BBL06 - First Semifinal
MATCH UP STATS
BBL06 - First Semifinal
T20 Big Bash League formPerth Scorchers: W L W L WMelbourne Stars: W W W L L
Top runscorer tipsPerth Scorchers: Shaun Marsh - $5 at SportsbetMelbourne Stars: Kevin Pietersen - $3.60 at Bet365
Top wicket-taker tipsPerth Scorchers: Mitchell Johnson - $3.50 at Bet365Melbourne Stars: Ben Hilfenhaus - $3.50 at Bet365
AN awful lot could have happened in the last round of BBL06 league fixtures.
In the end, the only shift of any import was Perth Scorchers pinching second place and a home semifinal.
They made minced meat of Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday, chasing down 134 with more than six overs to spare.
Perhaps even more significant than the result was the performance of Shaun Marsh.
The gifted left-hander had reached double figures only once in seven knocks when he strode to the crease at Bellerive.
But class is permanent, as they say, and Marsh’s dominant 57 from 34 balls was just what he and the Scorchers needed on the eve of the finals.
If nothing else, it will make the Australian selectors feel a whole lot better about picking him for the upcoming Test tour of India.
Melbourne Stars won’t be quite so thrilled at the timely revival of such a damaging strokeplayer.
A home final was theirs for the taking on Saturday evening, yet it was Sydney Sixers who came out on top at the MCG after a late rescue mission from Sean Abbott and Johan Botha.
Maybe the most worrying thing for the Stars is the alarming fragility of their middle order.
The top three of Luke Wright, Rob Quiney and Kevin Pietersen put them in a strong position once again, scoring 136 runs between them.
The remainder of the Stars bats added a mere 16, with not one player passing five runs.
Despite that disappointment, they will have fond memories of their visit to the WACA less than a fortnight ago.
The Melburnians hammered their hosts on that occasion, with Michael Beer and Ben Hilfenhaus tearing through the top order on a good, bouncy batting pitch.
Among the key performers that day was Marcus Stoinis, returning 1/28 with the ball and seeing the Stars home with a brisk 40 not out.
He missed the defeat to the Sixers after joining Australia’s ODI squad as cover for the injured Mitchell Marsh.
But the powers that be have decided to release the allrounder from international duty this week, meaning Stoinis will be available to bolster Melbourne’s middle order and provide a handy change-up option with his medium-fast seam bowling.
Shaun Marsh betting specials
Son of Swampy could hardly have picked a better time to stumble upon some form.
If Saturday’s knock at Hobart was the first you had seen of Marsh this season, you’d have no idea he had been in such rotten touch.
His fluid, powerful, all-round-the-wicket striking was exactly what the Scorchers missed when the Stars smoked them on January 14.
Runs breed runs, so Melbourne could find themselves in a spot of bother if they let him get settled at the crease.
Most sixes – $7.50 at Bet365
To score 100 – $17 at William Hill
Ben Hilfenhaus bet specials
Hilfy likes bowling at the WACA.
He hammered that point home with two wickets at well under four runs per overs in the win over Perth two weeks ago.
That isn’t the only occasion this season that the Tasmanian quick has shown he is still capable of producing those big, match-shaping performances.
A couple of wickets from Hilfenhaus at a tidy economy rate could be just the ticket for the Stars.
Most wickets vs. Bresnan and Johnson – $3 at William Hill
Top Stars bowler – $3.50 at Bet365
Man of the match – $17 at William Hill
Scorchers vs. Stars BBL match tips
Perth are very hard to beat at this time of season.
The 2015-16 edition was the first time in five years of Big Bash League cricket that they failed to reach the final.
They haven’t exactly set the world alight in BBL06, especially since Mitch Marsh left for international duty and came back crook.
But Adam Voges is back after missing several weeks with a hamstring strain, and his wealth of experience could prove vital if a tight run-chase ensues.
In Mitch Johnson, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye, the Scorchers also boast the most potent pace attack in the competition.
The Stars aren’t quite as blessed in that department, although the likes of Beer, Hilfenhaus and Stoinis are tricky customers who are very familiar with the art of bowling at Perth.
But do they have enough firepower with the bat?
The absence of Peter Handscomb, James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell has left them very lean beyond the top three.
But Quiney, Wright and KP are in very decent touch and will all fancy themselves to post big scores on a ground that offers great value for aggressive shotmakers.
Match result – Melbourne Stars ($2.31 at Sportsbet)
Top Stars batsman/bowler – Pietersen/Hilfenhaus ($10 at William Hill)
Top Scorchers batsman/bowler – Marsh/Johnson ($12 at William Hill)
AFLW Round 6 odds, betting tips & market news
Top 10 AFL player transfers for 2021
2021 NRL futures top betting picks & odds
Melbourne United vs Sydney Kings NBL betting preview – 27/2/2021
Adelaide 36ers vs Melbourne United NBL betting preview – 25/2/21
AFLW Round 5 odds, betting tips & market news
Adelaide 36ers vs SEM Phoenix NBL betting preview – 23/2/2021
AFL 2021 most season behinds betting odds and tips