Losing three matches in a row will be disastrous for champions Melbourne Renegades as they prepare to face the Hobart Hurricanes in a critical fixture on Christmas Eve at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
The Hurricanes have a 1-1 record coming into this match. They started the season with a comprehensive 25-run win over the Sydney Sixers, but were thrashed by the Melbourne Stars by 52 runs in the next. The Renegades are 0-2 after starting with losses to Sydney Thunder (six wickets) and Perth Scorchers (11 runs).
The Hurricanes will be worried about their batting displays having scored 129 and 111 in their two matches and losing 19 wickets in the process. While D’Arcy Short (60 runs, SR 122.44) remains their top-order glue, questions will be asked about the contributions from the remaining batting line-up.
Qais Ahmad and Riley Meredith have shared nine wickets between them and will remain the Hurricanes’ best chance to come back in the series. Inconsistencies remain a concern, even as they come up against a struggling Renegades side.
The champions have started with two losses, but if anything, they should be confident about their batting. Scores of 185 and 169 suggest that Renegades have the batting powerhouses to get back on track. Shaun Marsh (97 runs, SR 136.61) and Beau Webster (84 runs, SR 178.72) have been amongst the runs.
Kane Richardson (4/22) got back to form in his last match, but the Renegades will pray that the bowling attack is a bit more consistency. The form of Harry Guerney is another big positive for the Melbourne side.
The Renegades have lost both their matches in the BBL season so far, but their batting looked good. Marsh is proving to be a great addition to the side. Concerns remain over the effectiveness of their bowlers. As for the Hurricanes, their batting is yet to fire. D’Arcy Short will feel the extra burden, but the hosts will have a chance only if he keeps scoring. All in all, this promises cracker of a game.
History & Statistics
- Hurricanes have won 22 of 31 matches they have the toss, losing just eight.
- Renegades have won six of the last eight H2Hs.
- Renegades have won four of the last five H2Hs at this venue.
- Five of the last seven H2Hs have been won by the visiting side of the day.
- Four of the last five H2Hs have been won by the chasing side.
- Six of the eight results in this BBL season favoured the team batting first.
Ahmad had a great start to the season, picking up five wickets so far. His ER is 5.75, which makes him a very attractive proposition.
Marsh made the most of the first two matches scoring 42 and 55 so far. His ability to switch gears – almost unnoticed – makes him a serious player to watch.