Big Bash League Round 1 Match Predictions, Tips and Bets

After the disappointment of the Australia vs South Africa Test Series, most cricket fans will be looking for a “pick me up” and the latest Big Bash tournament has come around at just the right time. It all starts with the Melbourne and Sydney Derbies which are likely to generate big crowds and interest despite the likelihood of one sided contests. The doubleheader of matches on Sunday look like being far tighter and appear quite difficult to predict.

It will be interesting to see how many players from the recent Test Series are made available. Given the strict rotation/resting policy the selectors placed on Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle for Perth, you’d expect to see only a small number if any at all. It could well be the difference between some teams winning or losing with players like David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Starc being significant to T20 structures. Ensure you check the selected teams before placing a bet.

Don’t forget to have a read of our Big Bash League 2012/13 Preview for in-depth team by team analysis!

Melbourne Renegades ($2.54) vs Melbourne Stars ($1.50) at Etihad Stadium, Friday December 7th.
Starting Time: 19:00 (local)

Only Previous Encounter (January 7th, 2012):

Melbourne Stars 5/167 from 20 overs (Hussey 51, Wade 32no, Afridi 2/20)                                            Melbourne Renegades 3/58 from 8.1 overs (Maxwell 28, Warne 1/4)

Melbourne Stars won by 11 runs (D/L method)

The Stars go into BBL2 as raging title favourites and the Renegades will be looking to knock them off their perch. Unfortunately for the Renegades, the Stars have already had a big off season victory by winning the services of both Brad Hodge and Glenn Maxwell from their cross town rivals. These two changes in themselves make a large difference to the strength of both sides. While the Renegades have a much more consistent batting line up this year, it is lacking the talent and hitting power of last year’s squad and will struggle to score a big enough total against the likes of Malinga, Hastings, Faulkner, Bird, McKay and Warne. Aaron Finch getting a fast start is the best hope and will need strong support at the other end to get a 150+ score. Even if they do get a competitive score, the Stars batting looks a class above the likes of Herrick, Darren Pattinson, Rimmington or Drew. The $1.50 odds look slightly generous.

Predicted Result: Stars by 7 wickets/50 runs.
Confidence: 85%

Sydney Sixers ($1.57) vs Sydney Thunder ($2.37) at the SCG, Saturday December 8th.
Starting Time: 19:00 (local)

Only Previous Encounter (January 8th, 2012):

Sydney Sixers7/117 from 16 overs (Rohrer 38, Abbott 2/17)
Sydney Thunder 4/29 from 5.3 overs (Starc 3/17)

Sydney Sixers won by 17 runs (D/L method)

This game, like most Thunder matches, will be determined by when Chris Gayle gets out. While the Thunder appear to have a slightly deeper batting structure for the BBL2, Gayle’s influence with the bat will be the difference. Last season, Brett Lee got Gayle early for a 6 ball duck and the Thunder went on to be 4/29 before rain finished them off after 5.3 overs and the result determined by the Duckworth/Lewis method. The Sixers will be hoping Test stars David Warner and Mitch Starc are available after a taxing decider in Perth. They will make a very strong Sixers team look close to unbeatable. The Sixers have developed a great winning culture over a short period of time and will be too good.

Predicted Result:  Sixers by 6 wickets/35 runs
Confidence: 80%

Brisbane Heat ($1.80) vs Hobart Hurricanes ($1.98) at the Gabba, Sunday December 9th.
Starting Time: 17:00 (local)

Only Previous Encounter (January 6th, 2012):

Brisbane Heat 4/201 from 20 overs (Hayden 76, Robinson 44, Forrest 33, van der Merwe 24)
Hobart Hurricanes 4/198 from 20 overs (Birt 74, Shah 69, Jaques 27, Wells 24, van der Merwe 1/23)

Brisbane Heat won by 3 runs.

If last year’s encounter is anything to go by, this match looks like being a cracker. Arguably the best of the BBL1 matches, it started by Matthew Hayden and Andrew Robinson smashing 100 off the first 8.3 overs before Roelof van der Merwe and Peter Forrest helped guide the total to 201. Hobart looked in trouble at 2/57 in the 8th over before a whirlwind 141 run partnership between Travis Birt and Owais Shah. That left the Hurricanes requiring 4 runs from two balls with Birt firstly being run out by McDermott off his own bowling and Shah followed being caught trying to hit the required boundary off the last ball. This game looks extremely difficult to predict, a real toss of the coin situation. If at Hobart, I’d be confident tipping the Hurricanes, but the Gabba makes this a much tighter contest. Hobart’s batting strength has me looking slightly in their favour. Tough match, I’d be looking to put my money elsewhere.

Predicted Result: Hobart Hurricanes by 2 wickets/10 runs.
Confidence: 55%

Perth Scorchers ($1.73) vs Adelaide Strikers ($2.07) at the WACA, Sunday December 9th.
Starting Time: 18:00 (local)

Only Previous Encounter (January 8th, 2012):

Perth Scorchers 5/184 from 20 overs(North 70, Gibbs 65, Muirhead 2/37)                                                      Adelaide Strikers All Out 142 from 19.3 overs (Klinger 32, Harris 31, Hogg 3/20, Rimmington 2/18, Coulter-Nile 2/28)

Perth Scorchers won by 42 runs.

Another tight game that sees the odds weighted toward the Scorchers due to their mostly good form at home last year. The Scorchers had a convincing victory against Adelaide in BBL1, mainly due to a brilliant opening partnership from North and Gibbs of 102, but it appears the fortunes of each team have changed since then. Adelaide have added depth to both batting and bowling in recruiting the likes of Hughes, Reardon, Pollard, Neser, Tait and the full time commitment of captain Johan Botha. The Scorchers have lost Mitch Marsh and Pat Cummins to injury, international Albie Morkel has been a late withdrawal from the tournament and they have numerous players struggling with domestic form. Based on this, the Strikers appear to be good value at $2.07.

Predicted Result: Adelaide Strikers by 4 wickets/20 runs.
Confidence: 70%

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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Mr Century

Covering all things T20 Big Bash Cricket for The Profits.

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