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Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes preview: Table toppers face tough test

Wednesday sees the Hobart Hurricanes bound for Optus Stadium and a Big Bash showdown with the table-topping Perth Scorchers.

Eight wins from 11 games so far have taken Perth to the summit, while Hobart sit in the middle of the pack with a 5-5 record from their ten games to this point.

WhatPerth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes
WhereOptus Stadium, Perth
When19.40, Wednesday 18th January, 2023
How to watchFox Sports & Channel 7
OddsPerth Scorchers 4/6, Hobart Hurricanes 6/5

Close battle on paper

On paper, these are two of the best sides in the Big Bash League this year and, while the Scorchers sit atop the ladder right now, they are far from certainties to come out on top here, as odds of 4/6 on the home victory indicate. 

The visiting Hurricanes haven't displayed enough consistency so far, with five wins and as many defeats on their record, but they are just 6/5 to come away from Perth having put a positive slant on their BBL record for the season.

Conditions are set to be decent, with partly cloudy and breezy weather on Wednesday evening in Perth, but there is no forecast possibility of rain.

Optus Stadium in Perth provides pitches with good bounce and carry, ensuring fast bowlers get good assistance.

Perth Scorchers lead the overall record between the two sides with 11 wins to seven from the Hurricanes. Both have destructive batting units and top quality bowling attacks and Hobart have won three out of four clashes at Optus Stadium previously. 

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Hobart still in the playoff mix

The star-studded Hobart Hurricanes squad have not quite lived up to expectations in the Big Bash so far, but they boosted their playoff chances with a win over Sydney Thunder last time out and will arrive in Perth on a high.

Nathan Ellis took four wickets before his fellow Australia international Tim David dragged the Hurricanes out of trouble with an unbeaten 76 off 41 balls to seal a successful run-chase against the Thunder.

Patrick Dooley meanwhile marked his return from an injury with 3 for 22 against the Thunder and has now snared 15 wickets in the season at 6.24 economy.

Ellis is 13/5 to Top Team Bowler for the Hurricanes in Perth, while David can be backed at 4/1 in the Top Team Batter market for the visiting side. 

With the likes of David, Matthew Wade, Ben McDermott, Caleb Jewell and Zak Crawley in their ranks, underestimating the Hurricanes could be folly. They've hit 70 sixes already in just ten games and are 6/5 in the Most Match Sixes market here. 

Scorchers in prime position

Perth sit atop the ladder with 16 points to their name, having won eight games while losing just three. They are coming off a narrow defeat in the previous game versus rivals Sydney Sixers, where they fell six runs short chasing 152.

They've already lost to the Hurricanes this season, however, and will be taking nothing for granted here.

Cameron Bancroft, Josh Inglis and Ashton Turner remain their biggest batting strengths, while the likes of Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and David Payne have been superb with ball in hand so far as Perth make inroads towards claiming back-to-back Big Bash titles.

Perth Scorchers have won five of the last six encounters between these sides, though that single loss did come, as mentioned, earlier this season.

The Scorchers would have been happy with the contributions made by Stephen Eskinazi and Nick Hobson in the previous game, with the former unbeaten on 66 off 54 balls. Eskinazi is the 15/4 favourite in the Top Team Batter market for Perth here. 

Hurricanes carry plenty threat

The Hurricanes have potential matchwinners throughout their line-up, with plenty expected from opener Jewell in this clash. 

The 25-year-old Australia international was pinned lbw for five by a beauty from Daniel Sams in the win over the Thunder but the left-hander had reached 50 in three of his previous four innings, scoring 70 in a total of 133-8 against Melbourne Stars and he's 5/6 to score over 22.5 runs in this one. 

Josh Inglis has been excellent for the Scorchers, scoring 324 runs in 10 innings at an average of 41, with three half-centuries so far and that firepower can be crucial in the Scorcher quest to avenge that defeat to Hobart earlier in the campaign. Inglis is 17/2 to be Player of the Match in this one. 

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