The first semi-final sees table-topping Adelaide Strikers take on this year’s surprise package Sydney Thunder. Adelaide have the all-important home advantage, where they’ve not lost this year. However, Thunder can take some confidence into the game knowing they’re the only side to beat Adelaide this year. Thankfully, the forecast is for a dry and warm night at the Adelaide Oval, which should set us up for an intriguing encounter. <br/><br/>
The Strikers lost one game in the group stages and survived Chris Gayle’s record-breaking innings, however the quality of bowling Gayle faced will worry a few punters. The man with the questionable lid, Greg West, couldn’t get it right against the West Indian and has paid the price by being dropped for tonight’s game. Smith also makes way, which allows Jayawardena and Putland to return to the squad. The Sri Lankan will be a huge boost for the Strikers, they look a little bit light without him and he looked like he was hitting form before being struck by injury. On paper they look light in the bowling department with no Kane Richardson, but lately the spinners have got the job done. <br/><br/>
Sydney Thunder have the Strikers to thank for making finals as Adelaide’s victory meant that Sydney finished ahead of the Renegades to take 4th spot. Sydney are boosted massively by the return of Usman Khawaja, he’s played two games in the competition and scored 171 runs. Unfortunately, they’re still without the legendry South African Kallis, and their latest international recruit Nicholls looks average at best. They boast a powerful batting line-up, which consists of Hussey, Watson, Blizzard, Khawaja and Russell. However as always we worry about their 5th bowler, they’re looking for eight overs from Watson, McDonald, Sandhu and Green. <br/><br/>
Even though the Strikers have the home advantage and have only lost one game all tournament, we’re backing the Thunder to win the first semi-final. Strikers have built their success on spin, whereas the Thunder have actually played spin pretty well, scoring at 7.5 and only losing 12 wickets, against spinners this year. The stand-out bowler in the competition, Rashid, didn’t manage to pick up a scalp last time these two met. The Thunder have five batsman that can all single handily win a game, Khawaja returning to the side is massive, making their price look very inviting.
Top Strikers Batsman
A big game needs a big game player and, in Brad Hodge, the Strikers have got just that. The experienced batsman is a massive $6.5 to top score for Adelaide. Ludeman has been very hit and miss this season, Jayawardene has been hit by injury and even beforehand struggled to go on and score big totals. The only man who worries us when backing Hodge is Travis Head, Head has become quite unpredictable, if he gets going he could easily hit three figures. Still, Brad Hodge offers excellent value.
Top Thunder Batsman
We’ve talked him up to be the difference so we’re going to back him to top score for the Thunder, Usman Khawaja looked a level above in his two games to date, and he’s already got a century to his name in this years Big Bash. It’s hard to see which bowlers will cause the Australian International any difficulty, he might be a relatively small price but he’s having a summer to remember and should find it easy going against this attack.
Top Thunder Bowler
If Adelaide groundsman do their bit this pitch should suite the slower bowlers to help out the likes of Rashid, Holland and Head. This could also help the leg-spin of Fawad Ahmed, the Australian spinner has only taken six wickets in the competition but has looked a threat every game. However, we’re going to back his younger spinning counterpart to be top wicket taker. Chris Green hasn’t bowled too many overs in the competition but Thunder will be looking for a 5th bowler and on a pitch suited for slower bowlers he should come into the game. He took three in the last game, with the Strikers most likely to target him he looks value at $7, especially as he’s $4.5 at Sportsbet.
Travis Head Match Peformance - Spread Betting
Sporting Index makes predictions on a number of events and scenarios within a cricket match. The spread has two prices, a buy and a sell price. Our bet for this fixture is Travis Head. We’re strangely backing Travis Head more for his handy spinners rather than his immense talent with the bat. His bowling has become more popular as the competition has gone on, Adelaide will trun to him with the ball at one point during this fixture. Head also has five catches to his name from the eight games which could add a few more points. You can buy Head at 45 points, You can buy points for any stake, but the more each point is worth, the bigger both your liability and potential return.
So, how does Head get points? The following applies:
- 1 point per run
- 10 points per catch
- 20 points per wicket
- 25 points per stumping
If, for example, he scores 30 runs and takes two catches, and nothing else, you’re in profit if you Buy as he’ll have scored 50 points (more than the 45 point spread). If Head only scores 30 runs he would get 30 points, leaving you on -15 points. Therefore if you staked $10 a point you’d lose $150.
But if Head scores 40 runs, takes a catch and a wicket he’d score 70 points, which would result in a profit of $250 from a $10 stake. Hopefully this makes sense, but click through to the Sporting Index website for <b><a href="http://www.sportingindex.com/new-account-offer-australia?tpid=8308&btag=a_336b_100c_ ">further information</a></b>.