COVID-19 pandemic reeled the sporting calendar into dismay. Players hit the ground after a long wait as several cricketing activities began gradually and many pending series are being conducted. The Big Bash League is also currently underway in full force. The 17th match of the league between Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers will take place at the Adelaide Oval on Monday (December 28).
Strikers are 5th in the points table with two wins and as many losses, while Scorchers, who are languishing at number 7 in the table would be eyeing their first win after losing two matches out of three with one match washed out.
The hosts have dominated Scorchers on many occasions. Since January 2019, both the teams faced each other twice at this ground and the former have emerged victorious both times. In the last five meetings, the Strikers have downed Scorchers 3 times consecutively.
This would be a good chance for the Strikers to accumulate points and put themselves in top position in the points table as the Scorchers are still seeking a way to win with their dilapidated unit.
BATTING A CONCERN
Strikers are reinforced by a decent batting unit studded with Jake Weatherald, who is the top run-scorer in the team with 97 runs at a strike rate of 136.6 in four innings. Jonathan Wells performed well in the last two encounters, while Phil Salt and Harry Nielsen have also contributed their bit.
On the other hand, the biggest concern with Scorchers is their opening batsman Josh Inglis, who did not support Colin Munro in any of the three innings he's played. The 25-year-old’s highest score is 9 this season. Joe Clark and Mitchell Marsh have been inconsistent too. Ashton Turner, however, has supported the batting unit. He is the top run-scorer in his team with 86 runs at a strike rate of 183, including 7 fours and 6 sixes.
Strikers have undoubtedly a great bowling unit that has helped them register two victories in the ongoing event.
Perth Scorchers need to focus on their bowling part that could not trouble batsmen either in the Powerplay or in the death overs in the last two innings. Jhye Richardson has taken the most wickets - 3 for his team in two innings at a strike rate of 15.3. He is also the highest wicket-taker for the Scorchers in the Powerplay taking 8 wickets in the last 18 innings.
Scorchers are going to face a team that has a great bowling unit with a good record at this ground. Peter Siddle has been impressive for Strikers, picking 8 wickets in the last four innings at a strike rate of 11.6 and economy of 8.1. His best bowling figures this season is 5/16 that he grabbed against Hobart Hurricanes. In the last four innings, Strikers' bowlers have troubled the opposing batsmen throughout the game especially in the death overs.
Veteran Siddle has been the highest wicket-taker (15) at this ground in the last 10 innings, taking a wicket every 14.3 deliveries while Wes Agar has also taken 9 wickets at a strike rate of 18.7. Since January 2019, Siddle has grabbed the highest wickets in the death overs (16-20) - 19, in the last 17 innings.
With a strong bowling unit and a decent batting line-up, Strikers could make it difficult for Scorchers in the upcoming encounter.
Adelaide Strikers - Philip Salt, Jake Weatherald, Matt Renshaw, Harry Nielsen (wk), Jonathan Wells, Ryan Gibson, Rashid Khan, Daniel Worrall, Peter Siddle (c), Wes Agar, Danny Briggs.
Perth Scorchers - Colin Munro, Josh Inglis (wk), Joe Clarke, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Cameron Bancroft, Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed.