The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips as defending champions Melbourne Renegades host Sydney Thunder.
History: Played 9: Renegades 8 V Thunder 1
Last meeting: January 30, 2019: Renegades d Thunder by 27 runs
Final Thoughts: The Melbourne Renegades kick off their Big Bash League title defence against the Sydney Thunder in Geelong.
The Renegades have lost Cameron White and Chris Tremain from their championship team. But the ultra-experienced Shaun Marsh – who averages almost 50 in the BBL – is a massive bonus.
The likes of Aaron Finch, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Shaun Marsh and Kane Richardson will no doubt spearhead the Melburnians campaign again.
The Thunder back up just two days after an impressive 29-run victory in the BBL season opener in Brisbane.
Callum Ferguson’s sensational 73 not out off 44 guided the Thunder to a total of 6/172. Chris Green – who chipped in with 25 off 17 with the bat – was the standout bowler with 2/19 as the Heat crumbled to 143 all out.
Star English import Alex Hales will be hoping to produce after falling for just 7 at The Gabba.
The Renegades boast a dominant 8-1 record against the Thunder and chalked up wins home and away last season.
Melbourne’s Aaron Finch (54 off 38) and Sydney’s Jason Sangha (54* off 49) top-scored as the Renegades prevailed by 13 runs at Spotless Stadium. Cameron Boyce was the star of a 27-run victory at Marvel Stadium with a blistering 51 not out off just 22 balls.
Another road trip is a big ask for the Thunder. Particularly against a high-quality, stable line-up like the Renegades. Then there’s the rivalry hoodoo.
The Renegades look good things as $1.71 favourites at home. Finch blasted a Sheffield Shield century in his last visit to the crease and averaged 51 across the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The veteran opener should come out firing.