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Big Bash League: All on the line for Renegades and Strikers

A place in the Big Bash League play-offs is up for grabs when the Renegades and Strikers clash at Marvel Stadium on Tuesday evening.

It could not be much tighter as both sides play their final game of the regular season with five teams still needing to secure their place in finals.

The Renegades missed out on a chance to book their place with one game remaining as they slipped to a narrow 10-run loss to the Perth Scorchers in a thrilling game on Sunday evening. Aaron Finch’s side almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at Optus Stadium but can take plenty of heart from their performance heading into the game against the Strikers. 

Victory for the Scorchers, who are priced at 13/10 to win BBL12, means they finished top of the ladder and are now guaranteed two home finals, the first of which will be against the Sydney Sixers on Saturday. That fixture is the only guarantee heading into this week’s fixtures and it could not be more exciting.

The make-up of the play-offs will be decided over the next few nights and the Strikers simply have to win to keep alive their hopes of playing finals.

Tension is starting to build so let’s take a closer look at the do-or-die clash between the Renegades and Strikers.

What: Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers
Where:Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When:19:15 (AEST) Tuesday 24th January, 2022
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports
Odds: Renegades 1/1, Adelaide 41/50

Finch hits form at right time

The Renegades sit on 12 points from the 13 games they have played so far and need a victory against the Strikers to guarantee a place in the top five. There is a chance they could finish as high as third and secure a home ‘knockout’ final to be played on 29th January, so nothing less than a victory will do.

The fact they have lost their last two games is far from ideal, but the manner in which they lost against the Scorchers should not dent confidence. Indeed they should take plenty of heart from it.

They looked to be dead and buried after the Scorchers came out firing at Optus Stadium. The home side made 212 runs for the loss off five wickets from their 20 overs, but the Renegades were not done and made the majority of the 32,000 crowd sweat in the dying overs.

Finch was the star for the Renegades with an unbeaten 76 off just 35 deliveries that included seven fours and five sixes. Such a performance is just what Finch and the Renegades needed and it could be required again when they face the Strikers.

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He is priced at 15/4 to be the Renegades leading run scorer on Tuesday night. Another huge bonus was the performance of Shaun Marsh who impressed when returning from a hamstring injury. The opener made 54 runs off 34 deliveries, including seven fours and one six.

Will Sutherland also chipped in with a tidy 30 runs off 18 balls after Sam Harper and Matt Critchley failed to deliver. Who finishes where could come down to the net run rate and the fact that the Renegades fought back bravely from 4-96 to run the Scorchers close, may turn out to be crucial.

Melbourne Rengades (probable) Aaron Finch (c), Fawad Ahmed, Matt Critchley (ENG), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Martin Guptill (NZ), Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Ruwantha Kellapotha (SL), Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Jack Prestwidge, Corey Rocchiccioli, Tom Rogers, Will Sutherland, Jon Wells.

Strikers must stop the rot

The Strikers have hit a shocking run of form at the worst possible time and now need to produce one of the performances of the campaign if they are to secure a place in finals. Even that may not be enough.

The Strikers need to beat the Renegades and then hope other results go their way if they are to make the top five. The Strikers have lost their last four games on the bounce and the way the batting order collapsed against the Perth Scorchers on Friday night will have been alarming to say the least.

They managed to put on just 92 runs when being bowled out in 17 overs at the Adelaide Oval, their worst batting performance of the season. Arguably it was against a rampant Scorchers side, who are at the top of their game, but it will be a big concern for the Strikers nonetheless.

The Strikers do have a solid net run rate, but that will count for nothing if they cannot see off the Renegades and they will be going all out for the win at Marvel Stadium. Matt Short has been the Strikers leading run scorer in the BBL this campaign with 458 so far, and he is priced at 3/1 to score the most on Tuesday night.

Adelaide Strikers (probable) Travis Head, Matthew Short, Thomas Kelly, Alex Carey, Adam Hose, Colin de Grandhomme, Harry Nielsen, Benjamin Manenti, Cameron Boyce, Wes Agar, Peter Siddle.

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