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Jan 14: Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Renegades, Canberra

Pro Tip: The Melbourne Renegades have dominated this fixture in the past, winning 10 out of 13 games against the Brisbane Heat. However, with the current form and player availability, Heat hold the upper hand. The last time the Renegades played at the Manuka Oval, they were bundled out for 80. So make sure you pick more Heat players.

Our XI:Shaun Marsh, Sam Harper, Aaron Finch, Peter Hatzoglou, Kane Richardson, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mark Steketee

Substitutes: Joe Burns, Jack Wildermuth, Jack Prestwidge, Beau Webster

Player availability: Shaun Marsh is likely to be available after missing the last couple of games. Mohammad Nabi will not be available for the rest of the tournament because of national duties. We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Chris Lynn

Even though he has missed a part of this season because of injury, Lyn has scored 20 or more in all five games he played and has accumulated 223 runs at a strike rate of 151.70. Now that he is back to his favourite opening spot, he should get some big runs again.

Vice-captain: Shaun Marsh

Even though he missed the last couple of games, Marsh is still the leading scorer in BBL 10 for the Renegades with 247 runs at a strike rate of 137.22.

Hot Picks

Lewis Gregory: Gregory has come in and completely changed the pattern for the Heat, helping them to four wins. He has picked up six wickets and scored crucial runs – 29 (27) and 31* (16) – so far this season. He also won the Player-of-the-Match award for his 3 for 22 against the Hurricanes earlier in the season.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Mujeeb has performed exceptionally well in BBL 10, picking up 14 wickets in eight games at an average of 13.42. This is likely to be his last game this season for the Heat as he leaves for national duty.

Max Bryant: Even though he is doesn’t have a 50-plus score in BBL 10, Bryant has 220 runs in nine games at a strike rate of 137.50. He scored a 24-ball 44 against the Renegades in his last outing against them.

Differential Picks

Peter Hatzoglou: Hatzoglou has been in top form in his debut BBL season, picking up ten wickets in eight games at an average of 24. After a couple of disappointing outings, he came back well in the last game to pick up three wickets.

Aaron Finch: Finch is in the middle of one of his leanest seasons in BBL history, with only 146 runs in eight games. However, at his favourite venue – he has scored a staggering 1108 runs in 29 games at an average of 44.32 – he should get back in form.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Joe Burns and Joe Denly can be swapped.



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SA-W vs Pak-W 2020-21 – Mignon du Preez

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du Preez, though, is hoping that it will spur the younger players to “step up, show their skills”

Mignon du Preez, the senior South Africa Women batter, believes the absence of premier allrounders Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon, due to injuries, for the upcoming home series against Pakistan will pose a “challenge” for the hosts. However, she is hoping that the unavailability of the two mainstays will spur the younger players in the side to “step up, show their skills”.

van Niekerk, the regular captain, and Tryon, the vice-captain, are among the three players – the other an unnamed player who tested positive for Covid-19 – to be ruled out of the three ODIs and as many T20Is that South Africa are due to play against Pakistan, who are without their designated captain Bismah Maroof, starting January 20 at Kingsmead. van Niekerk and Tryon are recovering lower-back injuries sustained in September.

“She [van Niekerk] is extremely passionate about her team, so we’ll definitely miss that this time around,” du Preez told ESPNcricinfo. “I know it’s not going to be easy for her sitting on the sidelines. I’ve seen her sending some messages that it’s really tough not being here.



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Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test, Galle – Moeen Ali returns to England bubble after release from quarantine | Cricket

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Moeen Ali has been separated from his England team-mates since the start of the tour © Getty Images


Moeen Ali has been released from quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka, and has returned to the England team bubble in Galle after serving an extended isolation period.

Moeen, 33, tested negative for the virus prior to England’s departure from the UK earlier this month, but returned a positive test after the team touched down in Hambantota on January 3.

He had initially been expected to isolate for ten days, but that period was extended to 13 with the England management’s blessing last week, after the Sri Lankan government expressed their reservations in light of a new strain of the virus being found in the UK late last year.

Aside from being unable to train, Moeen has been kept away from his team-mates for the duration of the tour – and at one stage completed a 150-mile round trip from Hambantota to Galle and back again, when it transpired that the hotel that he had been allocated was undergoing building works.

He will now link up with the rest of the squad at the Lighthouse Hotel in Galle, and was welcomed back into the dressing-room midway through the third day of the first Test.

“It’s great to have Mo back,” Sam Curran, Moeen’s team-mate, said. “When we walked into the changing room after one of the sessions today, we saw Mo and just saw the smile on everyone’s faces.

“He’s obviously had a really tough couple of weeks and no-one wants to get into the situation he was in. Thankfully he got through that okay, and we’re all really excited to have him back in the group to play cricket again, because we all know what an awesome player he is, and to be around.

“The guys are really happy, and hopefully it doesn’t happen to anyone else, because no one wants to have players leaving the group and isolating for a couple of weeks.”

