus Stoinis freed the hitter but Madinson's return makes him and Stars weaker. Nathan Coulter-Nile is back, though.
Possible XI Stoinis, Maddison, Dunk, Maxwell, Handscomb, Larkin, Coulter-Nile, Hinchcliffe, Worrall, Hussain, Lamichanne
Heat, believe it or not, are still alive in the tournament. They are the perfect example of an eight-team tournament should never tweak rules to allow five teams to qualify for the knockouts. It makes a farce of the league structure. This mob have lost four of their last five. In two of those defeats they were bowled out for 100 and 120. Last time out against the Sixers they could post only 126 for eight.
A key pointer to their brainless approach is to sign one of the most destructive batters in T20 in Ab De Villiers and then bat Matt Renshaw ahead of him. De Villiers strikes at a shade below 150 in 308 game. Renshaw does not. Insane.
Possible XI Lynn, Heazlett, Renshaw, De Villiers, Labuschagne, Peirson, Cutting, Pattinson, Swepson, Laughlin, Mujeeb
Beware toss bias
The 'G is a chasers' paradise and it is no wonder that this has been Stars' strongest suit down the years. The toss bias stands at 60%. The average score is 157 and only 30% of sides batting first bust 160 or more. A tricky batting wicket does not bode well for Heat's struggles with the willow. They have power, for sure, but little to no nuance. They need something flat to help reduce the gulf.
Heat on their way out
The market seems to have lost faith in Stars with an early show pitching them at 4/51.79. But then Heat are the most overrated of all the Bash teams. They went off narrow jollies against a superior Sixers outfit.
If that price on Stars was to hold with the toss in their favour, we're looking at maximum bet territory. The problem is, we don't expect it to. In-running, though, with early lusty blows from a Chris Lynn, the 4/51.80 could come.
Heat's tournament will almost certainly be over with a defeat. Their run rate is inferior to everybody else, and if that's not a clue as to why no-one should touch them with a barge pole I don't know what it is.
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Faith in big pair
Punters have the opportunity to bet big on two superstar players who are well overdue for honours on the top bat markets for this one. Step forward Glenn Maxwell and De Villiers.
It has to be said that both men, despite their brilliance, have hurt us in recent weeks. Maxwell in particular. The Big Show has been going off at inflated odds and twice we backed him. Last time out he seemed to have the win in his pocket only to let us down.
That was nothing on the cruel show by De Villiers against Sixers. It was in the bag in a low total and with him making easy progress at 25, we were counting the money. But a mistake and then an extraordinary late assault by James Pattinson meant we had empty hearts and hands. Maxwell and De Villiers are both 7/2 with Sportsbook.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l