Melbourne Stars ($1.48 with sportsbet.com.au) vs. Brisbane Heat ($2.67 with sportsbet.com.au)
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 7.40pm AEDT, Melbourne Cricket Ground, watch on Network 10
IT’S hard to fathom how Brisbane Heat master blaster Chris Lynn was left out of the Australian one day squad to play India, but the Aussies’ loss is the KFC T20 Big Bash league’s gain.
The gun number three has been the best batsman in the Big Bash League, his ferocious form yielding 322 runs from just seven matches – comfortably putting him at the top of the competition’s run scoring list, 71 runs ahead of big hitting Adelaide Strikers man Travis Head.
Those runs have come from just 194 balls at a brilliant strike rate of 165.98 – third in the competition behind West Indian pair Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo.
He has a century – one of only four in the tournament – and a pair of half centuries to his name, both of those brisk 75 run innings, one unbeaten, giving him an average of 53.67.
The century came off just 51 balls against the Hobart Hurricanes and featured seven sixes and five boundaries, adding to his competition leading 20 maximums.
Yet he fell for just one run in his last outing, a six run win over there Sydney Sixers. He was removed by the rug Doug Bollinger for an un-Lynn-like one off five balls.
And that is why we expect him to be back with a vengeance against the in form Melbourne Stars.
That win over the Sixers eliminated them from the Big Bash League finals.
The Heat can’t make the finals either, but they will be keen to crash the Stars’ party, after they turned around losses in the opening two matches to build a four game winning streak.
Lynn will be key if this is to happen.
“I’d rather get in and swing that big chunk of wood in my hands, because I’m out there to score runs at the end of the day, and it’s paid off so far,” Lynn said.
“With Twenty20 cricket you’ve got to go out there and play your shots, and back your instincts.”
He has been the lynch pin for the struggling Heat, often hitting the crease early and teeing off, while watching his team mates tumble around him.
He has been so much better than any one else in the side, no other Brisbane Heat batsman is in the top 20, with opener Jimmy Pierson next best at 22, with 151 runs, less than half of Lynn’s total.
Pierson, at $4.50 with Sportsbet.com.au, is the nearest challenger to Lynn in the Heat’s top run scorer market, but he is the red hot favourite at $2.80. Import Lendl Simmons is $5 and it seems punters have forgotten how explosive Joe Burns can be, with the Australian Test opener at $6 to head the run scoring.
But Lynn is the man in this Brisbane Heat line up and we expect him to lead the way again.
Left out of the Australian team gave Lynn the opportunity to focus on his Big Bash League performances, but surely he has justified a spot in the Australian Squad for the T20 World Cup in India in March.
There is some concern that Lynn won’t hold up on the low, slow decks on the sub continent, but you simply cannot argue with form. It is compelling and he must be on the tour if the Australian selectors are to be taken seriously. Let’s not turn Lynn into another Michael Klinger, who is perhaps the unluckiest cricketer in Australia.
Heat coach Dan Vettori agrees
“The way he’s playing he’s going to knock on the door and hopefully it’s the Australian T20 team that’s the first way in for him,” Vettori said.
“I’ve played with Chris for a number of years now and seen his game develop.
“The thing that he’s always had is a natural talent but we’re seeing a real game plan and a lot of thought going into how he takes on a game and a bowler.
“You’ve got a guy who is exceptionally talented and he’s starting to really think about his game. It’s an awesome package at the moment.”
And hey, even if he does not get picked by the Australian team, Lynn’s life has been changed for the better from his seven innings, after he landed a massive contract in the Indian Premier League.
The Kolkata Knight Riders.
Lynn has signed a $269,000 deal with the IPL team, not in the class of the million dollar deals afforded the likes of Glenn Maxwell, but still great money for a couple of month’s work.
If you feel like a flutter on the Stars, they have a pair of Poms who have been picking apart the opposition in this Big Bash League season.
Luke Wright, who has also struck a ton this year and owns the league’s record score, is the $3.40 favourite to top the Stars’ run scoring, only marginally ahead of the uber popular Kevin Pietersen, who is $3.50, despite coming off a failure in his last innings. If you’re looking for a bit of value, Peter Handscomb at $6.50 or the captain David Hussey at $9 could be the go.
Chris Lynn markets
Brisbane Heat top run scorer: $3.40 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Top match batsman: $4.33
Man of the match: $10 @ Sportsbet.com.au
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