Marvel Stadium hosts the struggling Melbourne Renegades as they play the visiting Sydney Sixers on Thursday night.

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As we all expected, Marvel Stadium is having issues with the turf, which means we can focus on building bowling-focused lineups, especially spinners. For the Renegades, Cam Boyce loves bowling at Marvel and Beau Webster has been getting a good amount of overs for a middle-order bat. Then for the Sixers, they’ll bowl 8 overs in the form of the spin duo O’Keefe and Pope.

After a winless start to BBL09, it’s time for the Renegades to show up or it’s season over already. It starts with Sam Harper at the top of the order getting off to a quick start because Finch/Marsh have been very consistent. Finch hasn’t been out for under 28 runs in BBL09 and Marsh’s lowest score this season is 16. But when quick wickets do fall, the ‘Gades middle order hasn’t been up to the challenge. Marcus Harris played a poor shot against the Strikers, Christian hasn’t fired yet and Tom Cooper has already been axed. However, the form of Beau Webster has been impressive and the fact that he’s bowling as well makes him a great value pick. Will Sutherland is also a good player to add in your lineups with this batting / bowling ability. In the bowling department, you can’t question Kane Richardson who’s proving why he’s one of Australia’s top T20 bowlers. But the problem has been Gleeson in the powerplay and they’ve rarely used Christian. One thing to watch on Thursday will be who replaces the Gurney role (returned to England). They might bring in cheap spinner Tom Andrews or add the experience of Tom Cooper again.


The Sixers have had a solid start to BBL09 with 3 wins from 5, which includes a thrilling Super Over victory over the Thunder on Saturday night. Tom Curran did everything with the bat and ball in the victory over the Thunder so he’ll be a popular pick in this matchup, especially with Sean Abbott ruled out. If you haven’t heard, Abbott will be sidelined for a few weeks with a side strain and will unfortunately miss Australia’s ODI tour to India. So his likely replacement will be Steve O’Keefe if his calf is right to go. Jackson Bird will be an interesting bowler to watch after dominating in Perth and struggling against the Thunder’s strong top-order. Another injury to watch will be James Vince after he missed the Thunder clash. It saw the Sixers shuffle their batting lineup with Hughes batting at 3 and Kerr opening. However, Kerr has been omitted from Thursday's squad so its a case of waiting on the lineup at the coin toss. Otherwise, Moises Henriques has been hitting the ball well lately and his ownership will likely rise now as a result. 


The two sides meet for the first time since the Renegades secured a nail-biting win over the Sixers in the semi-finals last season. In the Sixers 180 first innings total, Philippe and Hughes both scored 52 as openers. Cam Boyce was the pick of the ‘Gades bowling with 2 for 33. In the Renegades chase, Finch top-scored with 44, Harper added 36 at number 3 and Christian belted 3 sixes at the death to get his side into the BBL final. Coming into this matchup, the Renegades are favourites in the betting but we should see under-par scores for both sides on a tricky wicket and it’s not an overly tough place to chase down a total with the short square boundaries.


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Love it – Tom Curran ($18,900 Draftstars)

Hard to look past Curran after his MVP performance at the SCG and DS scores of 97.5 / 128.5 in his last 2 outings. He basically saved the Sixers with 35 off 17 balls on Saturday night and he’s now scored 78 total runs in his last 2 innings. His late-order hitting should be very helpful at Marvel as well. Then you have his elite death bowling, which he showcased in an impressive Super Over. He also hit the economy rate bonus at the SCG and with no Sean Abbott, he should be called upon to bowl at the death, which generally equals wickets.


Don’t Love it – Sam Harper ($12,600 Draftstars)

The aggressive Harper just doesn’t have it at the moment and Marvel Stadium isn’t an easy place to score runs when you’re struggling. He is still cheap on Draftstars but you would preferably choose cheaper batting options in Webster or Sutherland because of their added bowling abilities. 


Who Knows? – Josh Philippe ($15,400 Draftstars)

At least Philippe is consistently scoring 30s in his poor run with the bat. His strike rate has fallen below 70 in 2 of his last 3 innings and the runs have dried up. But we know he has the potential to score big after his 147.5 point total in Game 2 of BBL09 against the Scorchers. He will face a tough matchup against Richardson in the powerplay but can take advantage of bad balls from Gleeson. So if he can hit that 147 ceiling again, he’s the worth the risk. 




Love it – Cameron Boyce ($16,000 Draftstars)

It’s a case of home sweet home for Cam Boyce who just loves bowling on this Marvel pitch. He picked up figures of 2 for 18 off his 4 overs against the Strikers on Sunday with an impressive 4.25 economy rate. That made it 4 straight games that Boyce has taken 2 wickets at Marvel as well. The Sixers have lost 4 total wickets to spinners in their last 2 games so you’d figure Boyce can take advantage once again.


Don’t Love it – Richard Gleeson ($11,500 Draftstars)

It’s fair to say, Gleeson has been a disaster for the Renegades and they’re sorely missing Shinwari. Gleeson just doesn’t build pressure with Richardson at the other end and the Sixers top order should be licking their lips. The ‘Gades are probably losing confidence with him as well after he’s bowled just 3 overs in their last 2 games. With scores of -2 and -5 in his last 2 outings, you can safely fade Gleeson.


Who Knows? – Lloyd Pope ($11,500 Draftstars)

This is another good matchup for Pope as spinners have generally excelled at Marvel. He’s coming off 2 great spells with the ball after taking 3 for 23 against the Thunder and 1 for 15 against the Scorchers off 4 overs. So he’s hitting nice value with scores of 68 and 95 on Draftstars. Still well priced at 11.5k and should be worth the risk.




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