Perth Scorchers host league leaders the Sydney Sixers and Matt Harris is looking for the home side to continue their comeback at BBL 10.
"With Jason Roy and Colin Munro also finding form, the Scorchers should build from this point and a top five finish is easily within their reach."
Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers
Wednesday January 6, 08:15 GMT
Live on BT Sport
Scorchers start to sizzle
After a four-game winless run, Perth Scorchers have claimed two victories in succession and they are now just four points away from the playoff places with a game in hand.
I mentioned ahead of Sunday's win over the Renegades that the top order suddenly had better balance and a total of 185 for the loss of just three wickets backed up that theory. Unfortunately, Liam Livingstone may not have delivered the profit in Perth's top scorer market as Josh Inglis provided the major contribution with 72 from just 41 balls.
But, with Jason Roy and Colin Munro also finding form, the Scorchers should build from this point and a top five finish is easily within their reach.
Sixers in good shape
Sydney Sixers sit comfortably at the top of the table and, after seven group games, Daniel Hughes' side look a solid bet for the playoffs. The depth of batting provided by Hughes, Dan Christian and Jason Holder during his stint has made the difference on occasions with the Sixers having twice converted successful run chases on the penultimate ball.
Last time out, there were few dramas as the men in magenta took just 18 overs to eclipse Adelaide Strikers' 150. James Vince found some form and, with Josh Phillipe also in the runs, that depth of batting will continue to prove vital moving forward.
There are few weaknesses in the squad although Jake Ball's expensive spell of 1/42 against Adelaide suggests that the Sydney franchise are struggling to find a third seamer in the wake of Holder's departure.
Above average Perth
Perth's total of 185/3 against the Renegades on Sunday comfortably eclipsed last season's first innings average of 169 at the Optus Stadium. The majority of matches at BBL 09 went with the side taking first knock so it should be a case of batting first and looking to reach 180 as a minimum.
The forecast is for a hot, clear evening so we should get the full 40 overs if they are needed.
Sydney Sixers may be 12 points clear of the Scorchers but the visitors are the outside bet here at 2.0811/10. Perth Scorchers, on the back of two straight wins and some home advantage, are the favourites at 1.8910/11.
That may be a surprise to some and if the Scorchers are to justify that favourites' berth, they need to split the Sixers' openers early and keep taking wickets right through to Carlos Brathwaite at number seven. Alternatively, they can back their explosive top order to chase down any total.
My first instinct was to get behind Perth so I'll stay with that selection even if those odds are shorter than I would have liked.
Sydney skipper Dan Hughes has modest figures in the shortest form of the game. The 96 he made against Melbourne Stars is his highest score but it's an average of 29 and a strike rate just above 120 that stands out for the wrong reasons. In previous campaigns, sportsbook odds of 4/1 for Hughes to top score for Sydney would have been far too short but he's been a consistent and valuable performer this time.
Other options in this market include Josh Philippe at 9/4, James Vince at 16/5 and Dan Christian at a tempting 12/1 but captain Hughes is the recommended bet.
Jake Ball's spell of 1/42 wasn't the best introduction but the seamer was a huge part of Notts Outlaws' successful T20 Blast campaign in England. In fact, he was the leading bowler with 19 wickets at an average of just 13.63 and, while his economy rate can always be suspect, Ball is capable of claiming victims in the key overs.
If the Sixers keep faith in Jake Ball, he could offer a good option in the team's top bowler market at 7/2. Sydney to score most sixes is another tempter at 11/10 and there are many options for additional picks for those who want them.
Matt Harris' BBL P/L