The regular season comes to a close in the Big Bash League on Wednesday and it does so with a dead rubber with the bottom two in the table colliding as the Sydney Thunder take on the Melbourne Renegades with pride all that is on the line.
These two are guaranteed to finish as the bottom two in the table and unless they win by a huge margin it is the Sydney Thunder who will pick up the wooden spoon. Neither team will be happy with their season but there is a chance to win one last game here.
Clearly this has been a poor season for the Sydney Thunder and you get the feeling there will be significant repercussions once it has concluded. They have lost their last five completed matches and really you would have to say they have offered little fight at any stage. Even having a superstar like Dave Warner back hasn’t really improved them and you wonder if they have anything left to muster up enough to push for one last win of the season.
The big disappointment this season has been the Thunder batting. At no stage have their key players run into a vein of form to get them into position to win matches and if anything the longer the campaign has gone on the unit as a whole has got worse. The bowling hasn’t been brilliant either it has to be said but it is harder to judge the bowlers when they haven’t been getting supported by the batters well enough. An improvement is needed if they are going to win this one.
It has also been a bit of a wreck of a season for the Melbourne Renegades and certainly not one which legendary players Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh would have wanted to bow out with. With it coming after such a promising campaign last time around only serves to make it even more disappointing and as with their opponents in this match you sense there will be changes at the end of the season, and not just the replacing of Finch and Marsh.
The Renegades can’t seem to get out of the habit of losing close matches. Generally when they win they win by a decent margin but whenever a game goes tight they don’t have it in themselves to get over the line, whether that is with someone finishing a game off with the bat or bowling that crucial over towards the end of the innings to rubber stamp a promising position. The positive for Melbourne is they do at least go into this match off the back of a win after they saw off the Stars at the weekend.
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It might be that this ends up being the final match for the Sydney Thunder for Dave Warner and he will want to sign off in style. He should be looking to put in a decent performance even if he is coming back next year to offer up hope for what might be to come.
Jake Fraser-McGurk has signed a new deal with the Melbourne Renegades earlier in the week and after being touted as the next big thing in Australian cricket by Glenn Maxwell in the TV coverage during the Melbourne derby he has a good platform to go big again here.
I was looking at the Melbourne Renegades to win this match but there are thunderstorms forecast for the latter part of this match and I don’t really want to be messed around by DLS in what is a dead rubber so I’ll look away from the match betting and go to the side markets for a punt on this one. I looked at a few things to do with batters struggling but again if we are on the wrong end of the rain the pitch might have changed.
In the end I’ll go with one bet and it comes in the form of Jake Fraser-McGurk to top score for the Melbourne Renegades. He is clearly an exciting talent and with no competitive pressure on him in this match he can swing violently and look to connect with a few hefty shots. One thing we do know is the Showground won’t be big enough to contain him if he gets going. There isn’t anything particularly dangerous in the Thunder attack and with two 50s and two 40s in a team who haven’t batted particularly well this season I think he has every chance of top scoring at 15/4.
Back J.Fraser-McGurk Top Melbourne Renegades Batter for a 2/10 stake at 4.75 with Bet365