January 27, 2020
Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat
Venue: Marvel Stadium | Start: 2:45pm (AEDT)
Melbourne Renegades – The Gades have little to cheer about at this point of the season, and might be forgiven for hoping this match is over and done with such is their plight in BBL09. With just two wins and, at this stage, four games clear as the wooden spooners, it’s been a season to forget for Michael Klinger’s side. Perhaps the biggest incentive for this one might be preventing the Heat from grabbing a finals berth, given their hopes rest on victory in this encounter.
The Gades were no match for the Sixers on Saturday afternoon, an Aaron Finch ton not enough to see them over the line against the star-studded men in magenta. Surprisingly, Finch took blame for the loss despite contributing, in one game, almost the same amount of runs as some Renegades player have all season. “My first 40 balls probably let us down, to be honest,” he said. “I’d rather get a duck and win than get a hundred and lose. It’s a pretty awful feeling. When you contribute you should have done more. It means nothing, really.”
The Gades go into their final game of the season with an unchanged 13-man squad that travelled to Sydney on the weekend. With Sam Harper and Shaun Marsh both still nursing injuries from the game against the Hurricanes, the Gades are left with just two players (Finch and Beau Webster) who have scored over 125 runs in their entire season. It goes without saying that, should they want to be competitive in this one, they’ll need a wider contribution with the bat.
Brisbane Heat – The Heat re-entered finals calculation with a 71-run victory over the Stars on Saturday evening. The win snapped a three game losing streak, and gives them a unique opportunity now to finish fourth and host the ‘eliminator’ (4th v 5th) with a win in this one. However should they lose, their season will be over.
It wasn’t just the win over the Stars that surprised many given the Heat’s horror run of late, but also the nature of the win, which was a mauling in every sense. After setting a strong 5/186, Darren Lehmann’s side would skittle the ladder leaders for just 115. It’s clearly the confidence boost they needed, and in truth they should account for the beleaguered Renegades in this clash. But the question, as it always is for Lehmann’s side, is which one will turn up. The ones who can dismantle the league leaders like on Saturday, or the ones who lose 10/36 to lose the unlosable. That match, let’s not forget, was against the Renegades just nine days ago. Just what mental scarring it may have had will be seen on Monday night.
The Heat go into this one unchanged, retaining the same 13-man squad that defeated the ladder-leading Stars.
Betting Analysis – Teams batting first this season at Marvel Stadium have averaged 167, an above-average total in this season’s Big Bash. The wicket has generally been batting friendly and with the league’s biggest hitting side in the Heat plus a care-free Renegades, a high-scoring encounter could be in the offing. For the home side there’s no looking past Finch in the individual batting markets, coming off the back of a ton. With the ball, Aussie death bowling specialist Kane Richardson is also the obvious option. For the visiting Heat, AB de Villiers showed signs of his ominous best at the MCG and may just go big again now he has his eye in. In the wicket taker markets, James Pattinson is in good touch with the white ball and may just get one over his former side.
Head to Head: Brisbane Heat
Top Runs Scorer – Melbourne Renegades: Aaron Finch
Most Wickets – Melbourne Renegades: Kane Richardson
Top Runs Scorer – Brisbane Heat: AB de Villiers
Most Wickets – Brisbane Heat: James Pattinson