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|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||46||1||11.50|
The Big Bash League grand final is going to be played between the Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes, two teams that thoroughly deserve to be competing for the title this season. The Adelaide Strikers have the home advantage in this crucial encounter although they will be missing some key players. The Hurricanes have already beaten the tournament favorites, Perth Scorchers, in their semi-final and will have to play another brilliant game to overcome the Strikers. Neither of the two teams has ever won the BBL in the past. Which one will be crowned champion on Sunday?
The Adelaide Strikers were billed as the underdogs in their match against the Melbourne Renegades purely because of missing some key players to national duty. As it turned out, Travis Head was released by Cricket Australia to play the match and he turned in his best performance to lead the Strikers to the final.
We are certain that Travis Head and Alex Carey will be available to play for the Strikers in the final as well considering the fact that Australia’s second T20 is almost 3 days after the BBL 07 final.
This will be a big boost for the Adelaide Strikers that are set to miss Rashid Khan and Billy Stanlake for the big final. The highest scorer of the season for the Strikers and easily their best bowler in this tournament are not going to be available. Not too many teams would be able to recover from this loss but the Strikers still have some genuine quality up their sleeves.
Ben Laughlin will take up the mantle of the lead bowler for the Strikers once again and even though it will be impossible to replace Rashid Khan, the likes of Peter Siddle, Travis Head, Wes Agar, and Michael Neser should be able to put up a strong showing.
The real challenge for the Strikers will come in the event that Travis Head and Alex Carey get out early. Their batting will then depend heavily on Colin Ingram and Jake Weatherald. Both these two players have had a middling season and while there have been sparks of brilliance, the inconsistency would leave Strikers fans very nervous.
The Adelaide Strikers will have the advantage of playing in front of a raucous home crowd and will know the conditions at the Adelaide Oval like the back of their hand but they will still be up against it as they try to stop an in-form Hobart Hurricanes side.
Matthew Wade, Tim Paine, GJ Bailey, Ben McDermott, DT Christian, Simon Milenko, D'Arcy Short, Jofra Chioke Archer, Clive Rose, Thomas Rogers, Riley Meredith.
The Hobart Hurricanes put in a perfect performance in their semi-final and unlike the Adelaide Strikers that got through by the skin of their teeth, the Hurricanes have marched into the championship bout with ease.
Mathew Wade took up the responsibility of filling Darcy Short’s massive boots and did an amazing job. His 71 took the fight straight to the Perth Scorchers and the demolition job was then finished off by Ben McDermott. We believe that McDermott has it in him to be an international cricketer of repute for Australia in the future because his power hitting ability is truly something special. These two batsmen will once again be the two most important wickets in the final.
Of course, the biggest news for the Hurricanes is that Darcy Short has been made available for the BBL final. It is possible that Short will make his debut for Australia and then jet off straight to Adelaide for the finals. We are unsure as to what toll that will take on his body but having the highest run scorer, highest six-hitter, and the player with most centuries in this tournament is surely a plus!
Tim Paine looked scratchy in his first inning but he is an excellent batsman as well. George Bailey at number 3 is unconvincing but the lower middle order of Dan Christian, Simon Milenko, and Nathan Reardon is very strong.
The Hurricanes are easily a better batting side than the Strikers.
What they gain in the batting over their opponents, though, they lose in the bowling. A strange decision to bench Tymal Mills and Cameron Boyce was taken for the semi-final but now that it proved successful, we do not see any changes for the finals either.
This means that the Adelaide Strikers have the advantage of being able to target three inexperienced bowlers who are going to be playing the biggest match of their lives so far. Jofra Archer is the one bowler who is going to be looked towards by the Hurricanes fans to lead their bowling attack and hopefully take some early wickets to set back the Strikers.
Jonathon Dean, Jake Weatherald, TM Head, Colin Ingram, JW Wells, Jake Lehmann, Alex Carey, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin, Liam O'corner.
The weather is not going to be a concern in Adelaide for the finals and the pitch is expected to be superb for batting as well. The conditions have been favoring the batsmen all-throughout in Adelaide and it was here that the superior bowling attack of the Strikers stood out. That could prove to be the difference between them once again this time.
The Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes played against each other twice this season and won one match each. The Adelaide Strikers hold a 5-3 advantage over the Hobart Hurricanes in traditional encounters as well. At the Adelaide Oval, the Hurricanes have only won one match in four attempts.We believe that the pressure of playing a big final is going to immense and this where the more experienced Adelaide Strikers side has an advantage. They have a better bowling lineup, a decent batting unit, and home advantage.