BBL06 - Match 30
MATCH UP STATS
BBL06 - Match 30
2016-17 Big Bash formBrisbane Heat: W W W L W L WMelbourne Renegades: W L W L L L W
Top runscorer tipsBrisbane Heat: Brendon McCullum - $3.40 at Bet365Melbourne Renegades: Aaron Finch - $3.40 at Bet365
Top wicket-taker tipsBrisbane Heat: Mitch Swepson - $4.35 at William HillMelbourne Renegades: Sunil Narine - $3.50 at Sportsbet
EVEN though Brisbane Heat have sewn up a finals spot, they still have plenty to play for in the last round of 2016-17 Big Bash League fixtures.
For while the commanding victory over Melbourne Stars on Tuesday guaranteed a top-four finish, it did not lock down a home semifinal.
With so many permutations in play over the next few days, the Heat could feasibly lose their last league game and still finish top.
But if Perth Scorchers down the Hurricanes, or if either the Stars or Sixers enjoy a big win on Saturday night, Brisbane could slide out of the top two.
Brendon McCullum and company can take all those equations out of play if they beat Melbourne Renegades to finish the league phase with three wins on the bounce.
They shouldn’t be lacking in confidence after their performance at the MCG.
Mitch Swepson (2/14) and Mark Steketee (2/20) bolstered their claims to the ‘most improved bowler’ title as they ripped out the Stars top order with a pair of stunning two-wicket overs.
Joe Burns impressed as deputy skipper in McCullum’s absence and steered the Heat home with 42 not out from 32 balls, ably assisted by Alex Ross (40 not out).
The Heat’s Kiwi captain will reclaim the armband this Friday, while star spinner Samuel Badree is also expected to make his return just in time for finals.
The task at hand for the Renegades is a simple one, if not an easy one.
Defeat means no finals, but victory gives them a strong chance if other results go their way.
Sydney Thunder’s loss on Wednesday takes one threat out of the equation, while a Scorchers win would also go down well at the Docklands.
On Saturday they may find themselves in the unnerving position of barracking for the Stars against the Sixers – the most likely of the top four to slide out, due to their poor net run rate.
But those calculations will become entirely irrelevant to the ‘Gades if they don’t pick up the required two points at the Gabba.
And if they want to win, they need to bowl a lot tighter than they have in recent outings.
James Pattinson has taken a pounding since his return to action, as has fellow Victorian quick Chris Tremain.
Even Sunil Narine went the journey in Monday’s narrow win over Adelaide Strikers.
But the Renegades may have found a timely solution in Nathan Rimmington, who staked his claim with a wicket and only 14 runs conceded from two overs.
That vital win in Adelaide also featured a long-overdue show of quality from Marcus Harris, who starred with 85 from 53 balls at the top of the order.
Just to make things that little bit harder for the ‘Gades, it looks as though they will head into this must-win clash without a specialist wicketkeeper.
Peter Nevill won’t play after copping a sickening blow from Brad Hodge’s bat handle, while Matthew Wade is on international duty with Australia’s ODI team.
If they cannot find a local replacement (their overseas spots are already filled), captain Aaron Finch will have to take the gloves – as he has done twice this season due to Nevill’s woes.
Aaron Finch betting markets
The Renegades may need a captain’s knock to keep their season alive.
They may also need him to hold onto a few catches behind the stumps.
And, if his side is in dire need, he might even be required to roll the arm over.
Whether you rate him or not, it is impossible to deny Finch’s importance to his team.
If the ‘Gades feature in the BBL06 finals, you can bet their skipper will have played a big part in getting them there.
Top Renegades bowler – $17 at Bet365
To score 100 – $11 at William Hill
Man of the match – $7.50 at Bet365
Most sixes – $5.50 at Bet365
To score 50 – $3.50 at William Hill
Top Renegades batsman – $3.40 at Bet365
Most runs vs. McCullum and White – $2.50 at CrownBet
BBL06 Heat vs. Renegades match specials
The Heat have the form, but the Renegades should have the edge in desperation.
The Gabba wicket has been uncharacteristically two-paced this season, which suits Badree and Swepson down to the ground.
But that also brings the visiting spin trio of Narine, Brad Hogg and the surprisingly effective Tom Cooper into the game.
In Finch and McCullum you have two of the most damaging openers in T20 cricket, so it could come down to whether one fails and the other fires.
No wonder the match betting at Australia’s top bookmakers is so tight.
Go with your gut on this one – or with your heart, if you have a vested interest.
Match result – Melbourne Renegades ($1.91 at William Hill)
Most match sixes – Melbourne Renegades ($2.10 at Sportsbet)
Most Renegades runs/wickets – Finch/Narine ($10 at William Hill)
Most Heat runs/wickets – McCullum/Swepson ($14 at William Hill)
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