Gabba Set To Catch Fire

Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Brisbane got its first win of the season against Adelaide last week. Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
The Brisbane Heat  and Perth Scorchers  will both go into their clash at the Gabba on Tuesday night full of confidence after chalking up a first win of the season in their most recent matches. Brisbane scored a thrilling last ball win against the Strikers in Adelaide last week to get off the mark, while the Scorchers scored their first victory in three attempts this season by breaking the Sydney Sixers 12 match unbeaten run.

Kemar Roach is set to make his Brisbane Heat debut at the Gabba after arriving in Australia too late to line up against the Strikers and will bolster a pace attack that already contains Sri Lankan Thisara Perera, Ben Cutting and Alister McDermott. Wicketkeeper Chris Hartley batted at nine against Adelaide and the Heat’s long batting lineup may mean that a batsman is sacrificed to make way for the West Indies star, with Chris Lynn  the man most likely to be left out. After a shaky start, Luke Pomersbach  blasted 65 in the last match and will have taken a great deal of confidence from that knock, while his opening partner and skipper James Hopes  still has to prove himself after struggling since returning from injury. Despite being released from the Australian squad after being named 12th man against Sri Lanka, Mitchell Johnson is unavailable after returning to Western Australia for family reasons.

Perth has named an unchanged squad from that which scored a strong win against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday, after bouncing back from a humiliating 10 wicket defeat to the Melbourne Stars just four days earlier. The inclusions of Shaun Marsh  and Alfonso Thomas at the SCG were a big boost for the Scorchers and plenty will be expected of that pair again at the Gabba. Despite being much maligned in some quarters, Marsh averages in excess of 40 in Twenty20 cricket and forms a dangerous opening partnership  with South African import Herschelle Gibbs , who top scored with 40 against the Sixers.

These side have met only once before, with the Scorchers scoring a 10 run win over their visitors at the WACA last season. Interestingly, all nine Big Bash matches have been won by the team batting second during the current campaign, but Brisbane’s three wicket win over the Strikers last week off the final delivery was its first in four attempts chasing. Batting first has been a distinct advantage in Twenty20 matches at the Gabba, where Hobart’s successful pursuit of 172 earlier in the competition was the first time the side batting second had won in the past seven matches.

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