BBL 7, 1st Semi-Final, Preview: Perth Scorchers face the Hurricanes at their new home
The Scorchers will be hoping to continue their dominance over the Hurricanes as they face-off in the semifinal.
Updated - Jan 31, 2018 5:30 pm
After a riveting league round of 40 matches, the BBL 7 has reached its knockouts stage which is starting tomorrow with the Perth Scorchers and the Hobart Hurricanes taking each other on in the first semi-final at the Perth Stadium. The Perth Stadium is the new home ground for the Scorchers where they will be playing all their BBL home games in future. Previously it was WACA where they were based at and they had a fantastic record there which they would replicate at the Perth Stadium too.
The Scorchers finished the league round at the top of the table, while the Hurricanes finished at no. 4, so it’s obvious that the former will walk into the contest as the favorites, but the Hurricanes are the dark horse. On paper, they don’t look a mighty strong unit, but they have got a couple of game changers with bat and ball and they will back those players to rise to the occasion.
As the England tour of Australia has come to an end, some of the international players are available for selection for the Scorchers. The Marsh brothers are back and there are no doubts about both of them walking straight into the XI for this big game.
Shaun Marsh may open the batting with Michael Klinger, while Mitchell Marsh will bat at 5. The Scorchers will, however, be without the services of the left arm spinner Ashton Agar who is off to join the Australian national T20 squad that will tour New Zealand for the tri-series against England and the Blackcaps. The Southpaw all-rounder has been replaced in the squad by the right arm off spinner Will Bosisto who is a handy middle-order batsman as well.
Predicted XI: Adam Voges (C), Cameron Bancroft (WK), Will Bosisto, Tim Bresnan, Hilton Cartwright, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner
The Hurricanes have also got Tim Paine back. Paine has been busy with national commitments right through the Australian summer, but he is not a part of the Kangaroo squad for the New Zealand T20 tri-series and thus has been roped in by the Hurricanes. He will definitely bring in a lot of experience with him as far as batting is concerned, but it will also be interesting to see if he takes over the gloves or Matthew Wade continues to stand behind the sticks.
Paine has batted at the top of the order for the Hurricanes in the past and that’s where he will be slotted again. He is not a big power hitter and not suited for the middle and lower order.
The Hurricanes have made one more addition to their squad and that is Riley Meredith. The 21-year old hasn’t played in BBL yet, but might be given his first cap tomorrow. He is an exciting prospect with the ball and is capable of cranking up speeds over 140 KPH on a consistent basis.
Predicted XI: George Bailey (C), Jofra Archer, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Clive Rose, Tim Paine, Matthew Wade
Focus will be on
Michael Klinger (Perth Scorchers)
Michael Klinger has been dealing with some tough moments off the ground as his wife is suffering from serious illness, but the right-hander has shown tremendous professionalism to still turn up for the Scorchers and he has been in decent nick as well. He has proven to be a big game player for the Scorchers on a number of occasions before and the management will be hoping that the wily old fox does it one more time for the franchise.
Tim Paine (Hobart Hurricanes)
Tim Paine got a surprise recall to the Australian Test and ODI squad this summer and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. While his keeping in both formats against England was superb, he played some decent knocks with the bat too. He has been hitting the ball alright and a lot of the Hurricanes fans will be keen to see how the veteran goes tomorrow as he is set to open the innings with D’Arcy Short. Paine is a good timer of the ball and while he will like to find those early boundaries in the power play, his ultimate aim will be to drop anchor and hold one end up for the team through the middle overs for the other batters to play around him.
Head to Head
Total games played – 8| Perth Scorchers won – 6| Hobart Hurricanes won – 2
Timings of the match: 01:50 PM IST
TV – SonyESPN
Online – SonyLIV