KFC Big Bash League 2017/18
BRISBANE HEAT V MELBOURNE STARS 6:40PM
The Brisbane Heat will kick-off their quest for a BBL title hosting the Stars in their opening game. The Heat’s batting line-up terrorised the competition last season, with the inclusion of former Kiwi skipper Brendan McCullum. Partner in crime, Chris Lynn will be hoping to have recovered from a shoulder injury to be fit for the opening game. The Heat have bought well in the off-season adding Pakistani spin-duo Yasih Shar and Shadab Khan. The Heat will be looking to go one better after a super over semi-final loss last season. The green half of Melbourne have added last season’s leading run-scorer, Ben Dunk to their line-up. Glen Maxwell and Kevin Pietersen lead an impressive middle order that includes international all-rounders Marcus Stonis, John Hastings and James Faulkner. If McCullum and Lynn fire then the Stars could be leaving this game empty- handed.
HOBART HURRICANES V MELBOURNE RENEGADES 6:40PM
The Renegades will be hoping to make a serious dent in this season’s edition of the BBL. The Renegades have made waves with a host of new recruits including Mohammad Nabi. Nabi is one of two players from Afghanistan making his debut in this season’s edition of the BBL. The Renegades won’t be short of experience with 42-year old Brad Hodge joining crowd favourite Brad Hogg in the Renegades middle order. The Hurricanes will be led by the smiling assassin George Bailey. Big things are expected of young gun Ben McDermott. McDermott announced himself to the BBL world with a stunning century, against the Renegades last season. Led by Aaron Finch the Renegades will be looking to get the early jump on the competition. The experience in the Renegades line-up gives them the edge in this clash.
ADELAIDE STRIKERS V SYDNEY THUNDER 6:40PM
The Strikers are banking on youth to revitalise their fortunes in 2017/2018. Travis Head assumes the captaincy this season for the Strikers, making him the SA skipper in all three formats. The Strikers have secured the signature of boom Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. Khan has dominated the T20 format across three competitions and will be the second player from Afghanistan joining the competition for the first time. Shane Watson leads a Thunder side packed with a dynamic middle order that includes Kurtis Patterson and Aiden Blizzard. Usman Khawaja will open the batting after his duties with the national team have finished. The loss of Andre Russell has been offset by the signing of Kiwi quick Mitch McClenaghan. The Strikers will be looking to turn things around with a win at home.
SYDNEY SIXERS V PERTH SCORCHERS 3:10PM
A replay of last season’s final, the Sixers will be eager to square the ledger with the Scorchers. While they may have lost Brad Haddin, Ryan Carters, and Michael Lumb to retirement, they still have one of the best bowling line-ups in the BBL. Sean Abbott remains a handful at this level with his pace and bounce. If the Sixers can regain the services of Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon during the tournament then they’ll be a threat for the finals. It’s easy to see why the Scorchers remain the most successful franchise in the competition. They have found a formula that works. The Scorchers squad is unchanged from last season. The only issue for the champs will be injuries. With question marks over the fitness of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff, they’ll be relying on Mitchell Johnson for the wickets. Mitchell Marsh adds the x-factor to an exciting Scorchers line-up. The Scorchers have the big-game players to leave Sydney with a win
MELBOURNE RENEGADES V BRISBANE HEAT 6:20PM
Expect the crowd to get some catching practice as Aaron Finch goes up against Brendan McCullum and Chris Lynn. The Renegades will be eager to send a message to the competition with a strong performance against the Heat. The Heat won’t be feeling the b, with a dangerous line-up. Former Aussie batsman Joe Burns will be keen to prove a point to national selectors and Ben Cutting has shown the potential to be one of the best allrounders in the country. This match could potentially be decided by the spinners. The Renegades have made a handy acquisition in John Holland. Holland is a proven matchwinner in first-class cricket. With Brad Hogg and Kane Richardson, the Renegades have the talent to frustrate the Heat. The hometown support will give the Renegades that extra incentive for a close win.