Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers Big Bash Tips: Crack bowling the key

Peter Siddle
Siddle is key for Strikers

Ed Hawkins previews the clash from the Optus Stadium on Saturday and says the Strikers can cause an upset

"Siddle can mix it up, Agar is one of the most potent bowlers around while everyone knows how mean Rashid can be" (1pt) Back Strikers batting first 2.407/5

Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers
Saturday 11 December 10.35
TV: live on Sky Sports

Scorchers a little tepid

Perth Scorchers started their campaign with a success over Brisbane Heat. It was a tighter victory than it should have been.

They got home by six runs. The margin should have been bigger and they could have been guilty of a little complacency.

For a start a total of 157 batting first was under par for the venue average and the start they got. When Kurtis Paterson was out in the 11th they had 92 on the board.

With the ball they were dominant before dropping off, too. Brisbane got back into the game from 110 for nine in the 16th.

There may never have been any real nerves that they would slip up but it pays to notice. Matthew Kelly, another pacer off the production line, starred with four wickets.

Possible XI: Munro, Bancroft, Paterson, Evans, Turner, Hardie, Agar, Tye, Kelly, Behren-dorff, Hatzoglou

Strikers bowling strength

Strikers would have looked on at Travis Head's demolition of England on day two at The Gabba with a mixture of pride and envy.

He's a Striker through and through, but boy could they do with his batting. Head produced a T20 innings which Strikers would dearly love someone in their line-up to replicate.

They are a weak batting team who paper over the cracks with, well, a crack bowling unit. In the two matches they have played they have won one and lost one - both against the Renegades.

It is no surprise that in the success their bowlers defended 149. In the loss their batters couldn't chase 154.

Possible XI: Short, Weatherald, Nielsen, Wells, Drew, Scott, Rashid Khan, Garton, Worrall, Agar, Siddle.

Pitch report

There's a 62% toss bias for the side batting first at the Optus Stadium. It's a sizeable number and one which shouldn't be ignored.

Before Scorchers-Heat the average first-innings score was 167 so you can see why we were underwhelmed by Perth's batting, particularly against a depleted Brisbane attack.

They face a much tougher task against an excellent Strikers attack. Indeed, 157 would probably be enough against this batting crew with the bias in their favour.

If Strikers bat first they target 150, wary that if they were to be too gung-ho they would come up short.
Their strategy will very much be to keep their bowlers in the game. Going under the runs par line at 155.5 if Strikers bat first could be a decent wager. The market is here.

Strikers bang in the game

Perth are 1.511/2 in a very early show. SO that means if Strikers go off at around the 2.407/5 mark we will get involved. Again, we don't expect the market to be swayed by the toss.

Strikers are expert at the squeeze and in Peter Siddle, Wes Agar and Rashid Khan they have a reliable 12-over core. Siddle can mix it up, Agar is one of the most potent bowlers around while everyone knows how mean Rashid can be.

The question will be, though: how will the market react to a score of no more than 155 from Strikers. One suspects they will be even bigger at the break so you pays your money you takes your choice.

Tops value

We are big fans of Wes Agar for top Striker bowler. He copped against Renegades and took the match gong for good measure. Still, he's being used purely at the death and is yet to bowl his full allocation. The 7/2 looks very chunky, though. The market is here.

As for Strikers' batting, is it time to take a chance on Rashid at No 7. There is very little to beat apart from Jake Weatherald and Jono Wells. He gets a quote of 14/1.

For Perth Ashton Turner is pencilled in for No 5 considering they are without Mitchell Marsh. It's a place higher than last season so the 6/1 is not a bad shout. The market is here.

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