The competition began with wins for defending champion Adelaide Strikers and the Melbourne Renegades and there are three matches this weekend

Saturday 22nd December

Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers

The Scorchers were dismissed for 103 in their home first match against the Renegades with only one batsman exceeding 20. This was an almost possible total to defend but their strong bowling at least took six wickets to make it difficult for the Melbourne side

The Scorchers are nevertheless 10/11 favourites for this Sydney match against the Sixers for whom this is the first game of their season.

The Sixers just missed out on making the playoffs during the 2017/18 Big Bash season, having finished as runners-up the year before. Their bowling attack was solid, and their batting saw a number of decent performances, but they did not perform as well as they could have.

They were, however, without captain Moises Henriques for much of the season, who was absent for personal reasons and have brought a whole crop of youngsters which mean their form might not matter a huge amount going forwards.It is hard to say how quickly these youngsters will adapt to playing on such a big stage, or how big an impact they can realistically have in a format most of them have never played at senior level and the experienced multi champion Perth side have to be backed at 10/11 with SkyBet

Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes

The Heat began their season with a home loss to the Strikers failing to defend 146 which looked an under-par total all along. The Heat are a big hitting explosive team so this was a disappointing start but they won’t meet many spinners of the quality of Rashid Khan in the competition, who recorded figures of 4-0-19-3.

Hobart open their competition here. The Hurricanes are coming off the back of their best ever Big Bash season, spurred on in part by the talented Jofra Archer (who could sooner than initially thought be playing for England) who finished as their leading wicket-taker. There were also a lot of runs from D’Arcy Short who finished as the leading run-scorer in the entire tournament by over 100 runs, and they were only undone in the final by an Adelaide Strikers batting order that was simply not going to lose that day.

Having two of the most individually talented players taking part in the competition was naturally quite helpful during the 2017/18 season. Short scored a stupid number of runs, while Archer took a healthy load of wickets. Both of them will be playing for the Hurricanes this season again, and both are probably better than they were this time last season. If they can continue in the same vein, then the Hurricanes may well make the final again and can be backed in this match as 6/5 outsiders with SkyBet

Sunday 23rd December

Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades

Adelaide the defending champions knocked off 146 comfortably enough to beat Brisbane in their first match and with Rashid in full flow are going to be favourites for most of their matches this season. The Renegades victoryover the Scorchers was on the other hand an upset. They have a lot of depth in their ranks now with good T20 all rounder Christian the fifth bowler and batting number seven. Thet couldbe setfor a good season but Adelaide here have to be favoured at 5/6 with SkyBet