T20 Big Bash tips by Richard Mann: Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers

David Willey
David Willey

The Big Bash swings back into action on Boxing Day and two of the biggest hitters in the competition face off in Perth for what is already a crunch clash.

Recommended bets: T20 Big Bash

2pts David Willey Man of the Match at 12/1


Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers (Dec 26)

Despite being free of the injuries that hampered another excellent campaign last year, the Perth Scorchers have endured a wretched start to this season's competition with defeats to the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers already leaving them with work to do in order to force their way back into the reckoning.

Nevertheless, the Scorchers are the most successful side in the history of the Big Bash, having lifted the trophy three times in seven years, and there is too much quality in their ranks for them to stay down for long.

Their bowling - particularly in the pace department - remains strong while the likes of Michael Klinger and Ashton Turner should ensure the batting clicks into gear sooner rather than later.

Michael Klinger
Michael Klinger

Playing their first home game of the season is another reason to think the Scorchers could be on the cusp of finding their best form but clearly, they are far from unbeatable, though the same comments can be made about Wednesday's opponents, the Adelaide Strikers.

The Strikers were deserving winners of this competition last year but despite kicking off this season with victory over the Brisbane Heat, they bowled poorly when allowing the Melbourne Renegades to pull off a late heist in Adelaide on Sunday.

Barring the excellent Rashid Khan - who picked up 2-13 from his four overs - the Strikers wilted under pressure and the staggering decision to leave out the excellent Peter Siddle backfired badly.

Siddle will surely return for the trip to Perth, especially if the surface offers a similar amount of assistance to the seamers as we saw at this venue in the recent Test match between Australia and India.

Peter Siddle

With that in mind, the quicks on both sides might well be licking their lips and David Willey looks worth small bet to claim the Man of the Match award at 12/1.

The England all-rounder has been a key figure at the Scorchers over the last few years, his ability to swing the new ball and pick up early wickets coupled with his dynamic batting making him the perfect overseas signing.

Willey hasn't fired so far this year but has shown glimpses of his best with the bat at number three while his bowling should be suited by the return to Perth.

Despite not being afforded an opportunity with the new ball so far this season, the potential for a lively surface here will surely encourage the Scorchers to go to Willey early - especially with the Strikers' top order being packed with left-handers - while his dangerous batting gives him another chance to get in the mix for Man of the Match honours.

12/1 looks well worth chancing.

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Stars (Dec 27)

The Melbourne Stars have started this year's competition very much as expected, lacking star quality and shorn of the bowling ammunition needed to make an impact in a tournament as strong as this.

Captain Glenn Maxwell has a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders but despite blasting 47 from 31 balls on Christmas Eve, still wasn't able to prevent his side losing to the Hobart Hurricanes.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell in action

He needs some of his lesser lights to start shining quickly with a trip to the Sydney Sixers never an easy task.

The Sixers aren't packed with marquee names either but a strong work ethic and streetwise cricket means they continually pack a punch while England's Joe Denly provides plenty of franchise experience at the top of the order.

The Stars will be desperate for a win here but a low-scoring Sixers victory looks more likely.

Posted at 1030 GMT on 24/12/18


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