Khan missed out…
A close call last time out. Rashid Khan played an excellent cameo with the bat, scoring 21 off just seven balls to get the Strikers to a competitive total of 158, before bowling a spell of four overs and taking one wicket for 18 runs in what was the team’s match-winning contribution with the ball. On another day that all-round effort would have been enough to have won the man-of-the-match award over Jake Weatherald and his 71 off 44 balls. But it wasn’t. By the way, if you’re interested in reading about which players have won the MOM award in the Big Bash so far and what type of players they are in terms of their role for future betting, you can do so here.
Stars and Scorchers
Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers tomorrow. The Scorchers have been awful so far, especially with the bat. The Stars started slowly but then won three in a row so are back in contention for a semi-final spot. Or are they? The bad news for them is that they’re about to lose all their best players to ODI duty for Australia meaning the likes of Maxwell, Handscomb, Zampa and Stonis are all unavailable here.
For what it’s worth, I think the Scorchers should win this as 1.8 favourites simply because a) the Stars have had the core of their side ripped out of them through those call-ups and b) their batsmen simply can’t fail again on the balance of probability. But I’m not backing a side who has won just once in six at those odds.
Perth Top Bowler
Cracking the Perth top bowler market may be a bit more straightforward than it seems. Their top two bowlers- Behrendoff and Richardson – are both on international duty so that’s them out of the equation. The great Andrew Tye looks completely out of sorts, going at over 8 an over and taking just four wickets from six games, a poor return by his standards. One to be left alone at a very short-looking 3.75.
Usman Qadir, son of the great Pakistani spinner, will surely be recalled after he was dropped having played just one match. But he won’t have played any competitive cricket for three weeks and will surely be low on confidence.
Englishman David Willey should get a game after being left out last time but not only is he bowling poorly but he rarely gets more than two overs anyway. Ashton Agar is one who deserves some respect after bowling pretty well so far and taking five wickets. But that still won’t do it for me.
The man to go with is Nathan Coulter-Nile, who ticks the most boxes at a good price. He’s the joint- highest wicket-taker of the team with eight (top of those available given that Behrendoff isn’t playing) and is just about the only player certain to bowl his fill allocation of overs, giving us a good run for our money. Bar Agar, he’s also the only bowler to have played every match so far meaning he should be in good rhythm. He’s 5.0 with Bet365 and that’s a bet. Remember that with Bet365 it would go down to fewest runs conceded, if there was a tie for number of wickets between two or more bowlers.
Stars Top Batsman
This process of elimination strategy could also work when working out who could be the Stars’ top batsman. Three of their top four batsmen- Maxwell, Handscomb and Stoinis- are away playing for Australia. Opener Ben Dunk is in horrendous form, averaging just 12. Nic Maddinson is a fine player but no price at 4.5 for someone playing his first match of the tournament after being injured up to now.
Some will feel that it might be worth taking a punt on the effervescent Dwayne Bravo, hoping he might come in at five and not having much to beat, score 30 or so to take honours. But that’s far too many ifs and buts for my liking.
I’d rather go with the tried and trusted Nick Larkin. He’s the team’s second highest runscorer, has played every game, will surely bat at three and all things considered, is a very reasonable price at 4.5
Back Nathan Coulter-Nile to be Perth Scorchers Top Bowler @ 4.5 with Bet365
Back Nick Larkin to be Melbourne Stars top batsman @ 4.5 with Paddypower/Betfair Sportsbook
You can read more Big Bash tips and other cricket betting-related content from Jamie at www.bettingmaestro.com