Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers – Jan 14

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January 14, 2020

Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers

Venue: The Gabba | Start: 3:40pm (AEDT)

Brisbane Heat – The man we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. AB de Villiers, the biggest signing in BBL history, will play his first game in Heat colours this afternoon. The South African legend will play out the six games left in the regular season, plus finals should the Heat qualify. And in ominous signs for the Strikers, he told media on Monday he feels “in some of the best form of my career” after hitting 325 runs at a strike rate of 152.58 in his home country’s recent domestic T20 competition. He replaces excitement machine Tom Banton who returns to England following a profitable stint opening the batting for Darren Lehmann’s side. De Villiers will likely bat at four (after skipper Chris Lynn at three), as Lehmann needs to weigh up who to partner Max Bryant from the top.

And while all the attention is (understandably) going the South African’s way, the Heat also welcome back spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for the rest of BBL09. The understated Afghani spinner is the number two ranked T20 bowler in the world, and comes directly off a successful stint (15 wickets in 12 games) in the Bangladesh T20 competition. He replaces wrist spinner Zahir Khan in a shrewd bit of squad management by the Heat.

Adelaide Strikers – The Strikers snapped a three-game losing streak in the most emphatic fashion on Sunday afternoon, crushing the hapless Renegades by 63 runs. The result has squeezed them back into the top four and throws further importance behind this clash as both sides sit equal on four wins (the Strikers one points ahead with their ‘no result’ earlier in BBL09). A win here would put them into third with five games to play.

Jason Gillespie’s side go in unchanged for Tuesday afternoon’s encounter, having found a good balance against the Gades. Skipper Travis Head got through four overs with the ball and even snared two top-order wickets in that clash. Should be be able to do so in games going forward, it gives him great flexibility with his four seamers plus the indomitable Rashid Khan. With 14 and 10 wickets apiece, Khan and Peter Siddle both sit inside the top-10 wicket takers of BBL09 and are leading the way for their side. Further, Jono Wells’ career best season with the bat (292 runs @ 73.00) sees him also sit in the top 10.

Interestingly, the Strikers are undefeated at the Gabba in BBL history, with four of the five wins over the Heat coming in Brisbane.

Betting Analysis – This is just the third clash at the Gabba this season, the last of which proved a tricky affair for the batsmen. Usually a fast, batting-friendly surface, the Hurricanes managed just 126 in the last game here, as the Heat stuttered over the line to chase it in the second-last over. As such, predictions of a high-scoring affair might be tempered. Either way, look for Lynn to continue his strong form and with luck, spend time in the middle with new recruit de Villiers. With the ball, expect Mujeeb’s class to shine through. For the visitors, Jake Weatherald remains the shrewd pick in the individual batting markets while Khan remains the overwhelming bet (only just over Siddle) with the ball given the pitch could be tacky yet again.

Head to Head: Brisbane Heat
Top Runs Scorer – Brisbane Heat: Chris Lynn
Most Wickets – Brisbane Heat: Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Top Runs Scorer – Adelaide Strikers: Jake Weatherald
Most Wickets – Adelaide Strikers: Rashid Khan