Round 2 of the KFC T20 Big Bash League begins on Boxing Day between the Scorchers and Renegades at the WACA. Action moves to Sydney on Friday night as the Thunder hosts the Strikers at ANZ Stadium, then up to the Gabba on Saturday night for Heat v Hurricanes. Round 1 winners Sixers and Stars wrap up the weekend, batting it out at the SCG on Sunday.
Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades WACA, Thurs 26 Dec, 4.40pm
- The last time these two teams met, the Scorchers dealt the Renegades their sole loss during the BBL|02 home-and-away season. Shaun Marsh’s 85 from 52 balls was the difference as the Scorchers won by 51 runs at the WACA.
- This match will be his last for the Renegades’ English import Jos Buttler, whose innings of 49 last week gave the Renegades a sniff of victory against the Stars. World #2 ranked T20I all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will replace Buttler from Round 3.
- Watch out for the battle of the veteran spinners – Murali v Hogg. Murali’s figures against the Stars were 1/23 from 4 overs at an economy rate of 5.75, while Hogg finished with 3/21 from his 4 overs against the Heat at an economy of 5.25.
- The Marsh brothers were the top scorers for the Scorchers in Round 1
- Pakistani all-rounder Yasir Arafat comes into the Scorchers squad to replace Dwayne Smith
International signing Yasir Arafat could make his KFC Big Bash League debut on Boxing Day after being named in the Perth Scorchers 13-man squad to take on the Melbourne Renegades at #TheFurnace. The unavailability of players has forced two changes to the squad, with Arafat set to take to #TheFurnace just three days after arriving at his new home.
Nathan Coulter-Nile will miss the Renegades match after joining the national squad for the Third Test at the MCG, also starting Boxing Day, while in-form batsman Adam Voges has sustained a shoulder injury that will likely have him miss at least the next fortnight.
Voges’ injury presents another opportunity to young all-rounder Tim Armstrong, who has replaced Voges on the Scorchers’ 18-man list and returns to the Perth fold after being a member of the club’s BBL|02 campaign.
Under the new BBL playing conditions for this season, Voges will be able to resume his place in the squad if he recovers from injury and is fit to resume playing duties before the end of the tournament.
That scenario would have Armstrong bumped from the 18-man list. Armstrong enters the fold in strong form, with a century and three half-tons to his name in the current grade season and performed well in the recent game against the England Performance Team. The 23-year-old also offers a medium pace bowling option if required.
Perth Scorchers 13-man squad: Simon Katich (c), Ashton Agar, Yasir Arafat, Tim Armstrong, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Ryan Duffield, Brad Hogg, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Alfonso Thomas, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman (wk).
Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers ANZ Stadium, Fri 27 Dec, 7.40pm
- Last meeting: Strikers 6/177 d Sydney Thunder 126 by 51 runs at ANZ Stadium
- The Thunder’s last win in the BBL came against the Strikers on 23 December 2011. Since then, it’s been a long time between wins for the Thunder, who are currently on a losing streak of 14 matches.
- The Strikers’ first match on Sunday was rained out after six overs, but openers Alex Hales and Michael Klinger showed they will be a powerful partnership this season, notching up 86 runs from the six overs (Hales 49 from 19 balls and Klinger 32 from 17 balls)
- Hales was on track to beat Travis Birt’s fastest half-century BBL record before he was run out against the Hurricanes last week. Hales’s 49 from 19 balls was ahead of Birt’s 50 from 22 balls
- Should young spinner Adam Zampa get the call up for the Strikers, he’ll face his old teammates after playing for the Thunder last year
- Usman Khawaja continued his run of good form in the Thunder’s first match, top scoring for the game with 66 against the Sixers. Last season he was the Thunder’s highest run scorer with an average of 41.20
Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes Gabba, Sat 28 Dec, 6.15pm
- Last meeting: Heat 2/152 d Hurricanes 3/150 by eight wickets at Blundstone Arena. Luke Pomersbach belted 82 from 42 balls.
- Chris Lynn’s match-winning 81 against the Scorchers is the highest score so far for the tournament and got his team out of a spot of bother when he came to the middle at 3/22
- Heat quicks Alister McDermott and Ben Cutting will again look to use the pace and bounce of the Gabba after they cut through the Scorchers’ line-up. Both pacemen took three wickets each in Round 1, while spinner Daniel Vettori picked up the other wicket
- Rain came before we could see much of the Hurricanes last week. Look out for Ben Laughlin, who was the leading tournament wicket-taker in BBL|03, and Travis Birt who holds the record for the fastest BBL half-century (from 22 balls)
Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Stars SCG, Sun 29 Dec, 7.15pm
- Last meeting: Stars 6/177 d Sixers 5/156 by 21 runs at MCG. Glenn Maxwell was player of the match with 82 from 50 balls
- Maddinson celebrated his 22nd birthday with a Man of the Match winning innings of 61 last Saturday
- The league’s English imports put on a good showing in Round 1, with none better than Luke Wright’s 70 from 32. His Man of the Match performance placed him top of the BBL Fantasy points table in Round 1 with 110 points
- Cameron White’s consistent run of form continued, notching up a half-century in Round 1. During the RYOBI Cup, White hit five consecutive half-centuries in the five round matches he played
- Jackson Bird (4/31 v Renegades) currently holds the tournament’s best bowling figures, while fellow quick John Hastings is currently the most economical bowler at a rate of 3.33 (he picked up 1/10 from 3 overs)
BBL|03 Stats so far
Most Runs: 81, Chris Lynn (Heat)
Most Wickets: 4, Jackson Bird (Stars)
Most Sixes: 6, Chris Lynn (Heat)
Most Total Boundaries (Sixes + Fours): 13 (8x4s + 5x6s), Luke Wright (Stars)
Highest Score: 81, Chris Lynn (Heat)
Best Bowling (Innings): 4/31, Jackson Bird (Stars)
- Yasir Arafat joins Perth Scorchers for KFC Big Bash League (cricketbadger.com)
- BBL|03 launches to strong start as crowds flock (cricketbadger.com)
- Big Bash kicks off with an English influence (cricketbadger.com)
- Big Bash League set to get underway with a bang (cricketbadger.com)
- Perth Scorchers confirm exciting rookie pair for KFC Big Bash League (cricketbadger.com)
- Dwayne Smith to join Perth Scorchers for Big Bash League (cricketbadger.com)
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!
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