The latest round of Big Bash League group stage matches

6th January

Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades

Career-best figures for leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and a century opening stand between ‘Bash Brothers’ Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn crushed the Melbourne Stars on Tuesday at the MCG.
Swepson’s 3/14 from four overs helped restrict the Stars to 141. Glenn Maxwell was the only Stars batsman to make a sizeable contribution, bringing up a scratchy 50 with a top edged four before departing next ball, before McCullum (61 from 30 balls) and Lynn (63 not out off 46) made light work of the run chase.
The Heat brought up their victory in just 14.4 overs, their third win from five outings in BBL07, while the Stars remain winless after three games.
The Renegades won their third game out of four against the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday in Geelong, restricting the Sixers to 111/8 with Dwayne Bravo taking three wickets an then winning with 27 balls to spare by eight wickets to give their net run rate a huge boost

Against the winless Stars, the Renegades are 8/11 to win their fourth game.

7th January

Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers

Sydney played Hobart twice over the New Year. In the first game the Thunder scored 167 and Hobart could only respond with 109.

In the second game roles were reversed as D’Arcy Short smashed 97* to lead Hobart to 189-3 and they always looked likely to hold on, despite Buttler’s 81 off 43 balls, and they eventually won by 9 runs to get their first win of the competition

Thunder now have two wins from their five games which has to be a disappointging return for a side where Watson and Buttler have produced excellent performances with the bat.

The Strikers had to chase 183 against Hobart on Thursday and fell seven runs short despite contributions from Head and Ingram that got them close. The was their first lossin the competition in four games but they should be favourites to rebound here even as the away side and can be backed at 10/11

8th January

Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers

Hobart scored 183 against Adelaide on Thursday thanks to Short’s 96 off 69 balls (following on from97* last match) which propelled them to their first above par score of the competition. They hung on to win by seven runs with Jofra Archer again starring taking 3-15 off his four overs in a high scoring contest

The Sixers lost their fifth successive game against the Renegades on Wednesday in Geelong, only scoring 111/8 batting first and yet again the batting line up gave the bowlers little chance losing with 27 balls to spare by eight wickets.

Neither of these sides are likely to make the knockout stages, but Hobart at home should win at 5/6

Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades

The Scorchers fell to their first defeat on Brisbane last Friday, chasing 191 they were all out for 142. Still one of the leading sides in the tournament though, especially with their homea dvantage

The Renegades won their third game out of four against the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday in Geelong, restricting the Sixers to 111/8 with Dwayne Bravo taking three wickets
Renegades v Sixers. Then they played the Melbourne Derby previewed earlier in this report

The Scorchers should rebound at 10/11 here