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Moeen had been in line for his first Test appearance in 18 months, having taken a break from the format after the opening match of the 2019 Ashes, and missing last winter's tours of New Zealand and South Africa. But, given his lack of match practice, and with the second Sri Lanka Test due to start in less than a week's time, it's unlikely he will be available for selection until the India series gets underway next month.

"I'm sure tomorrow when he has a run around it will be nice for him to get back playing cricket but to be honest I don't really know when he'll be back," Curran said. "I'm sure everyone's just really looking forward to having Mo back. I'm sure he'll start training tomorrow."

Earlier this week, two members of the catering staff at England's team hotel tested positive for Covid-19, but a team spokesman said they were unconcerned by the development, despite having pulled out of their pre-Christmas tour of South Africa following a similar situation.

"Our protocols have been excellent and we continue to be vigilant," the spokesman added.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.





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Recent Match Report – Scorchers vs Sixers 41st Match 2020

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Livingstone heroics went in vain as Sixers cement hold on top spot

Sydney Sixers 3 for 164 (Philippe 84, Behrendorff 1-19) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 163 (Livingstone 67, Christian 2-22, Brathwaite 2-12) by seven wickets

Josh Philippe may well have secured a trip to New Zealand with Australia’s T20 side after producing yet another dazzling display with the bat to entrench Sydney Sixers in top spot on the BBL table with a comfortable win over Perth Scorchers.

Philippe, the tournament’s leading runscorer, made light work of what could have been a tricky chase of 164 showcasing his full array of skills in an innings of 84 from 52 balls. He shared a 106-run stand with James Vince who scored an equally classy 52 from just 35 as the Sixers cruised to victory by seven wickets with seven balls to spare.

The Scorchers only have themselves to blame after inviting the Sixers back into the game. At the ten-over mark of the first innings, they were for 1 for 103 having won the toss and batted first. Liam Livingstone lit up Manuka Oval with some phenomenal striking, launching six balls into the stands in a blistering 38-ball 67. But they boldly took the Power Surge in the 11th over and Livingstone holed out first ball to spark a stunning collapse. They lost 6 for 60 in the last 10 overs with Dan Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, and Jake Ball strangling the Scorchers middle order taking two wickets each.

The Sixers moved nine points clear on top of the BBL table, while the Scorchers remain in third thanks to the Bash Boost point.

Living dangerously

Livingstone was dropped first ball in the last game against the Hobart Hurricanes and made them pay with a half-century. He was dropped fifth ball off Steve O’Keefe and made the Sixers pay a heavy price. It was a straightforward chance at mid-off which Daniel Hughes made a mess of.

The Scorchers scored just nine runs off the first two overs before Livingstone teed off. Jackson Bird’s line and length was treated with disdain as he clubbed two fours a six in one over. O’Keefe then suffered the ignominy of conceding the most runs in an over in this BBL season. Livingstone plundered 26 off the bat, including three sixes, two of which were struck one-handed down the ground, while O’Keefe delivered a wide as well. The Scorchers took 53 off the powerplay and kept rolling.

Livingstone brought up his half-century in the seventh over off just 29 balls with his fifth six. Even the loss of Jason Roy didn’t slow him down as he cleared the rope for a sixth time. The Scorchers were 1 for 103 after 10 overs but incredibly, Dan Christian bowled the eighth and 10th over and conceded just 10 runs while picking up Roy.

Power Failure

The Scorchers took the Power Surge immediately and it triggered a collapse as they lost 4 for 18 in four overs. Livingstone later blamed himself after chipping the first ball from Jake Ball to mid-off, and Ashton Turner holed out later in the over. They managed to score just 9 runs from the Surge with Ball and Christian tying them down with some excellent yorkers and slower balls. Colin Munro watched his teammates come and go and struggled for fluency against some clever bowling and fell to Carlos Brathwaite for 34 off 32. The Scorchers scored just 60 off the last 10 overs and lost six wickets.

Philippe fires

Philippe continued his outstanding form on a day when Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch suggested he was being looked at closely for national duties. He got off the mark with a streaky outside edge past slip but was flawless thereafter, feasting on Andrew Tye in the third over taxing three overpitched deliveries in a row. The chase stalled a touch when Philippe and Vince didn’t score a boundary for four overs after Justin Avendano fell to Jason Behrendorff in the midst of a tidy spell from the left-armer. But Tye returned and Philippe pumped him through midwicket to bring up a very comfortable half-century off 31 balls.

He then stepped on the accelerator and Vince went with him. The pair struck six fours and two sixes in 30 balls without taking the Power Surge. They called for the Surge in the 16th over and brought up a century stand and Vince’s half-century in the same over. They couldn’t finish the game off themselves. Philippe was hit in the helmet trying to pull a slower ball bouncer off Jhye Richardson and lost his middle stump next ball trying to paddle scoop fine. Vince played all around a leg break from Fawad Ahmed in the next over but Hughes and Christian scored the last 16 runs without error.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne



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