Unlike previous games both sides have excellent bowling attacks here so having a gander down the order to the 3rd-5th drop section will pay tonight.
Lately there has been something for everyone at Bellerive; pace, spin, short square boundaries – the pitch does tend to hold up slightly in the first innings then skid on in the second for the quicks so be mindful of who bowls first/second, and factor in which bowlers are likely to be advantaged by when they bowl.
Hurricanes: Doolan, Short, McDermott, Bailey, Wade, Christian, Archer, Milenko, Rose, Boyce, Mills, (Reardon, Rogers)
Strikers: Weatherald, Carey, Ingram, Head, Wells, Lehman, Neser, Khan, Siddle, Laughlin, Stanlake, (Dean, Agar)
Barring injury teams should both be unchanged. Dean will be frightfully unlucky if he misses here with Lehman in horrible form with the bat / facial grooming.
The Canes side looks really well-balanced so I can’t see Reardon forcing his way in.
Hurricanes Player Form
Alex Doolan: 29pt average from his first three starts after missing out (5pts) last start against the Thunder. Looked in good touch prior and gets a small price drop. Not a big six hitter and rarely returns big Strike Rate bonus points but can anchor the innings if he keeps his head. Worth considering.
D’Arcy Short: Coming off a career-high 186pt effort at Spotless forcing coaches to pay an extra 3k for him tonight. Unlikely to get a bowl tonight with the myriad lefties in the Strikers lineup but if he gets through Rashid Khan he will go big again with the bat. In form.
Ben McDermott: Really like him tonight. I’m a big fan in general but I just feel tonight he could really put 50+ on his opposing gloveman. 49 from 25 balls last start (was 2 off 8 balls) shows how damaging he can be on strike rate / boundary points. Chance Wade comes in ahead like last game but will still get plenty of time. Looms as a threat.
George Bailey: Averaging 17 points and still 14k. Someone at Draftstars needs to pick up the ball they’ve dropped here. Don’t expect him to throw his wicket away like in Launceston, he knows how big this game is and it’s a safe play with that Strikers bowling attack that Bailey gets decent time at the crease. Respect this Class.
Matthew Wade: Was elevated to first drop last start to combat the leg spin of Ahmed which he did so don’t be surprised if it’s repeated when Khan gets an early peg. Price appeals here in a contest that will squeeze players on cap space. Ignore two starts ago (2pts) and assess on 49pt two-game average. Has the class, just a question of where he bats. Will be popular tonight through the Flex (around 40%). Take on Trust.
Dan Christian: Dominated the Strikers in this fixture last year but a 24pt three-game average to start BBL07 will have coaches asking if he is past it. Will get his 2-3 overs tonight but the time at the crease is the huge concern. POD appeal only.
Jofra Archer: 66pt last-start effort should be viewed as his floor – was averaging 105 prior to that and can repeat that here. Strikers have a long tail too. Pay the money. Appeals strongly.
Simon Milenko: Failed to trouble the scorers first-up this campaign, batting too low and not getting a bowl with Short and Christian viewed by Bailey as safer options with the Thunder top order firing. Not a great sign. Should get 1-2 overs tonight sharing that 5th bowling spot with Christian. Unlikely to bat. If you’re chasing a bargain this is not the position to skimp on. Other stronger.
Clive Rose: Will get the first over tonight. Went at ten an over first up on this pitch finishing with just 31pts but a 93pt effort at Launceston has dragged his three-game average up to 49pts. Can be effective here against a Strikers top order that hasn’t scored a lot of runs. Include in multiples.
Cameron Boyce: Really looked good last-start after dragging too many down first two games. 43pt average so far thanks to a last-start 80pts that included 2 wickets and was unlucky to not get a third. Gets a plethora of lefties tonight which could upset his landing zones but I loved what I saw from his spell in Sydney. If you’re picking on form he goes straight in. In-form and value.
