Heat v Thunder: Wednesday 7:10pm AEDT at The Gabba
There is tremendous anticipation and excitement as the Brisbane Heat get ready to host the Sydney Thunder because the Bash Brothers might finally be reunited. Both teams have one win to their name from two matches and this match could provide an important guide as to the direction in which their seasons will progress.
|Thunder v Sixers||Recommended Bets|
|Winner||Brisbane Heat WIN ($1.67)|
|Top Heat Batsman||Alex Ross ($7.00)|
|Top Thunder Batsman||Jos Buttler ($4.00)|
|Top Heat Bowler||Shadab Khan ($3.50)|
|Top Thunder Bowler||Arjun Nair ($5.00)|
Is Chris Lynn playing? The Wolf thinks he is but with Lynn it is better not to say anything until the team sheet has been announced. The biggest hitter of the cricket ball has been sidelined due to a minor injury and there is every indication that he will play his first match of the season against the Thunder.
With a shoulder surgery to think about and a hamstring niggle bothering him, the Wolf does not expect Chris Lynn to do too much running and he could just go out there looking to clear the boundary as many times as possible in a short space of time.
It is not just about Lynn, though, as the Heat also have Brendon McCullum at the top of the order to help give opposing bowlers nightmares. After a confident 40 in the first match, McCullum fell for just 4 in his last match and will be looking to make amends.
Jimmy Peirson will be under pressure after a couple of low scores as will be Heazlett. It is unclear if Joe Burns will make a return to the side and the Wolf recommends not counting on him to be present for this match. Thankfully, Alex Ross with 99 runs from two games and Ben Cutting with a strike rate of 170.96 and more sixes than anyone else in the side are providing the Heat with an excellent middle order.
Shadab Khan took two wickets for seventeen runs in his four overs and was brilliant along with Mitchell Swepson who also bowled economically. The spinners will once again be key because the Heat pacers have not yet loved up to expectations.
Sydney Thunder won their first match by a hair and then got demolished in their second match. Their dependence on Shane Watson is painfully clear and has made them a team with a very clear target. Opposition teams will target Watson and then put pressure on everyone else.
Kurtis Patterson played a nice inning of 48 but everyone else has been very disappointing. Ben Rohrer has 7 runs in the tournament so far, Buttler 10, Gibson 12, and Blizzard 13.
The Thunder bowling has been pretty good and could keep them in the game. Fawad Ahmed is giving runs away at an unbelievably low 4.37 runs an over while both McClenaghan and Nair find themselves in the wickets.
Chris Green and Fekete have been okay without troubling the batsmen. This is turning out to be a matchup between the spinners on both sides.
Head to Head
The Heat has a 5-1 advantage over the Thunder over their matches in the BBL. This dominance is evident in every aspect of their game. The Heat have a 2-0 advantage over the Thunder at the Gabba and they have the most recent two matches against them as well. With the return of Chris Lynn, the Brisbane Heat looks to be packing a bit too much power for the Sydney Thunder.
Bet: Brisbane Heat WIN ($1.67)
Top Brisbane Heat Batsman
Alex Ross has been the top-scorer for the Heat in both their matches so far and is looking amazing form. His strike rate of 123.75 is not the best but that reflects the difficult situations in which he has batted. With three sixes to his name in the tournament, a fifty in the first game, and 99 runs from two matches, the Wolf recommends continuing to back Alex Ross at the moment.
Bet: Alex Ross ($7.00)
Top Sydney Thunder Batsman
Jos Buttler has not had the success that would be expected of him batting at the top of the order. The England international is very dangerous and just needs to give himself some time to get set. With the Brisbane Heat fast bowlers struggling to get their act together, this could be the match in which Jos Buttler makes the BBL his own.
Bet: Jos Buttler ($4.00)
Top Brisbane Heat Bowler
With four wickets from two matches, young Pakistani leggie Shadab Khan is the highest wicket-taker for the Heat at this early stage in the competition. Brendon McCullum continues to use him aggressively in powerplay situations and providing him with the perfect opportunity to take wickets. He can go for runs as he did against the Stars but on his day he can spin an absolute web around the opposition.
Bet: Shadab Khan ($3.50)
Top Sydney Thunder Bowler
Arjun Nair is the kind of spinner that batsmen like to take on. He does not spin the prodigiously and does not seem to have too many exotic variations but he does do enough with the ball to beat the bat. He has 5 wickets to his name from 8 overs in the competition and has shown the ability to pick wickets regularly. The Wolf recommends backing him against a team that will definitely look to hit him out of the attack and thus provide him plenty of wickets along the way.
Bet: Arjun Nair ($5.00)