Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes
Tuesday 12 January 8 08.15
TV: live on BT Sport
The Scorchers are running hot after four successive wins. But they remain in a battle for qualification because of their slow start - losing three of their first four and one wash out.
Their upturn in fortunes coincided with the arrival of Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone. But a return to their home stadium is not an insignificant factor - they have won three at home and on each occasion bowled out the opposition.
Colin Munro is missing for this one with a slight muscle injury. It is not expected to keep him out of action for long. Joe Clarke comes in. If Ashton Agar is ever fit, Perth will be superbly balanced.
Possible XI Roy, Livingstone, Inglis, Clarke, M Marsh, Turner, Hardie, Richardson, Tye, Fawad, Behrendorff
Hobart have lost their last two matches to clip a strong start. There should be no question that a team so well-balanced should be in danger of missing qualification, though.
The batting is extremely strong. They just need big players to find big form. D'Arcy Short, Dawid Malan and Colin Ingram in their respective positions are as good as it gets.
Riley Meredith and Nathan Ellis are having solid seasons as pacers. Sandeep Lamichhane offers variety and control. They are missing James Faulkner, however, who is injured with no timescale put on a return.
Possible XI Short, McDermott, Malan, Ingram, Handscomb, David, Wright, Boland, Ellis, Meredith, Lamichhane,
After 22 Bash matches at the Optus, we're able to start making fair calls about the nature of the surface. It's a good one for batting. And therefore it's a good one for defending. The last five have been won by the team batting first (four this term). The lowest first-innings score in that sequence is 167. Indeed, there is a 59% bias for the side batting first and a 59% rate for teams batting first busting 160 or more. We are expecting 160 to be busted again with both batting line-ups looking extremely strong. It could well pay to take big number on, er, big numbers. Check out 190 and 200 or more.
Hurricanes can trade jollies
Perth are 1.758/11 and the Hurricanes 2.305/4. With the toss in their favour, it is relatively simple to make case for the visitors.
Unlike most teams, they will not fear coming to The Furnace. They have won on their last three occasions against Perth there. And they are well-balanced for a victory.
That batting power up front is ideal for pushing them on to the likely 180 or more that will be required for victory. Scoreboard pressure has helped Perth this term, although we note that their bowling unit is shaping up to be the best in the business.
The loss of Munro might just unsettle Perth, though, and give Hobart a route in. They can trade short jollies at the break.
Ashton Turner's win rate has dipped by nearly seven points after he has drawn eight blanks. But thankfully he has drifted in price. There is nothing wrong with his form with solid hitting so far and we are more than happy to take the 11/1 from Betfair Sportsbook that he top scores for Perth. It's an edge of more than four points.
Backing middle-to-lower order players is not the risk it once was thanks to the power surge and we have seen late-hitting made easier. This suits Turner.
Dawid Malan looks toppy at a 7/2 offer - price-boosted from 3/1 with Sportsbook. Short is 3/1 and, bear in mind, he has a ton on his last visit.