Some stunning scores in the Round 9 edition of the Big Bash and the mixed returns of some big-name players capped off a very interesting week as we gear up for the run home to the finals. It was a case of the big guns coming to the fore for the DGW Renegades as Kane Richardson and Mohammad Nabi rewarded owners/captainers with some huge results, while those trying to nab a quick cheapie the likes of Wildermuth, Handscomb, Harvey and Harper were left wanting by some disappointing scores.
Onwards and upwards as we look towards a big Round 10, which sees 5 games in total and all teams featuring.
ROUND 10 GAMES
Wednesday: Stars v Strikers @ Ted Summerton Reserve (Ave wickets per innings at Venue: N/A | Ave runs at venue: N/A)
Wednesday: Sixers v Hobart @ SCG
Thursday: Scorchers v Thunder @ Optus Stadium
Sunday: Stars v Heat @ MCG
Monday: Scorchers v Renegades @ Optus Stadium
*excludes rain-affected matches
A massive DGW with the Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers playing two home games each (if you can consider the town of Moe in country Victoria to be at home for the Stars!). There are no shortage of guns available for both sides and there’ll be a massive rush on these players for this round. While the Stars have the bye next round, this will provide a great opportunity to sell the likes of Stoinis and Maxwell next week to make some quick cash before bringing them straight back in for the run home.
PLAYER MOVEMENTS / INJURIES:
The Australian Test team begins their two-game series against Sri Lanka from Thursday. While not overly relevant from a SuperCoach perspective, the likes of Marcus Harris, Jhye Richardson and Travis Head are no longer available. Australia’s wielding of the axe means that there are some very interesting prospects up for grabs this week.
Stars v Strikers
The Stars will be hot property this week and begin Round 10 with an afternoon game against the Strikers in, of all places, the town of Moe at the Ted Summerton Reserve. This writer has done a Holmes-like level of investigating, and noted that this is the first time ever a BBL/List A/first-class match will be played at the venue after a planned pre-season game back in December between the Stars and Renegades was washed out. Google Maps’ satellite view also tells me that the square boundaries appear very small at around 55-60m by my careful measurement, which will thrill owners of batsmen who love a slog in this game, of which there are plenty.
Perhaps the most intriguing bit of information, however, comes from mycricket.com.au, which shows that the mighty Moe Lions Cricket Club has struggled in their two A-grade matches at the venue this season. In both games, the Lions were comprehensively defeated by bitter rivals the Mirboo North Cricket Club (Go Tigers!). Across both the T20 and 2-day games played, a very slow run rate of 3.86 was registered in low-scoring, high-wicket affairs. Does this mean we’re in for a similarly dour, bowler-friendly affair here? I wouldn’t be surprised if gun Mirboo North batsman Robert Phoenix gets a callup from Maxwell, Stoinis, Ingram and Carey this week asking for tips – he scored a blistering 127n.o here back in November so the great man might hold the key to unlocking the secrets of the Reserve!
Back to the upcoming game, and the Stars did it comfortably in the end against the Renegades on the back of a huge performance with bat and ball by Marcus Stoinis. You can immediately tell the difference the likes of Stoinis, Zampa, Maxwell and Handscomb have on this side which struggled in a big way in their absence. The inconsistent Strikers will have their work cut out for them, and with the conditions being an unknown for all players, these guns might just give the Moe Cricket faithful something to cheer about after a lean run.
Players to Watch:
The Stars will be all the rage for SuperCoaches this week, but with only 3 trades to make and a host of fellow DGW Scorchers looking like solid buys, you’ll be hoping you’ve locked in the likes of Marcus Stoinis (BAT/BWL – $260,500), Glenn Maxwell ($162,200), Dwayne Bravo ($163,100) and Peter Handscomb ($118,500) early. If not, it will mean some or most of these guys have to miss out for you, and doing any sort of pro-con list will just take you further down the rabbit hole trying to make a decision. That is, except for Stoinis, who is the must-have of the bunch given he bats top order and bowls out, so find room for him somehow. He has a ridiculous 3RA of 169 and has the confidence to keep going.
Maxi has scored 4 scores between 66 and 79 in his 6 games and surely has to have a breakout game soon with two bites of the cherry this week. Handscomb offers a cheaper alternative and plundered 145 early in the season to show what he can do before knocking around some good ODI scores recently. Bravo comes in at a tricky price of $174k but offers a better chance of time with ball and bat in hand than Maxwell and Handscomb. My suggestion? Flip a coin with 3 faces on it.
Away from the popular guns, from a bowling perspective, there are also options aplenty with Jackson Bird (BWL – $104,000) and Liam Plunkett (BWL – $158,300) looking like strong pace options this week. The Birdman broke through early last week on his way to a 92 which was a great return on his $85k price tag. There are simply too many options this week and not enough spots to fill, and with the number of premium-priced guns on the radar this week, needing to grab a DGW player below $100k will be almost inevitable.
The Strikers have the DGW next week, and the likes of Colin Ingram (BAT – $162,400), Alex Carey (WKP/BAT – $134,000) and cheapie Liam O’Connor (BWL – $88,100) will be targets. It’ll be tough to look at bringing in any of these guys this week given the Stars and Scorchers on offer, so this week will be a chance for another sighter at these guys before pulling the trigger next week. As always, Rashid Khan (BWL – $201,500) should already be in your side and will need to be at his crafty best to help the Strikers cause an upset here.
POD: Jackson Bird comes in with the cheapest price tag of all mentioned above and won’t attract the fanfare of the likes of Stoinis or Maxwell, but could be a very handy pickup if he goes close to repeating last week’s terrific 3-wicket performance. Expect him to bowl his full 8 overs in this DGW on seemingly a tricky pitch in Moe and then against the struggling Heat at the MCG.
Sixers v Hobart
The Sixers bounced back to form with a crushing win over the Heat at the SCG, with their bowling attack simply on fire after James Vince and Jordan Silk took the game away from Brisbane with a 94 run 4th-wicket partnership. Tom Curran helped mop up the tail with some cheap wickets to continue his great season and improve his average to an incredible 83. The Hurricanes will prove much stiffer opposition, with an imposing record this season and a batting lineup that has fired in almost every game at either the top, middle or both and a fearsome pace attack that will pose a lot of problems for a Sixers batting lineup that has rarely put two truly good games together this season.
Players to Watch:
Tom Curran (BWL – $179,100). I had written him off as being one you’ll need to trade eventually with his high pricetag and no DGWs left, but he showed just how handy he might be as a POD running home in your lineup this year. James Vince (BAT – $102,300) was very strong with a 114 at a low price of $92k last round, but he probably doesn’t warrant a look-in at this stage of the year. Again, it’s hard to get too excited about many others in the Sixers lineup given their lack of DGWs and general lack of consistency. It means you’ll get occasionally hurt by the likes of Curran when they go large if you’re a non-owner, but you won’t be alone.
For the Hurricanes, D’Arcy Short (BAT/BWL – $261,600), James Faulkner (BAT/BWL – $165,000) and Matt Wade (WKP/BAT – $151,700)are in the majority of the sides and unlikely to move before their DGW next. SuperCoaches will be hoping that Riley Meredith (BWL – $169,600) and Ben McDermott (WKP/BAT – $102,400) have quiet games this week as they will be trade-in targets for Round 11.
POD: With the Stars and Scorchers likely to fill up all of your trade spots this week, my POD option in this game goes back to holding Curran above. He’s been tremendous for the Sixers this year whose bowling attack needed some class and has too many big scores in him this year to throw away if you can find money for trades elsewhere. He likes the SCG with his last 3 games there averaging 119 and should feature in your team this week if you’ve still got him with his next 3 games all at home
Scorchers v Thunder
The Scorchers’ nightmare season continued in their last game, with the Hurricanes smashing 16 from 3 balls in the last over to get across the line. There’s no doubting that they are slowly finding their groove, but every game virtually becomes must-win from here on for the men in orange. They’ll be aided immensely by the return of star ODI players Jason Behrendorff and Shaun Marsh, who will turn out for his first game of the season. They’ll come up fresh from the bye against a travelling Thunder side who have been plugging along nicely into the top 4 on the back of some terrific batting performances by veteran Shane Watson, and he’ll be key to deciding their fate in this one again.
Players to Watch:
It’s all the Scorchers here. Shaun Marsh (BAT – $103,900) virtually becomes a must-buy at his bargain price and terrific white ball form coming into this game. Like Aaron Finch, he’ll relish the chance to step back into the more relaxed environment of the Big Bash and this
might just be the tonic he needs to drag the Scorchers off the canvas. He’ll get two bites of the cherry this week at home and the money you’ll save on him will help you bring in the top-dollar stars. Nathan Coulter-Nile (BAT/BWL – $150,000) will be another key target this week, with his average of 58.3 this season being boosted by two scores of 109 at Optus Stadium. With the absence of Richardson to the Test squad and clouds over Jason Behrendorff’s (BWL – $149,000) back issues, he’s the key man in the Scorchers bowling lineup. Fellow quick/slow-medium/knuckleballer Andrew Tye (BWL – $193,800) looms as a sneaky option if you can afford him this week. In what seems like a quiet season for him, his 3-round average of 101 brings him right back into calculations. If the Scorchers can find a way to rip through the Thunder top order (I’m looking at you, NCN!), the brittleness of their middle men will mean some terrific wicket opportunities for the Tye-guy. If you look at the Thunder’s middle order record since round 2, men from positions 4-11 have been dismissed 24 times for an average of just 11, with just the one score above 30 in that time. They’ve also been at least 5-down in almost every game, meaning there should be plenty of wicket points on the offering for your Scorchers bowlers this week.
POD: He’s too good a player to keep down for very long, so this week I’d be throwing the cheque book at AJ Tye as your premium buy option of the week. That price tag is likely to keep many away, which means he could be a very valuable POD for you with his two home games this week.
Stars v Heat
The Stars’ second game of the week sees them pitted at the cavernous MCG against a Heat side who threw up one of the most disappointing performances of the year in their dismal showing against the Sixers last round. Aside from Josh Lalor’s 5 wickets, there was little else in the field or at the batting crease to get excited about for Brisbane. The usual suspects at the top of the Heat order failed once again, and with a very strong Stars batting lineup to contend with, they will simply have to get going to be in with a chance here. Two failures in a row for McCullum and Lynn probably means that a big innings is right around the corner, so rage trades might be best held for a few weeks.
Players to Watch:
Josh Lalor (BWL – $166,700) played truly a lone hand for Brisbane last week, with an excellent 5 wickets, but he’ll be coming up against
internationals hungry to keep the Stars’ ball rolling this week. Names like the white-hot Marcus Stoinis, ready-to-go-large Glenn Maxwell and handily-cheaper option Peter Handscomb will relish the chance to attack a Heat bowling lineup that is down on confidence and big names. With two games this week, it’d be a brave man to back against these Stars having dual failures. The Stars bowlers get another good chance to grab a brace of wickets against this Heat side that has one of, if not the weakest, middle orders in the competition. As mentioned above in the Stars v Strikers preview, the likes of Jackson Bird and Liam Plunkett look good options this week and will surely bring you some joy if the Heat end up 2 for nothing like they have lately.
As mentioned above, the Bash Brothers (Chris Lynn (BAT – $150,600) and Brendon McCullum (BAT – $147,000) are due and with a DGW next week, should be held onto here to redeem themselves. Max Bryant (BAT – $$117,000) is taking up a batting spot in my side at the moment and might be the one to make way here.
POD: We picked Bird above, so this time we’ll float Liam Plunkett. He has an ownership less than 2k and was identified last week as an option that could go large. He went part-way to doing this with a 2-21 from his 3 overs seeing him rack up 68. It feels like he’s just beginning to find his feet here and with a 124 against the Strikers in Round 7 fresh in the mind, he could be a great POD for this week’s DGW.
Scorchers v Renegades
Preview still to come…..
BUY SELL HOLD
- Marcus Stoinis (Stars)
- Glenn Maxwell (Stars)
- Jackson Bird (Stars)
- Nathan Coulter-Nile (Scorchers)
- Shaun Marsh (Scorchers)
- AJ Tye (Scorchers)
Renegades and Sydney-based players – single games only from here on.
Heat, Strikers and Hurricanes players due to the big DGW in Round 11.
BUYS NEXT WEEK
- Colin Ingram (Strikers)
- Alex Carey (Strikers)
- Liam O’Connor (Strikers)
- Brendon McCullum (Heat)
- Ben Cutting (Heat)
- Riley Meredith (Hurricanes)
- Ben McDermott (Hurricanes)