The bottom two sides in last season’s Big Bash League get their 2022/23 campaigns started on Thursday at the Cazalys Stadium in Queensland, as Brisbane Heat take on the Melbourne Renegades.
Brisbane, the 2012/13 BBL champions, won just three of their 14 matches in 2021/22 to finish seventh in the standings, while Melbourne also only triumphed three times but finished bottom because of their inferior net run rate.
Expectations, understandably, are low for both teams heading into their clash on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean this won’t be an entertaining contest and it is one that the Renegades could just edge.
Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Renegades Tips
Brisbane are without captain Usman Khawaja and in-form Test star Marnus Labuschagne as they prepare for Australia’s first Test against South Africa, with new signing Colin Munro expected to skipper the side.
Aaron Finch has shrugged off a hamstring injury and will be available for Melbourne, while Nic Maddinson will captain the side after taking on the role midway through last year’s campaign.
Melbourne Renegades to Win @ EVS
Brisbane concluded their 2021/22 campaign in disastrous fashion, ending with five successive defeats and losing seven of their last eight games, and they may find it difficult to get off to a winning start this term.
The absence of both Khawaja and Labuschagne is a huge blow for the Heat, and although they have BBL star Munro added to their ranks, they don’t appear to have the strength in depth of other squads.
Having lost their last five games of the previous campaign, Melbourne will be chomping at the bit to enjoy a better time of it and they look to have a nice blend of youth and experience within their side.
Finch has been a leading figure in limited-overs cricket for several years now and he has scored 2817 runs across his BBL career, while his compatriots Marcus Harris and Shaun Marsh add to the batting options.
In the bowling department, Kane Richardson has 117 BBL wickets to his name and his variations make him one of the best bowlers around in this format, while spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman is an exciting prospect for the team.
Colin Munro – Brisbane Heat Top Run Scorer @ 13/5
Offering a betting tip for Brisbane, it seems sensible to side with Munro to be his side’s top run scorer.
The New Zealand international helped Perth Scorchers to the title last year and he has scored 833 runs across the last two seasons with that franchise.
The 35-year-old averaged 43.33 in the BBL last year and there is every chance he can provide some fireworks for the Heat, albeit it could turn out to be in vain on Thursday.
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