Perth and Hobart will lock horns in the mid-table clash of this week in Australia T20 League 2020-21. Perth are entering into this fixture with four straight wins, while Hobart suffered two back-to-back defeats but managed to retain their spot in the top four.
Match Timings: Jan 12, 1:45 PM IST
Like Brisbane, Perth is also getting momentum this season, and they have found themselves in the race of playoffs with four consecutive victories. They are unbeaten after Christmas and took the fifth spot. In the previous game, they overcame the Sam Billings carnage and emerged victorious by 17 runs. Munro scored yet another half-century, but he took 40 balls to achieve this. Ashton Turner smashed 13-balls 31 to get Perth put up a total of 185 on board. Perth controlled the game by picking four wickets in the first six, but Sam Billing stood like a wall. Richardson bagged four for just 24, and Tye-Beherndorff picked two wickets each. Perth is slowly taking the momentum further, and one win can strengthen its chances for playoffs.
With six games remaining, Peter Handscomb-led side is highly motivated to crack the playoffs code. The top-order is finally getting run, and the best part was Colin Munro, who got three consecutive half-centuries. The New Zealand player has aggregated 237 runs with a strike rate of 130.93. Jason Roy looked solid, and his aggressive approach against the pace was brilliant. Mitchell Marsh has delivered with both bat and ball for Perth. In this winning run, you have to admire Ashton Turner, who was excellent as the captain. Turner has used his bowlers smartly, and he is picking six bowlers to complete the 20-overs. Perth is firm favourites with this approach, and they are one of the most balanced teams this season.
Meanwhile, Hobart tasted two back-to-back defeats in this impressive campaign. Despite the losses, in the first week of the year, Hobart retained its position in the top four. Hobart won five matches from the first five, but previous defeats have questioned its team performance. Sydney-T defeated them in Perth Stadium by 39 runs. Chasing the target of 168, Hobart looked better at one stage, but the late collapse hurt the efforts. Top-order failed to carry the good start, and the spin duo Sangha and Green assured a victory for Sydney-T.
Hobart struggled against the spin, and they have to solve these issues. The surface will be the same, and the hosts will also keep this in mind. Hobart scored 71 runs against spinners in the last game in 11 overs and lost five wickets. Short is not performing with the bat, but he got a three-wicket haul with the bowl. It gave a chance to Peter Handscomb to try short as the 5th bowling option. Perth's surface is offering bit of spin, so his bowling will be important. Dawid Malan has been a great signing, and Hobart would expect more spark from the Englishman. Sandeep Lamichhane’s spell will also be important for Hobart, who will be the key factor in middle-overs. It’s an important game for Hobart, and they cannot afford a third consecutive defeat.
Perth provides good assistance between bat and ball. On a used track, it’s proving good help to spin so, middle-overs will be crucial. Batting first would be a safe idea after winning the toss.
Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Josh Inglis (wk), Colin Munro, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed
Ben McDermott (wk), D Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Colin Ingram, Tim David, Peter Handscomb (c), Macalister Wright, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nick Winter
Season so far – M: 8, Runs: 237, Avg: 29.62
Season so far – M: 8, Wickets: 17, Avg: 10.47
Season so far – M: 7, Runs: 299, Avg: 49.83
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 175, Avg: 35