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Monday December 23, 2019

Adelaide Strikers v Perth Scorchers

Venue: Adelaide Oval | Start: 7:10pm (AEDT)

Adelaide Strikers – Despite the fact their season opener was called off due to smoke haze, the Striker would be pleased with their efforts with the bat against the Thunder. In our first glimpse of Jason Gillespie’s men for BBL09, we saw things wouldn’t be overly different about the side this season. Jake Weatherald (42 off 33), as he usually does, got on the board early before skipper Alex Carey (45 off 40) played the anchor role and Jono Wells (55 off 32) went big late. Young English recruit Phil Salt, however, trudged off for a duck in his BBL debut but should have plenty of opportunities to come.

The Strikers play four games in the next eight days in a jam-packed period that may define their season. A strong start could see them set up a finals spot but should they struggle to get momentum, we’ve seen in previous season that clubs can struggle when initially behind the eight ball. The Strikers, in fact, lost two of their first three games last season and would go on to finish seventh – their equal-worst ever finish. That’s why it’s imperative Gillespie’s team get it right early. And there’ll be few excuses if they don’t; with Peter Siddle returning to the side after being released from Australian duties, the Strikers are (barring Michael Neser) at full strength and ready to go.

Perth Scorchers – After a disappointing first-up loss to the Sixers, the Scorchers were back with a bang on Saturday night, defeating the Renegades in arguably the most entertaining match of BBL09 thus far. The game had it all, including a late Mitch Marsh frenzy and the catch of the summer thus far from Chris Jordan. Beyond the entertainment, though, the Scorcher will feel genuine relief at getting their first points on the board at home. At a venue (Optus Stadium) they struggled to string together results last year when compared to their fortress at the WACA in seasons gone by, Adam Voges’ side were clinical in all aspects and controlled the game throughout its entirety.

Their 7/196 was also the biggest total of BBL09 thus far, the highest at Optus Stadium, and the third-highest in the Scorchers’ history. It showcased their hitting power on one of the competition’s biggest grounds, and given the favourable way players spoke about the wicket, we’re likely to see more big scores there this season. If anything, the game was a huge confidence boost for the club’s top order. The out of form Cameron Bancroft (51 off 37) got amongst the runs, as did Marsh (56 off 22) and English import Liam Livingstone (29 off 19). Given their depth, they will similarly be a dangerous prospect on the Adelaide Oval should the deck provide similar pace.

Betting Analysis – This is the first clash at the Adelaide Oval this season. In five of the seven games here last season the team batting first posted in excess of 170, and given the curator’s preference for harder faster white ball wickets, we’re likely to see a batting friendly deck again. As such, look to Jake Weatherald to get his side off to a flyer for the Strikers. Another man who makes Adelaide Oval his own is Rashid Khan, so look for him to strike in the later overs when the Scorchers look to push on. For the Scorchers, Cam Bancroft is a confidence player as we saw last season and once he gets on a roll, he has a tendency to score consistently in this format. With the ball – and speaking of confidence – Chris ‘Air’ Jordan is the one to look for in the wickets department.

Head to Head: Perth Scorchers
Top Runs Scorer – Adelaide Strikers: Jake Weatherald
Most Wickets – Adelaide Strikers: Rashid Khan
Top Runs Scorer – Perth Scorchers: Cameron Bancroft
Most Wickets – Perth Scorchers: Chris Jordan