January 24, 2020
Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers
Venue: Optus Stadium | Start: 9:10pm (AEDT)
Perth Scorchers – A win here for the Scorchers would likely lock in a finals berth but Adam Voges’ side might need two wins from their final two games to be sure. The Perth outfit welcome back the two Ashtons from international duty – Agar and Turner – in a huge boost for to their XI. Perhaps the biggest positive for the Scorchers in BBL09, and the aspect of their game that make them so dangerous, is the form of openers Liam Livingstone and Josh Inglis. While keen followers will have known of Livingstone’s class playing for Lancashire in the UK, Inglis was less heralded before this season. In fact, the pair have put on 100-plus partnerships on three occasions in BBL09. To put that into perspective, that has only been done two other times (Stoinis/Cartwright for the Stars and Salt/Weatherald for the Strikers) throughout the entire season.
Livingstone compared his opening partner to a young Brendon McCullum. “He’s as good as I’ve seen – being able to hit gaps in the power play is a very good skill,” he said. “You can’t really bowl at him – especially here (Optus Stadium) – he uses the pace so well, and for a young kid he’s very talented. I don’t see why he won’t be playing for Australia whether it be six months or two years; whenever it is, I’m sure he’ll play for Australia.”
Adelaide Strikers – Ladder leaders Melbourne Stars have only lost three times in BBL09; two of those times to the Strikers. And it’s a huge confidence boost, as Jason Gillespie’s side did the double over the men in green on Wednesday night, brilliantly executing their bowling plans on the way to an 11-run win. Having set 162 batting first, a total some thought below-par, Peter Siddle then led the way with 4-33 to see his side home. The ever reliable Jono Wells again picked up man-of-the-match honours with his 55 (36), moving to third in the overall BBL09 runscorer tally with 406 runs at an incredible average of 81.2.
The win means more than just two points, as Gillespie’s side are now a step closer to playing off with the Stars in the 1st v 2nd ‘Qualifier’, the winner of which goes directly to the final. That game, to be played at the MCG, is now the Strikers’ key goal. With Alex Carey back in the fold, plus the brilliant form of both Siddle and Rashid Khan, the Strikers are all of a sudden looking the biggest threat to the Stars. And this is reflected in the markets, as they’ve moved nicely into BBL09 second-favourites.
Betting Analysis – The Scorchers are 3-3 at Optus Stadium this season as their performances have ranged from the sublime (a staggering 3-213 against the Heat) to the deplorable (rolled for 86 against the Stars). It’s difficult to know which side will arrive in this one, but entertainment is almost assured. Skipper Mitch Marsh has averaged 74.3 at home this season and is the go-to batsman in the individual markets for the Scorchers. With the ball, look for Fawad Ahmed to add to his 14 wickets this season and top the wicket takers market for the home side. For the Strikers, Carey again looked the goods in his brisk 33 off 21 on Wednesday night and represents a strong option with the bat such is his consistency. In fact, his lowest score in eight games this season is 19. With the ball, Siddle likely won’t be as effective on the flatter, quicker Optus Stadium surface so look for Rashid Khan to again lead the way.
Head to Head: Perth Scorchers
Top Runs Scorer – Perth Scorchers: Mitch Marsh
Most Wickets – Perth Scorchers: Fawad Ahmed
Top Runs Scorer – Adelaide Strikers: Alex Carey
Most Wickets – Adelaide Strikers: Rashid Khan