Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat Media
Break out the zinc cream and grab a hat, it is a rare Gabba day game in the KFC Big Bash League. The Heat take on the Strikers in the debut match for South African star AB de Villiers.
Brisbane couldn’t complete four wins on the trot, losing a high-scoring clash with Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium.
LAST TIME THEY MET
In BBL|08, Adelaide beat Brisbane at the Gabba in the opening game of the season before the Heat turned the tables on the Strikers late in the tournament to win well at Adelaide Oval, courtesy of a classy 90 from Matt Renshaw.
FORM AT GABBA
The Heat notched up a rare but timely win at home against the Hurricanes, chasing down a tricky total. Adelaide have been irregular visitors to the Gabba, but with a smattering of Queensland Bulls players in their ranks, won’t be unfamiliar with the surrounds.
Max Bryant v Michael Neser
The two Queensland teammates shape as important match-ups in a game brimming with key individual battles. If the clean-hitting Bryant can get away at the top of the order, it will at some point come at the expense of Neser who has had a stop-start season due to his involvement on the periphery of the Australian Test squad.
Mujeeb ur Rahman v Travis Head
While all the attention has been on the Heat’s other international recruit, last season’s impressive performer will be vital for the Heat. The Afghanistan ‘mystery’ spinner is a year older and more experienced and will be a weapon in the Power Play and middle overs, just as compatriot Zahir Khan has done so effectively in the first half of BBL|09. Back from Test duties, Head is a proven T20 performer and will bat in the top three.
IT’S A BIG NIGHT FOR..
Who else? AB de Villiers. It will be a rapid introduction to the BBL, arriving in Brisbane over the weekend and having one training session before the game. He takes over from Tom Banton as the Heat’s international batsman and will no doubt relish the challenge to help the Heat target a spot in the finals.