The last stand-alone BBL game of the regular season fills in our Tuesday night, before tomorrow’s triple header puts a full stop on the pre-finals action. The Melbourne Renegades are welcoming the Hobart Hurricanes to Marvel Stadium in what is technically a ‘home game’ for the Tassie side. All signs point to a comfortable win for the purple outfit to seal their place in the finals and ensure that tomorrow’s action can only change the finals seeding. In that case the Stars, Heat and Renegades will be the teams that have missed out. A Renegades win tonight would set up a potential win-and-get-in match between the Hurricanes and the Stars to finish the action, which might be the only interesting thing about tonight’s game. Weather will not be an issue under the Marvel roof.


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Expected Renegades Xl: Marsh, Chand, Finch, Harper, Seymour, Merlo, Sutherland, Prestwidge, Boyce, Khan, Lalor (Evans, Perry)

Expected Hurricanes Xl: McDermott, Jewell, Wade, Short, Handscomb, David, Thompson, Lamichanne, Parker, Rogers, Meredith (Owen, Kann)


The Hurricanes are $1.47 favourites, which has more to do with the struggles of the Renegades than their own form having won 2 of their last 5. They did have a big 85-run win over the Renegades in their previous meeting though. Needing a win, they are at full strength with Nathan Ellis the only big missing piece at the moment. The batting has been led by Ben McDermott in career best form, with Matt Wade & D’Arcy Short nowhere near their best this season but still able to provide useful contributions. The bowling can count on Tom Rogers, Riley Meredith and Sandeep Lamichanne to consistently have an impact. The other half of the team are very much bits and pieces contributors, making this a team that relies heavily on a couple of its big players producing to win their games.


The Renegades are bad, and have gotten worse for this game with Kane Richardson, Nic Maddinson, Jake Fraser-McGurk and Mackenzie Harvey all out. It’s a shame as Fraser-McGurk was showing a little bit in his increased opportunity over the last couple of games. The batting will be a mix of over-the-hill stars in Aaron Finch & Shaun Marsh, unproven/inexperienced options in Unmukt Chand (debut), James Seymour and Jonathan Merlo, and the useful but ultimately limited talent in Sam Harper. The bowling isn’t much better with only Cameron Boyce able to be considered as a top player. The best they can hope for in their last two games is that their young players in Will Sutherland & Merlo show a glimpse of their talent that can be useful in future seasons.


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Love It- Sam Harper $13,900

It would be easy to go for a Hurricane here with a big win likely and the likes of McDermott, Wade & Short all capable of destroying this Renegades attack. But how do I choose one? Instead I’ll pick Harper out as the clear pick of the Renegades lineup. Someone has to score some runs, and Harper fits the bill as the middle order consolidator if the the top order is knocked over early. It’s not exactly a bargain price, but it’s just cheap enough that I think he’ll be a very useful piece on a slate that is lacking value in the BAT position.


Love It- Sandeep Lamichanne $12,600

No issues with value here, with the Nepalese legspinner having scored 64+ points in 4 of his last 6 games and still at a dirt cheap price point. With a weak batting lineup to run through, chances are that he’s going to be able to handle this price tag quite comfortably.


Don’t Love It- Zahir Khan $14,300

Another international spinner, Afghani Khan has been rocks and diamonds this season, with 3 scores over 70 and 8 under 28. Needing 50+ to be useful at this price, I’d much rather play Lamichanne, Thompson, David, and even Prestwidge and Sutherland as teammates who should receive similar opportunity in a team that will likely only have 5 bowling options with Maddinson out.


Don’t Love It- Aaron Finch $16,600

In the name of consistency, I’ll pick on Finch one last time given that his price is still relatively high compared to Harper, Jewell & David who he has been no better than in the last couple of seasons. While I admit that his performance has been less awful than it was last year, it’s still not sufficient to justify the extra $3000+ in salary that could allow us to jam in two of Short/McDermott/Wade or to just avoid dipping into the Handscomb/Merlo/Seymour areas.


Who Knows- Unmukt Chand $12,300

A former u19 World Cup winning captain for India (scoring a ton in the final), Chand has a pretty moderate T20 record and seems to getting a game mostly because the Renegades have run out of options. The fact that he’s been with the team all season and not been chosen is concerning. However, I expect he’ll get the chance to open the batting, and at an awkward price point there could be some merit in taking a chance on him sight unseen and hoping to get a jump on the field if he comes off. He does have 3 centuries in his 77 T20 games, which is nothing to sneeze at.


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