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Big Bash preview: Melbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes

Two sides in desperate need of a victory to boost their finals hopes meet at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Thursday evening, as the Renegades play host to the Hobart Hurricanes.

The Renegades put a win on the board as they saw off the Adelaide Strikers by four wickets, before losing to the Stars in a rain-affected derby on Tuesday, while the Hurricanes have won their last two to get their season up and running.

Defeats in their opening two fixtures had left the Hurricanes with plenty of work to do, but they are now starting to move through the gears.

WhatMelbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes
WhereMarvel Stadium, Melbourne
When18:05 (AEST) Thursday 4th January 2024
How to watchChannel 7, Foxtel, Kayo

Renegades remain alive and kicking

The Renegades have lost five of the seven matches they have played so far this season, and with one other being abandoned, that leaves them with just one victory to their name.

That came against the Strikers, when the batting starlet Jake Fraser-McGurk again took centre stage, as he made 70 from just 37 balls to help his side chase down 178 with eight balls to spare.

Fraser-McGurk is certainly making his name in the BBL this season, having smacked a competition-leading 15 sixes to date, registering two-half centuries from five innings and lying within the top five of runscorers in the tournament.

The youngster’s runs have been more than welcome, with South African ace Quinton de Kock yet to find any sort of form, making just 84 runs across five knocks.

Shaun Marsh has, however, looked in fine touch, passing 50 in both of his BBL innings before the loss to the Stars and the Renegades will need the former Test left-hander to maintain that sort of form if they are to challenge for a finals spot.

With the ball, Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been the pick of the attack, taking seven wickets at an economy rate of 7.47, but he has now left the country and his tournament is over.

That means that more will be expected of fellow tweaker Adam Zampa, with the Australia leg-spinner having gone for 8.47 runs an over in taking four wickets across his six outings.

Hurricanes starting to blow hot

The Hurricanes got off to a worrying start to the current campaign, as they suffered reverses at the hands of Sydney Sixers and then Perth Scorchers to leave them facing a big task to make finals.

However, they have responded by winning two of their next three games, against the Renegades by six wickets and by seven wickets against Sydney Thunder.

Half-centuries from skipper Matthew Wade and Mac Wright were the decisive knocks in the first of those two victories, before Ben McDermott shone with 53 not out in the New Year’s Day triumph over the Thunder.

Prior to those three knocks, Chris Jordan was the only Hurricanes players to has passed 50, so an upturn in returns from their key batters is most welcome.

Sadly for Hobart, both Tim David and Sam Hain are averaging in single figures and better will be needed to make this season a successful one for a franchise still searching for a first BBL title.

Potency with the ball has also been an issue, with Nathan Ellis the leading wicket-taker with five and no Hurricanes bowler has taken more than two wickets in any match to date.

The visitors can, of course, draw on the inspiration of their six-wicket win over the Renegades in Hobart just before Christmas and a repeat of that result would move the Hurricanes closer to a top-four finish.

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