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Warner's power to match Rana's guile
Defending champions New South Wales Blues take on the lesser fancied Tasmanian Tigers in the third match on Wednesday.
The Tigers, who finished seventh in the last edition will have their task cut out against the star studded Blues when the two sides face up at the Bellerive Oval.

The Blues went on to win the inaugural Airtel Champions League Twenty20 in October in India and the success at a big global stage will be a huge motivation to improve their current domestic form.

The Blues will miss the services of skipper Simon Katich, who is on national duty for the Australian team and of speed merchant Brett Lee and Stuart Clark, who are injured.

Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz and left arm seamer Doug Bollinger, who are also engaged in the Test series against Pakistan, will leave a gaping hole for the Blues as they prepare to defend their KFC Twenty20 BigBash title.

However, a talented, young crop of Philip Hughes, David Warner, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, David Smith and Ben Rohrer can be more than handful.

Aaron Bird, last year’s leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash, will lead the Blues’ bowling attack. The Tigers are hungry to make amends for last year’s mistakes and start the new season on a good note.

To enhance their chances in the Twenty20 domestic competition, the Tigers roped in England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas and Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga earlier. However, both of them have been rendered unavailable with Mascarenhas out due to knee injury and Malinga on national duty.

The Tigers signed up Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan as replacement in the eleventh hour. The Tasmanian outfit have high hopes from wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine who returned after healing an injured finger earlier this month.

Captain George Bailey, Brett Geeves and Jason Krejza will be crucial for the Tigers. Geeves and Krejza shared 20 wickets between them in the last Big Bash season and will look to make a dent in the NSW Blues impressive batting line-up.

The Blues will also avail services of West Indian allrounder Dwayne Smith. Even though Smith has not played a Twenty20 match for the West Indies since September 2007, he is confident that he will make up for the missing players.

On paper, the Blues look a more balanced side than the Tigers but only Wednesday’s encounter will decide which one is stronger.
 
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