Only one point separates Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers before this fixture between the sides at The Gabba in Brisbane and this will be crucial to both in terms of their playoff hopes.
The Heat are coming off a loss to Perth Scorchers by 34 runs, making it their first defeat in four matches. With an even record and eight points, they have one point less than the Strikers.
The visitors snapped their three-match losing streak with a 63-run win over the Melbourne Renegades. With a no-result to go with four wins, they have nine points. Interestingly, these two sides are going to meet twice in three days.
The biggest news for the Heat is the presence of AB de Villiers for his BBL debut. The South African superstar will be expected to come to the aid of captain Chris Lynn (265 runs, SR 161.58). The likes of Matt Renshaw and Max Bryant are continuing to improve too.
Ben Laughlin (ten wickets, ER 9.35) remains their most effective bowler, but also the one with the worst ER. The likes of Ben Cutting and Josh Lalor need to be a bit more incisive for the Heat to have any chance.
The absence of Alex Carey meant the responsibility on Jonathan Wells (292 runs, SR 137.73) has increased in the middle-order. Jake Weatherald needs to get back to scoring those big 50s to lead the Strikers from the front, but the return of Travis Head is a big boost.
Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle have been their best bowlers with 14 and 10 wickets respectively. With Head back in the side, they will be happy to have an alternative spin option.
The Heat had their winning streak snapped by the Scorchers, but otherwise there has been some consistent performance from the hosts. With Lynn going great guns and the excitement around the arrival of AB, not to speak of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the Heat will be confident of their chances. The Strikers have covered Carey’s absence with the impressive return of Head. With the BBL veterans Siddle, Rashid Khan and Head going great guns, the Strikers will hope that they can come get another win on the board.
History & Statistics
- The Heat have won all three H2Hs while winning the toss, but have lost five of the six H2Hs when losing the toss.
- The Heat have had the highest opening partnership in their last three BBL|09 matches.
- The Heat have had the best powerplay in six of their eight BBL|09 matches.
- The Heat have conceded 8.0 sixes per game in BBL|09, by far the worst.
- The Strikers have won four of the last six H2Hs.
- The Strikers have won all four H2Hs at The Gabba.
Without a shadow of doubt, this match will be most remembered and watched for the debut of AB de Villiers in BBL09.
Head started his BBL09 campaign with a brilliant all-round performance laced by excellent captaincy for the Strikers.