About the Match
The Renegades have 6 points after seven matches and have just one more game to try and get to the top four; they will need to win the last league match of the series against top-ranked Strikers, who have 12 points from seven matches, on 18th January at Melbourne. The Renegades are in fifth position, closely behind Thunder who have completed all matches and have 8 points; the hosts face this crucial match, which if won by a big margin will surely keep their hopes alive. Strikers on the other hand have already secured their semi-final berth after a phenomenal run this season and will be eager to continue with their winning performance.
They defeated Thunder in the last match on Monday by 5 wickets with 4 balls to spare after chasing down a challenging 174-run target thanks to a formidable top-order attack by Cameron White and Dwayne Bravo, who scored 61 runs and 47 runs respectively. Earlier, the openers Gayle and Cooper started the chase well with a 46-run opening stand; Tom Beaton’s run-out in the 19th over caused some hiccups but Peter Nevill and McDermott did just enough to take the team home safely.
The bowling department did well but could’ve been better as Doherty and Tremain gave away too many runs; Bravo put up an all-round performance as he took 2-26 while Rimmington, Gannon and Cooper took a wicket each to restrict the opposition to 173 runs in the end. Gayle is an important asset for them and he needs to bring in the big runs to help his team build a strong foundation.
The bowlers will have to bring out all their firepower in order to contain the Strikers in the upcoming match. They have not played Strikers so far in the league and this being do-or-die match for the hosts, they definitely need to come out all guns blazing if batting first or chasing a target.
They have a very strong net run-rate and have been undefeated for the last 4 games in a row; they will not take this last match of the league stage any less seriously although they have already made it to the semi-finals. The Strikers defeated Hurricanes by 6 wickets in the last outing thanks to an unbeaten 57 by Ludeman; Dean, Head and Hodge contributed well while Lehmann kept his cool under pressure to help them get across the finish line in time.
Earlier, Michael Neser took 3-26 to stifle the opposition while Adil Rashid was the most economical with 2 wickets and only 4 runs per over. Greg West and Laughlin took 2 wickets each and helped restrict Hurricanes to 143 runs. The bowlers have done extremely well till now and they look confident to keep the wickets coming on Monday too.
Their strong batting line-up consisting of in-form players like Ludeman, Head and Hodge will surely try to post a competitive total if batting first against Renegades; they are strong chasers and if the middle-order can keep the scoreboard ticking then nothing can stop them from winning this match.
The Renegades will be under pressure to perform for survival in front of the home crowd whereas Strikers have nothing to lose; although the contest could go down to the wire, we feel that the Strikers will do their best to outwit the hosts and win the match on Monday.