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The second semi-final of the Big Bash will be played between the Adelaide Strikers and the Melbourne Renegades and will be keenly contested by two teams that underwent a massive reorganization in their squads before the season. The fact that both the teams are competing for a place in the final is a testament to the success that they have been able to achieve.
The Adelaide Strikers secured a home semi-final and will hope that the crowd support provides them the extra edge they need. The Strikers have been very impressive this season but that still does not make them favorites for this match. They will be without their two best batsmen, Travis Head and Alex Carey, as well as their big fast bowler, Billy Stanlake. All three of them have been included in the Australian squad for the upcoming T20’s.
The loss of these three players is going to be difficult for the Strikers to overcome, especially in the batting department. They do have some very decent players in their lineup like Colin Ingram, Jonathan Wells, and Jake Weatherald but it is clear that the Renegades are stronger in this respect of the game.
For the Strikers to win this match they will need their bowling to step up and balance out the loss of their leading batsmen. With Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Peter Siddle, Michael Neser, and Wes Agar the Strikers have a very potent bowling attack.
This attack, even without Billy Stanlake, is probably the best in the competition. We think that having someone like Rashid Khan who is very difficult to score off and picks some wickets as well at regular intervals could prove to be the difference in this match.
Jake Weatherald, Jonathon Dean, TM Head, Colin Ingram, Harry Nielsen, JW Wells, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin.
The Renegades have never won the Big Bash and would consider this semi-final as their best opportunity to get one step closer. The Melbourne Renegades have been far more inconsistent than the Adelaide Strikers but that is largely down to their bowling.
Their batting is quite strong and they will welcome back Cameron White into the squad for this game as well. This means that White, Harris, Cooper, and Short are all in excellent form going into the business end of the tournament.
They will be tested by the Adelaide Strikers bowling but they definitely have what it takes to keep hitting back. Even the lower middle order with Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Jack Wildermuth is very good and allows the top half to go hard at the opposition.
Where the Renegades will be stretched is the bowling front. Kane Richardson was in excellent form for them and had two four-wicket hauls in the last two matches but he is going to be playing for Australia in the T20 series.
In his absence, players like Chris Tremain, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Jon Holland, and Jake Wildermuth will have a lot more responsibility to carry.
The role of the two former West Indian international all-rounders cannot be underestimated in this match. Both of them can bowl their full quota of overs and contribute with the bat as needed. In fact, Dwayne Bravo is the leading wicket-taker in the competition and his mix of slower balls is still very difficult for any of the opposition batsmen to face.
Marcus Harris, Tim Ludeman, TLW Cooper, CL White, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, JD Wildermuth, BJ Webster, CP Tremain, Joe Mennie, Jon Holland.
The pitch at the Adelaide Oval has been excellent for batting and the small side boundaries allow the big hitters to really have a big impact. We think the same will be on offer for this important semi-final and bring both sides into the match. The weather is forecast to be clear on match day and we should get a full match in without any interruptions.
We believe that on a batting pitch it is the stronger bowling side that actually has a better chance of winning. In this case that is the Adelaide Strikers. Rashid Khan will be the pivotal bowler and the contest will be essentially between the Strikers bowlers and the Renegades batsmen. The Strikers would love to chase as that will give their batting an exact target to aim for.
The head to head between the teams is 4-3 in favor of the Strikers who also won their game against the Renegades in the league stages pretty convincingly.
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