Game 36 of the Big Bash League is one of the most anticipated clashes this season when the Brisbane Heat (4-4) host the Adelaide Strikers (4-3-1) at the Gabba. Note this is an early fixture with the One Day International between Australia and India is scheduled the same day. The anticipation is for the debut of South African legend AB de Villiers along with Afghanistan ‘mystery’ spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman.

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Draftstars have posted a $10,000 contest for a $15 entry, as well as a $1,000 Mini and even a $200 Single Entry contest for a $10 buy-in. Moneyball are offering a $3,000 contest for a $15 entry as well as a $500 guarantee on their $2 contest.

It wasn’t looking great for the Heat to start the season falling to 1-3 before winning three in a row. A Mitch Marsh explosion stopped the Heat winning a 4th game on the trot in Perth. But with the inclusions of de Villers and Mujeeb means that the Heat are now at full strength for this match. The Strikers have announced an unchanged squad of 13. With the departure of Tom Bannon it does mean a new opening batsman for the Heat. Whether this will be Test Opener Joe Burns or pinch hitting all-rounder Ben Cutting we need to wait for teams at the flip. AB should bat at 4 after Chris Lynn which will push Matt Renshaw down to 5. All of a sudden this batting lineup goes deep with wicketkeeper James Peirson at 7. The bowling stocks are settled with the straight swap of Zahir Khan to Mujeeb.

The Strikers got the job done against the Renegades but the frustrating Adelaide opening batsman are giving fantasy owners the shakes. Both Weatherald and Salt are clearly hitting the ball at an awesome strike rate but just play too many silly shots as well. I guess they can go after the bowling with a solid middle order of Travis Head and Jono Wells. Without Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle this bowling attack is really weak but fantasy owners of Harry Conway would be buoyed by his 1 for 16 from 3 overs.

The Gabba has only hosted two games this season, a low scoring affair against the Hurricanes and a failed run chase of 172 against the Thunder. However the tools indicate that the Gabba is a premium ground for fantasy point scoring especially for Batsman. I am not so sure that the time slot (1540 AEDT Start) will make the pitch conditions much of a difference but the forecast of morning and afternoon thunderstorms and 70+% humidity will bring the swing bowlers into play. 

This match will need some careful attention at the Bat Flip with this weather likely to play a big role.

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Love it - Chris Lynn ($18,600 Draftstars)

If this game is rain shorten, we are not mucking around with batsman down the order. We want hitters who can score quickly and we have the best in the business in Lynn. Of course Lynn is a yo-yo but does have the experience in playing shorten games such as T10. If the forecast does not come into fruitiation then still a quality bat in a strong lineup.


Don’t Love It - Matt Renshaw ($15,900 Draftstars)

The bump down the order spells a bump down on expectations for Renshaw with AB at 4. I can’t really be spending just shy of $16k on a player that far down the order. Sure, if Renshaw is a shock opening bat then he is in play. I can get the savings with Jono Wells if I wanted a more dynamic player in the middle order.


Who Knows - Matthew Short ($10,400 Draftstars)

Short finally gave fantasy owners something to cheer on when he made 41 off 28 balls including 3 sixes against the Renegades. But his batting position of 6 and not bowling gives me second thoughts on clicking on his low salary. Again if the weather intervenes then Short becomes almost an irrelevant play.  




Love It - Ben Laughlin ($13,800 Draftstars)

His Draftstars salary is finally creeping on where it should be, but I still keen on his wicket taking ability. So much so, Laughlin has taken a wicket in every single game so far. If this game is shorter than planned, then the risk for crazy antics from the batsman can happen. Backing in Laughlin with his large variety. 


Don’t Love It - James Pattinson ($16,400 Draftstars)

Pattinson got taken to the cleaners 1st up in Perth conceding a whopping 52 runs for his 4 overs. Whilst his fellow teammates were in the same boat in Perth, Pattinson is priced too far up for my liking on this batting friendly pitch. Can roster Lalor, Neser and Laughlin at much better salaries here. 


Who Knows - Mujeeb ur Rahman ($16,200 Draftstars)

Mujeeb was too good for them in the Bangladesh Premier League taking 15 wickets at an economy rate of 5.06. But the Gabba deck is fair bit different than the pitches in Bangladesh. He is clearly the man weapon for this Brisbane attack going forward but I probably want to see how he goes first up. 




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