The Hobart Hurricanes return to Hobart and Blundstone Arena in Friday night’s BBL09 action as host against an enigmatic Brisbane Heat outfit.

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The Hurricanes have been one of the more settled teams in the past couple of years and once again they go in with an unchanged squad. After losing a rain-affected match against the Melbourne Stars in Launceston they fell to a 2-2 record, but they will enjoy returning to Hobart where they play exceptionally well and beat the Renegades by 7 wickets in their first game here this year.

The Heat have also selected an unchanged squad, deciding against panic after a disastrous 40 run loss to the Perth Scorchers on Wednesday night. That loss saw them drop to a 1-3 record and they will be desperate to get that win/loss ratio back closer to an even keel.

24 degrees and cloudy is the forecast for Hobart on Friday so we should get the full allotment of overs rather than the frustration that took place in Launceston. Blundstone Arena generally serves up a great spectacle of T20 cricket – it continues to feature as one of the best grounds in the country for the batsmen while remaining an absolute graveyard for bowlers, who average the lowest fantasy points here than any other ground in the nation.

The long term trend for the Hurricanes has been that they give up the most points in the comp to opposition batsmen, but they are notoriously stingy against opposition bowlers. Interestingly that has flipped on the small sample of data we have to work with this season – giving up a ton of points to opposition bowlers but clearly the best in the comp at restricting opposition batsmen. I believe this data to be strongly affected by playing at non-traditional grounds in Alice Springs, Moe and Launceston – which generally assist the bowling side – and I will lean to the longer term trend when building my teams.
The explosiveness of the Heat’s batting is well documented but it has misfired often this season and they give up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing bowlers as a result. Their bowling attack has been steady, coming in around mid-table for opposition batting scores but will have their work cut out at Blundstone.

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Love It – D’Arcy Short ($21,900 on Draftstars) 

Short comes down in price slightly after his duck in Launceston which only makes him easier to play back at his favourite ground. His record at Blundstone is exceptional and his first game of the season here was a typically dominant 60 off 45 balls against the Renegades. With enough cheap options available to fit him into your lineup comfortably, I’m happy to load up the Hurricanes star.

Don’t Love It – Ben Cutting ($17,000 Draftstars)

I’m going to go against Ben Cutting again as I still think his salary is too high for his current situation. His 1/20 off 3 overs was enough to get him to 49 fantasy points against Perth but he didn’t come in until number 7. With a good batting deck expected, that has to hurt his expected bowling output and it’s very possible he faces less than 20 balls with the bat again, making it hard to have any real upside at this price.

Who Knows – David Miller ($16,000 on Draftstars) 

The South African has had a plain start to his Hurricanes career but you have to think it is only a matter of time before he shows his international quality. In the game at this ground against the Renegades he finished off the innings with 25 off 15 balls and it’s this proven upside that makes him a worthwhile tournament play while he goes through a lean trot.


Love It – James Faulkner ($16,200 on Draftstars) 

Faulkner has been superb so far this season for the ‘Canes, taking 7 wickets in his three games with at least 2 in each outing. The Heat top order do give chances and Faulkner has been bowling with lovely shape which can bring about false shots. Also bowls death overs so will get every opportunity.

Don’t Love It – Clive Rose ($10,000 on Draftstars) 

Rose is probably going to be quite popular at his low salary as coaches look to fit D’arcy Short into their lineups, but he does bring a very real risk of scoring 0 fantasy points. He did just that against the Renegades here with 0/37 off his 4 overs, and scored 0 on three separate occasions at this ground last season as well. While I don’t mind playing him in a small number of lineups for variety, with 6 scores of 0 or less in his last 10 games, he’s not someone I want a lot of exposure to.

Who Knows – Ben Laughlin ($12,700 on Draftstars)

Laughlin is a bowler getting to the end of his career but as a former Hobart player he has good knowledge of this ground and his variety of deliveries is more suited than most on the flat track. While he hasn’t been at the level he has set in past seasons, he continues to chime in for at least a wicket in most outings and given he bowls overs at the death he has the opportunity to pick up cheap ones at the end of the innings. In a match where it is hard to have too much faith in the bowlers, he is a known quantity at a reasonable salary.




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