Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder @ Manuka Oval

The Stars are on the quick back up here with less than 24 hours between their first and second round matches. There is an argument to be made that this puts them at an advantage over the Thunder who are playing their first game but I am not giving it too much weight.

The Thunder are the rank outsiders with the bookies to win this years tournament but still have some quality about their squad. The likes of Hales, Khawaja and Ferguson are all class players at the top of their order.

Manuka Oval hosted the third One Day International last week and the spinners for both sides did quite well in that game. If this is to be the case again then it should help the Thunder. They have a number of spinning options in their side which include Green, Nair and Cook and are overall a pretty solid bowling unit. The Stars do have two quality spinners of their own in Kahn and Zampa.

I had this game priced closer together so looking to be backing the Thunder in the early markets.

Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers @ Blundstone Arena

The Renegades will be looking to bounce back from a pretty dismal attempt to defend their BBL 08 title. The Australian white ball captain Aaron Finch will again lead them and a big season from him at the top of the batting order is vital if the Renegades are to contend this year.

Away from the obvious in Finch, South African Rilee Rossouw joins the Renegades for this season and you’d think he would bat at somewhere between number three and number five in their batting order. It’s his first season of BBL cricket.

Youngsters Mackenzie Harvey and Jake Fraser-McGurk will be to ones to watch with the bat. Harvey played games last year and showed good signs. This is Fraser-McGurk’s debut season. The confident youngster burst onto the scene last year for Victoria making debut 50’s in both the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup. He has the ability to score quickly and is one of the best young talents in the country.

There has been some strong talk that the Perth Scorcher are the team to beat in BBL 10 and it is not hard to see why.

They bring in Joe Clarke (England) who has a domestic T20 strike rate of 149 and Kiwi Colin Munro who has an international T20 strike rate of 156! That is cream on top of what is already a very good batting order that features the like of Josh Inglis, Mitch Marsh & the Ashton’s (Turner & Agar).

The bowling stocks at the Scorchers are equally strong. Andrew Tye looked right on top of his game in the recent internationals. And then there is Behrendorff, Richardson, Agar and Marsh – all have international caps and will do a good job with the ball for the Scorchers this season.

While I think the Renegades will improve on last years performance, I have to be with the Scorchers here. They have no obvious weakness.

Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes @ Blundstone Arena

The Adelaide Strikers begin their season away to the Hurricanes on Sunday.

Bowler Danny Briggs joins them this year who I don’t know much about but he has played international cricket for England all be it some six years ago. Rashid Khan is widely considered the best bowler in the competition and he has resigned. Peter Siddle is another who was outstanding with the ball last year, a T20 revelation!

The Strikers batting line up will look very similar to what it did last year. Englishman Phil Salt bats up the top and hits a long ball. Jake Weatherald is all class and Jono Wells is perhaps one of the most underrated players in the competition. He consistently gets the job done in the middle order.

The Hurricanes made a good recovery to win the opening game of the season on Thursday night. They lost both openers (Short and Jacks) without scoring before new recruits Ingram (54) and Handscombe (24) rebuilt their innings. Another recruit, Tim David, made a quick fire 58 to close the innings. Their list manager would have had to be of been happy with his work last night! Then, an all round solid performance with the ball kept the Sixers to 162, 16 runs short of the Hurricane total.

217 played 207 when these teams met last year which is an exciting proposition this time round. I am favouring the Hurricanes in head to head markets given they have had “the run” and are in front of their home crowd.

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades @ Blundstone Arena

The Sixers played on Thursday Night & began both their batting and bowling innings strongly. Two wickets in the first over with the ball & then were 2-118 with the bat before collapsing through the middle order to fall short by 16 runs. They clearly missed Moses Henriques who controlled many of their batting innings in the middle order last season. He is out injured.

The Renegades play tonight so I don’t have much to add to what I said about them above. This will be the fourth game played at Blundstone Arena in as many days so it will be interesting to see how the wicket is holding up. Typically games played in Hobart are high scoring but a tired wicket could make it somewhat easier for the bowlers.

Happy to sit this game out, no bet.

Suggested Betting Strategy

Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder – 1 Unit | Sydney Thunder @ 2.28

Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers – 2 Units | Perth Scorchers @ $1.77

Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes – 1 Unit| Hobart Hurricanes @ $1.97

*Please note the maximum outlay on a single outcome is 2.5 units