Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder
Monday, 08:15 GMT
Live on BT Sport
Following this match, exactly half of the group matches will have been completed. If winning, Sydney Thunder will be top whereas Brisbane Heat can move up to the fifth and final play-off spot.
On that basis, one might argue that Thunder should be shorter favourites than implied by odds of 1.774/5. However it is worth noting that Heat comfortably beat the current table-toppers Sydney Sixers last time out and have a strengthened squad from which to choose.
Lynn back in contention for Heat
Joe Denly has arrived and Chris Lynn is back in the squad after injury, although he is uncertain to play yet. Joe Burns is also returned from Test duty last time but carried his poor form over to this format when out for 1.
Despite the additions, batting remains a big worry. That victory over Sixers was only the second time they’ve reached 160 this term. The other occasion was inspired by Lynn, whom they need back urgently.
Thunder still in red-hot form
In terms of general standard, Thunder have been a class apart and are bidding for a sixth straight win. Prior to the latest which required chasing a DLS total, they’d hit 219 and 209 in two thumping victories.
Having finished last season strongly, they are arguably the hottest side in the league. A well-balanced squad includes eight batsmen averaging over 25, last season’s top wicket-taker Daniel Sams and a leggie who could well top this year’s list in Tanveer Sangha.
Chasing seems an advantage
Don’t expect anything like those 200-plus scores at The Gabba though. Only three of the last 11 first innings here reached 160. Seven of those 11 matches were won by the chasing side so there’s probably a toss bias to consider.
That deters me from a pre-match bet on Thunder, along with a vague feeling that their great run must end soon given the nature of domestic T20. They are nevertheless unarguably superior so instead, I’ll try the 25% rule that worked in the last couple of matches. Set the order to back Thunder at 2.26/5.
Thunder still in red-hot form
As the last score was 165, I reckon the par 1st Innings Runs line will open around there. Well within Thunder’s range but, given how many times they’ve failed, I’ll look to lay Heat to make 160 plus at 1.75/7 if they bat first.
The Total Sixes line looks too high at 11.5. Going under would have won in the last eight matches at The Gabba and lost only twice in the last 14.
Middle-order preferred for Heat
Lynn is quoted at 9/4 to be Top Brisbane Runscorer. Way too short, even assuming he plays.
The way to play this market over the season is to back middle-order outsiders. James Bazley - a 16/1 chance today - won in their penultimate match, as did Jimmy Peirson (9/1) earlier. Simon Milenko (20/1) is often promoted.
The Thunder market makes much less appeal, as its most likely to be won by the top-order. Alex Hales leads the way at 12/5, with Usman Khawaja next at 11/4.
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