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Big Bash preview: Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Renegades

Two teams still searching for a first victory in the Big Bash League this season meet at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart as the host Hurricanes welcome in the Melbourne Renegades.

The Hurricanes, who are yet to be crowned BBL champions, have lost two out of two, while the Renegades have been beaten twice and seen their other fixture abandoned due to a dangerous playing surface.

Both teams know that they need to start winning as soon as possible to boost their hopes of making the end-of-season Play-offs and both head into this fixture expectant that a change of fortunes is just around the corner.

WhatHobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Renegades
WhereBlundstone Arena, Hobart
When19:15 (AEDT), Saturday 23rd December 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Foxtel & Kayo Sports
OddsHobart Hurricanes 1.90, Melbourne Renegades 1.90

Hurricanes blown right off course

The home side head into this match hoping to make amends for a hefty defeat the hands of the reigning champion Perth Scorchers last time out.

Hobart made a decent 172-8 from their 20 overs, largely thanks to some big lower-order hitting by Chris Jordan, who bashed 59 from just 20 balls faced.

However, the Scorchers made light work of their target as they romped home by nine wickets with almost four overs to spare, handing the Hurricanes a second successive loss after they were beaten by six wickets in their season opener against Sydney Sixers.

They will hope to be boosted by the return to action of captain Matthew Wade, who missed the loss to the Scorchers due to a back problem.

However, fast bowler Riley Meredith is almost certain to miss out due to a side strain suffered against the Sixers.

The Hurricanes will be desperate to see one of their much-vaunted trio of Ben McDermott, Sam Hain and Tim David get among the runs, with the three batters having made 31 runs in six innings combined so far this season.

England white-ball international Hain made three against the Sixers before being dismissed for a golden duck against the Scorchers and he is 4.50 to be Team - Top Batter on Saturday, with Wade available at 3.75 in the same market.

With the ball, pacer Billy Stanlake will be eager to improve on figures of 0-29 from three overs last time out and he is priced at 6.00 to be Team - Top Bowler against the Renegades.

Renegades look to Fraser-McGurk for inspiration

The Renegades have plenty of experience among their batting line-up, with skipper Nic Maddinson joined by Aaron Finch, Englishman Joe Clarke and South African ace Quinton de Kock.

However, it is youngster Jake Fraser-McGurk who has captured the headlines, belting 48 from 24 balls in the narrow eight-run loss to the Sixers, before going up another notch as Melbourne were beaten by six wickets by Brisbane Heat.

Right-hander Fraser-McGurk cleared the ropes three times in his first knock, before doing so no fewer than seven times as he smashed 55 from 23 deliveries at Docklands Stadium on Thursday.

He is already being hailed as one of the country’s leading prospects and he can be backed at 4.50 to be Team - Top Batter on Saturday, while he is 11.00 to be named as Player of the Match.

With the ball, World Cup star Adam Zampa will be key if the Renegades are to make a serious challenge to qualify for the end-of-season Play-offs, with the leg-spinner having followed 2-24 against the Sixers with 1-36 against the Heat.

Zampa is 3.50 to be Team - Top Bowler in Hobart, with Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman - who often opens the bowling in this format - available at 4.33.

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