Tymal Mills: Scores of 4, 16 and 29pts to start his BBL campaign haven’t impressed but there has been improvement in each game. Needs to learn that faster is not better; he has an exceptional late-dipping slower ball and quick bumper and if he uses them well tonight he will be the pick of the bowlers for mine at that price. Price/POD appeal.
Nathan Reardon looks set to carry the drinks again tonight given the Canes didn’t even use their bowling all-rounder last start in Milenko whilst Tom Rogers will need at least a few more weeks to recover the confidence he lost to all parts of Launceston two starts ago.
Strikers Player Form
Jake Weatherald: Despite his 17pt average in three outings the Strikers opener will be highly-owned at that price given the tightness of tonight’s cap. One of those picks tonight that you don’t really care if he fails given the price. Great exposure at the top of the order. High ownership.
Alex Carey: Price has not come down despite a 12pt last-start effort dropping his three-game average to 77pts. Something about him tonight is telling me to avoid but the kid has the runs on the board. A 129pt effort two starts back shows his ceiling. Appeals more if Strikers bat second for mine. Others stronger.
Colin Ingram: Finally did something (anything) last-start with a solid 63pts against the Heat on NYE. Has found the BBL a little tougher than the English version where he absolutely dominated. Has the ability and comes in at a good price. Legitimate leg spinner as well which is always handy for a batsmen in a team with one recognised spinner. Worth consideration.
Travis Head: 64pt average in three games despite not really getting out of 2nd gear. Just seems to find a wicket when he bowls himself (5 overs in 3 games). Expensive tonight but will get the exposure. Hard to have both Head and Archer though and I’m on the big Jamaican. Respect this class.
Jono Wells: Notched 33 runs at 176 strike rate two starts ago but it was against the Sixers so who hasn’t. Up against his old club tonight and he does play this ground particularly well, being a good square of the wicket player. Can find 6’s here if he gets the overs. A great inclusion on a Canes bowling stack line-up. Likes this deck.
Jake Lehman: 50pt last-start effort (that should have been zero) and surname combining to keep him in the side ahead of Dean. Horribly out of form with the bat (dropped three times last game before he got to ten). Price will appeal to some and is probably a smart play in any Cane bowling stack line-ups. Needs to shave the sh*t on his lip.
Michael Neser: Take a photo of his last-start 142pts because it will never ever happen again. Ever. Bowls junk and should have been caught on 15. Way overpriced and will go the journey tonight. Miss and be happy when you see 30%+ ownership off last-start form. Not keen this game (or any game).
Rashid Khan: Not sure how you can afford to leave him out. 6 wickets in 3 games at just over 5 runs an over. Averaging 84.7pts and has been very (very!) stiff on a few not-out calls. Expect him to get a few runs tonight too. Hard to hold out.
Peter Siddle: Averaging 55pts in three outings but it’s the 21pt effort two starts back against the Sixers that concerns me. Expect the Canes to go after him tonight which does bring him into the game abit but at that price coaches should be confident of a return, not hopeful. Will once again be POD status. Runs in hard (apparently that gets you picked for Australia).
Ben Laughlin: 2 points shy of the 100pt average after three games. Absolute gun who will get the vital 17 and 19th overs at just under 7 runs an over is superb. If he hits that 3 wicket bonus (which he has twice in last 3 games) it’s an auto 85pts before he bowls a dot or gets economy bonus, so while the price tag may seem hefty, he can deliver on it. If the Strikers bowl first he becomes almost a must-have. Will ton up tonight.
Billy Stanlake: Averaging 58pts in three games but that price tag is prohibitive given the other options. Will be a massive POD tonight (less than 12%). Averaging 11 dot balls a game which is very high. Worth the risk in multiple line-ups.
Jono Dean half a show to sneak into this team, likely at the expense of Lehman, but shoulder injury likely keeps him out again whilst Wes Agar won’t break into this bowling attack short of an injury to a front-liner.