About the Match
The match between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Renegades is the last league match in this season of the Big Bash and irrespective of what happens before that, both the teams are going to be in with a shot at qualifying for the knockouts. The odds are stacked against the Brisbane Heat but that is not something that will stop them from trying.
The situation for Brisbane Heat to qualify is more complicated than just winning this match. Not only do they have to beat the Melbourne Renegades but they also have to improve their net run rate significantly. The best case scenario for the Heat would be a loss for the Hobart Hurricanes in which case the Heat will have a reasonable shot at leapfrogging them.
In the more likely scenario where the Hobart Hurricanes win their last match against the Melbourne Stars, the Brisbane Heat will have to hope for a near miracle win against the Renegades.
To help them in this endeavor, they have Chris Lynn returning from yet another injury layoff. He stroked an 83 from 28 balls in a warm-up game where his fitness was assessed and has declared himself fit for this upcoming game.
While Chris Lynn’s presence is a very big boost for Brisbane Heat, he is not the only weapon in their armory. They also have Brendon McCullum, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, and Jimmy Pearson all of whom can score runs at a blistering pace,
We are sure that Brisbane Heat would like to chase in this match because that will give them a clear idea of what needs to be done to qualify. This strategy will also allow their bowlers to bowl aggressively to try and limit the Renegades batsmen as well.
Yasir Shah and Mitchell Swepson are going to be the two bowlers that are the most important for Brendon McCullum in his quest to take wickets. You can rest assured he is going to try and take wickets rather than sit back and keep the runs down.
Of course, the other bowlers will also have a large part to play and ensure that they do not let the pressure dissipate.
The Melbourne Renegades won a very important game in their last match which ended the hopes of the Sydney Thunder. They scored 189 and then defended it pretty competently to leave themselves an excellent chance at qualifying.
Even if the Renegades lose this match, there is a very good chance that they will make the finals.
There is no getting around the fact that the Renegades are going to be without their best two batsmen in this match. Aaron Finch is injured and Cameron White is on national duty which means that Marcus Harris, Tom Cooper and the rest will have to bat out of their skins to be able to outscore the Heat batting lineup.
Dwayne Bravo, Jake Wildermuth, and Kieron Pollard are all very competent batsmen and they may have to prove their worth in this match.
The bigger problem, though, for the Renegades is going to be their bowling. Their most economical bowler was Mohammad Nabi who has been swapped out for Kieron Pollard. In his absence, the Renegades may find it difficult to stem the flow of runs.
Kane Richardson took a four-wicket haul in the last match and will need to back that up with another stellar performance. Dwayne Bravo, who has 14 wickets in this tournament so far, has been uncharacteristically expensive in the last few games. His mix of slow balls is becoming somewhat predictable and he too will be under pressure to lift his performance in this crunch game.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Gabba is going to be excellent for batting and offer a decent amount of bounce to the bowlers. The spinners find themselves in the game at all times because of the bounce and the large playing surface which makes hitting sixes somewhat difficult. The weather is expected to be excellent for this match as it has been during the entire tournament so far.
The Melbourne Renegades have won the last 5 matches against the Brisbane Heat and have never lost at the Gabba in the past. For this match, though, we feel that the Brisbane Heat are an excellent team to back for the victory.
Brisbane Heat to win.