We had a good start to the Big Bash last time out with the two point bet on the Adelaide Strikers to beat the Brisbane Heat at 2.0 making up for the loss of one point when Peter Siddle didn’t cop for top bowler honours for the Strikers.
It’s Perth Scorchers versus our old pals the Adelaide Strikers again on Boxing Day morning and this is an extremely tough match to call between the two pre-tournament favourites who haven’t started particularly well. The Strikers followed up that win with a defeat against the Melbourne Renegades while Perth have so far lost both of their matches, though admittedly they were both on the road. So, with the odds making them hard to split and no particularly good reason to side with one over the other, we’ll have to look elsewhere for some good bets.
If you’re the sort of punter who wants instant wins and rewards, look away. These won’t be bets for you. But if you’re the sort who like me believes that being patient and consistently backing overpriced bets is the way to go, knowing that many of them may lose but that it’s the big-priced winners that secure you long-term profits, then read on.
Cartwright a stand-out bet
Hilton Cartwright top-scored for Perth last time out batting at five after scoring 53. Backing someone batting that low down in a T20 is fraught with danger, of course. After all, if the top order hang around, whether they’re scoring quickly or not, there simply aren’t enough balls left for a Number 5 to get more than whoever is on the highest score.
But there are good reasons to think this may not be the case with Cartwright. First, there’s every chance he’ll get shifted up the order. Opener Sam Whiteman has failed twice from two knocks, Englishman David Willey hasn’t fared much better batting at three so the Perth management may well decide to promote the in-form man up the order.
But there’s a safety net of sorts even if he doesn’t bat any higher; as hinted just above the Scorchers’ top order isn’t exactly firing so he may well arrive at the crease batting at five with just 20 or so to beat and enough balls to do so.
Cartwright’s 53 was no fluke by the way. He was the Scorchers’ second highest scorer last year batting in that middle-order, just three runs short of the highest scorer, so clearly knows his way around a T20 innings.
And now to the best bit. He’s available at 6.5, 8.0 and 9.0 with three well-known bookies but is as big as 13.0 at the time of writing with Betfair Sportsbook and PaddyPower. The 8.0 would be borderline value given the question marks around where he might bat but the 13.0 is definitely worth chancing.
Odds look long on Short
A lot of what has been said above also applies to the Adelaide Strikers’ Matthew Short. Well, sort of. On the one hand the Strikers’ top order has fared better than the Scorchers’ so he may a) have a higher score to beat b) not see wickets fall as quickly as they may for the Scorchers. But the good news is that he’ll bat at 4 and like Cartwright, is fresh from a good knock himself. He scored a superb 65 off 41 balls last time out and has impressed every time I’ve seen him bat.
He’s arguably not the stand-out value that Cartwright is but he’ll almost certainly have his chances to have a go at getting that top score for his side and 8.0 rates as pretty good value. By the way, he's not a bad price at 15.0 to be man-of-the-match. He also bowls and if he combined a couple of wickets with 40 or 50 odd with the bat he'd be in serious contention. But then again, that would also be reliant on the Strikers winning for him to get the award which is far from guaranteed, so it's not worth being too greedy here.
1pt Back Hilton Cartwright to be Scorchers Top Batsman @ 13.0 with Paddypower/Betfair Sportsbook
1pt Back Matt Short to be Adelaide Strikers Top Batsman @ 8.0 with Ladbrokes