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Preview: Heat v Strikers

18 December 2018

The Adelaide Strikers clash with the Brisbane Heat to kick off KFC BBL|08 at the Gabba.

Heat v Strikers
Wednesday 19 December
The Gabba, Brisbane – 6:15pm local (6:45pm ACDT)

Head to head
Adelaide Strikers: 4
Brisbane Heat: 3

Last time
Last season’s New Year's Eve blockbuster saw the Strikers beat the Heat by 56 runs in a packed-out Adelaide Oval.

Allrounder Micahel Neser proved crucial in his player-of-the-match performance as he blasted a quick-fire 40* off 26 balls, including two sixes, as well as tidy figures of 2/7 from his two overs with the ball.

The Heat struggled to build partnerships in reply to the Strikers’ total of 147, as leg-spinner Rashid Khan (2/19) removed big-hitter Chris Lynn for a duck while Ben Laughlin (3/11) ripped through Brisbane’s middle order.

Cameron Gannon was the only batter to score more than 15 in the Heat’s chase as they were bowled out for 91 in the 17th over.

Talking point
Can the Strikers start their title defence with a win on the road?

Adelaide turns from the hunter to the hunted this summer after last season’s breakthrough championship win. With a largely similar squad, can the Strikers continue their winning momentum from BBL|07 or will Brisbane make an early statement and down the reigning champions?

Both teams are loaded with match-winners. It’s the perfect recipe for a blockbuster BBL|08 opener.

Stat attack
The Gabba holds no fears for the Strikers, who are undefeated in all three matches between the two teams at the venue. The most recent meeting came in BBL|05 in which the visitors claimed a convincing eight-wicket win.

Can Strikers seamer Laughlin become the first player in Big Bash history to claim 100 wickets? The crafty fan favourite heads into BBL|08 with 85 Big Bash scalps to his name and is every chance to reach the magical milestone before season’s end.

Striker to watch – Rashid Khan
Star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has returned to Adelaide and will again feature prominently for the Strikers in BBL|08.

The young Afghan quickly became a cult figure for fans of all allegiances after finishing BBL|07 as the competition’s leading wicket-taker (18) boasting the best economy rate of any player to bowl more than four overs (5.65).

Rashid missed the Strikers' BBL Final triumph due to international commitments but has confirmed he is available for the entire BBL|08 tournament. Can he begin with a bang on Wednesday night?

Danger man – Chris Lynn
Newly-appointed Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn can take a game away quickly if not contained.

The Heat’s all-time leading runscorer with 1,560 BBL runs, Lynn’s big-hitting power will need to be nullified to give the Strikers the best chance of another victory at the Gabba.

Former skipper Brendon McCullum is another obvious danger in the Heat’s stacked batting order but the Strikers will back their bowlers to get the job done.

Adelaide Strikers squad
Colin Ingram (c)
Alex Carey
Rashid Khan
Ben Laughlin
Jake Lehmann
Michael Neser
Liam O’Connor
Matthew Short
Peter Siddle
Billy Stanlake
Cameron Valente
Jake Weatherald
Jon Wells

Brisbane Heat squad
Chris Lynn (c)
Max Bryant
Joe Burns
Ben Cutting
Brendan Doggett
Sam Heazlett
Josh Lalor
Brendon McCullum
Mujeed Ur Rahman
James Pattinson
Jimmy Peirson
Mark Steketee
Mitch Swepson