Brisbane Heat will be welcoming Hobart Hurricanes once again, in the 20th match of the Big Bash League 2020-21 at The Gabba, on Wednesday (December 29).
Heat, who are languishing at number 6 (with 5 points) in the points table would be quite confident this time after beating Hurricanes in the last encounter to register their first win out of four matches this season.
Hurricanes have won three out of 5 matches this season. The previous match they lost was against Heat at the same venue. However, they are at number 4 in the points table having 11 points in their kitty.
In their last five meetings, the Heat have defeated Hurricanes three times consecutively since December 2018.
The upcoming encounter could go either way as both teams have a decent bowling attack, but they have issues in their batting line-ups.
BATTING A PROBLEM
Hurricanes' openers have been inconsistent in the last five games, while Heat have a fickle middle-order.
In the previous matches, Max Bryant and Sam Heazlett have given their side decent starts. Skipper Chris Lynn so far has played only two games scoring 20 and 69, respectively at number 3 for Heat in the first two games. However, he is out with a hamstring strain for this game.
Heat are facing problems with their middle-order as well. They tried Simon Milenko, who could not make more than 1 in the third game. Dan Lawrence also failed at number three. Wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson, however, has performed on a few occasions in the middle.
On the other hand, Hurricanes’ opener Will Jacks failed to help his side in the Powerplay. In the last 4 innings, he was dismissed twice for a duck. D’Arcy Short too has flopped in the last three innings. However, in the second match against the Strikers, he scored 72 runs, while in the last match against Heat he shone with both bat and ball with a 27-run knock and three scalps.
The tourists' middle-order is reinforced by Colin Ingram, Ben McDermott and Tim David, who helped them register victory in three matches.
BOWLING LOOKS GREAT
Both sides have great bowling units. Hurricanes' allrounder James Faulkner is the second-highest wicket-taker (8 wickets at a strike rate of 11.6) in the ongoing tourney. Left-arm pacers have been more successful at this ground taking a wicket every 12.6 deliveries. However, his injury could keep him away from the next match. To win, the Hurricanes will have to ruin Heat’s top-order as the hosts already have a brittle middle-order.
Contrastingly, Heat’s bowling army should pose a potent threat to the Hurricanes' opening pair as Xavier Bartlett and Jack Wildermuth have been devastating in the Powerplay this season.
So this could be an interesting contest with the hosts eyeing their second win of the season on their home ground, while Hurricanes will be looking to take revenge for their last disappointment against the same opponents.
Brisbane Heat: Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Dan Lawrence, Jimmy Peirson (C), Matthew Kuhnemann, Xavier Bartlett, Simon Milenko, Mark Steketee, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Hobart Hurricanes: Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Colin Ingram, Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb (C), Tim David, Scott Boland, Johan Botha, James Faulkner, Nathan Ellis, Riley Meredith.