Hobart Hurricanes v Adelaide Strikers
Tuesday, 08:15 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
The University of Tasmania Stadium hosts its first match of this year’s BBL with the reverse of Sunday’s fixture. Hurricanes won that encounter by 11 runs, to maintain a 100% record from their first two matches.
Hurricanes off to a flyer
A promising start then, for a franchise who’ve gone well in recent renewals, and who could have been forgiven a slow start. Hobart are having to cope early without four key players - Matthew Wade, Dawid Malan, Keemo Paul and Sandeep Lamicchane. They have some positive news today with the return of Ben McDermott.
In contrast, Strikers will be very disappointed with their opening effort. Having won the toss and put Hobart in, they must have fancied chasing 175 but never looked close. Of their top-seven batsmen, only Matt Renshaw made double figures. The scale of defeat was masked by a brilliant final wicket stand.
Hobart dominated Sunday’s clash
It is somewhat surprising, therefore, to see virtually even betting - Hurricanes are trading, pre-toss, at 1.9310/11 compared to 2.0621/20 for Strikers.
Of course, it is far too early to be writing off a team like Strikers, who have excellent pedigree in the competition - top-three in four of the last six renewals, winning the title in 2017-18. They also won this exact fixture at Launceston last term.
Strikers batsmen under pressure
Nevertheless, their batsmen must be under a bit of pressure following that start and their line-up doesn’t look the strongest. They’re missing Travis Head and can’t rely on number six Jonathan Wells faring as well as he did last term.
I make Hobart slightly shorter odds than 1.9310/11 - perhaps 1.84/5? McDermott’s return is a big plus and Colin Ingram starting off well might compensate for the loss of Wade.
Lest we forget, they dominated the group stage two years ago with D’Arcy Short starring. This year, they’re likely to improve as the tournament goes on and those key players become available.
Mixed runs signals from Launceston
It is hard to form a strong conclusion about runs at Launceston. The last two full first innings produced a winning 186 and an easily chased 169, but previously there was a 107 and a 166 that proved comfortably enough. No bets advised on this market as yet, although I’d pitch Hurricanes’ par line slightly higher.
The top runscorer and wicket taker markets look more interesting from a pre-match perspective. D’Arcy Short is enhanced with an OddsBoost to 12/5 for Hurricanes. I don’t tip favourites in these markets on these pages but that is a fair price and preferable to lesser rivals.
Renshaw could be overpriced
Adelaide’s top order are more generously priced. Openers Jake Weatherald and Phil Salt are 10/3 and 7/2 respectively, with Alex Carey favourite at 11/4. That is plenty short enough for somebody liable to come in at four and I prefer 5/1 about number three Matt Renshaw.
Both favourites are boosted in the top wicket taker markets. James Faulkner to 3/1 for Hurricanes, Rashid Khan to 13/5 for Strikers.
Again, this isn’t a market I generally back favourites, particularly because there are so many ties. One that could be value is Johan Botha at 6/1 for Hurricanes. The South African veteran took two and bowled economically on Sunday.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty