The Brisbane Heat will be looking to bounce back in the 5th game of BBL09 when they host the Melbourne Stars on Friday night at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.


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Despite the loss on Tuesday night, the Heat will take an unchanged squad into the match. The Stars will be itching to get out there and try and make amends after a horror collapse cost them grand final glory against the Renegades last season. They brought in a distinct WA flavour in the off season with Nathan Coulter-Nile, Hilton Cartwright and Clint Hinchliffe all joining the squad, while Haris Rauf has only recently been named as an international replacement for the injured Dale Steyn. 


Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast hosted three games last season and was one of the lowest scoring venues in the nation. It was particularly low scoring for the bowlers, with only the flat track of Blundstone Arena being a harder ground for those with the ball to score fantasy points. Given the small sample size it’s probably a bit early to go all in on these numbers but it is something to keep an eye on.


The buzz around the Heat has diluted since their ordinary first-up effort against the Thunder and it will be interesting to see how well they bounce back here. Interestingly they lost both matches at this ground last season, to the Hurricanes and the Sixers, while the Stars played a home game here and flogged the Thunder by 8 wickets.



The much vaunted Heat batting lineup looked all over a pedestrian Thunder lineup on paper yet it was the pace off bowlers of the Thunder who had the last laugh. The over-aggressiveness of Banton and Bryant brought about their downfall - both against spin - and they now come up against two very good white ball slow bowlers in Sandeep Lamichhane and Adam Zampa. Will the Stars utilise them early in the innings or fight fire with fire with the likes of Coulter-Nile and Worrall?


The Stars are no slouches with the bat themselves, headed by Marcus Stoinis who had an unbelievable BBL08 at the top of the order. The likes of Maxwell, Handscomb, Maddinson, Dunk and Cartwright present plenty of depth through the top order, which they may need against what is a very balanced Heat attack. They may lack the explosiveness of the Heat top order but they present as the more solid of the two lineups. 


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Love It - Tom Banton (DS $16,200) gave a glimpse of what he is capable of against the Thunder, spanking two 6s before holing out in the deep. His ultra-aggressive nature presents obvious risk of getting out early but he doesn’t have to stay long at the crease to do some real damage. If he gets going he has the ability to be the key to the slate and is clearly too cheap at his Moneyball salary.

Don’t Love It - Ben Dunk (DS $12,500) gets plenty of opportunity with his opening position but had a very lean BBL08 season. Now 32 years of age, I’m happy to gamble that he is unlikely to return to the dominant form he showed a few seasons ago now, and his strike rate was low enough last season that he generally needs to score 30+ runs before you start to regret leaving him out.

Who Knows? - Nick Maddinson (DS $11,400) had a lean BBL08 after suffering an injury before the season kicked off and never really got going afterwards. He has been a bit of an enigma throughout his career but has had some continuity this season with Victoria and comes into the T20 format in reasonable nick with the bat. Not a player to build your team around but his volatility can pay off as a point of difference in your lineup.




Love It - Sandeep Lamichhane (DS $16,900) had a terrific start to his BBL career last season and showed he was capable of both taking wickets and keeping a low economy rate. I like this matchup with the Heat as they are vulnerable to good spin bowling and he has proven to be capable of scoring 100+ when things go his way. Generally a very reliable bowler to roster.


Don’t Love It - Nathan Coulter-Nile (DS $16,600) is obviously a quality bowler, having represented his country on numerous occasions. That said, he can be hit or miss with the ball and faces a Heat batting lineup who love the ball coming onto the bat. Couple that with the depth of his new team’s batting which may restrict the time he gets at the crease and he is a popular player who may be worth fading.


Who Knows? - Haris Rauf (DS $13,100) got the late call up to the Stars squad with the injury to Dale Steyn. A 24yo fast bowler from Pakistan, he played in Tasmanian’s Premier League T20 competition at the weekend just past, knocking over Hurricanes’ star D’arcy Short. While being a bit of a latecomer to the game and sporting a slingshot style action, he is capable of hitting speeds of up to 150km/h with a mix of yorkers and lifters in his arsenal. Given he is unproven outside of the Pakistan Super League he is the very definition of ‘who knows’, but if he gets the call up he is going to add plenty of intrigue.




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