The Perth Scorchers are through to the BBL11 Final on Friday night, who will join them? The Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers will square off in the 'Challenger' on Wednesday night, with the winner advancing to the big dance.
As always, Mr. Cricket is back on deck to preview the game in full and give his match prediction and same game multi below. Mr. Cricket is 27-7 on match predictions throughout the BBL season so far and will be looking to round out the year with two more wins over the coming days.
BBL11 Sixers vs Strikers Betting Tips
Challanger, SCG, Wednesday 26th January, 7.25pm (AEDT)
Predicted XI: Justin Avendano, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Dan Hughes, Jordan Silk, Nicholas Bertus, Sean Abbott, Hayden Kerr, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Lyon, Steve O'Keefe
The Sixers were absolutely rocked by injury and COVID in the lead up to their first final against the Scorchers on Saturday night. Top order batsman Daniel Hughes sprained his ankle in the warm up, forcing him out of the game while his likely replacement in Jack Edwards was also ruled out through a positive COVID test. The absences threw even more light onto the fact that Steve Smith was barred from competing for the Sixers by Cricket Australia, a controversial decision to say the least.
Dan Hughes is currently listed as 'unlikely' to compete on Wednesday night. There's a chance he is named down the order and potentially subbed out of the game after 10 overs if the Sixers bat first and are looking okay, but we are preparing for him to be out completely and the Sixers to go into the game with the same line-up as Saturday night.
Note: Josh Philippe was ruled out of the clash on Tuesday night through COVID protocols. I think the Sixers throw a bit of a spanner into the works here and shift Dan Christian to the top of the order to potentially do some damage in the powerplay, much like the Thunder did with Ben Cutting earlier in the season.
Predicted XI: Alex Carey, Matt Short, Ian Cockbain, Travis Head, Jonathan Wells, Matt Renshaw, Thomas Kelly, Henry Thornton, Harry Conway, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed
The Strikers have been fantastic in both of their finals so far, defeating the Hurricanes in the first game before going on to upset the Thunder a few nights ago. They have now won their last six games in a row and look like the form team in the competition. The return of Alex Carey at the top of the order has been a life-line, with the Australian wicket-keeper averaging 45 through his two innings back in the line-up.
The form of Englishman Ian Cockbain has also been a massive factor in the Strikers turn of form. Throguh his five games in the BBL so far, he has plundered 191 runs at an average of 38.2. At the start of the season, the Strikers were a strong bowling side and a weak batting side. However, the form of Cockbain, Matt Short and the return of Carey and Travis Head has flipped them into a strong batting side, while their bowling has fallen off after losing Rashid Khan and Wes Agar.
There's no doubt the Strikers have taken their game to the next level over the past couple of weeks. However, I still find myself doubting them. I used to have real reservations about their batting line-up but now it's their bowling that I'm concerned about. Peter Siddle plastered over the cracks against the Thunder, getting two of the luckiest wickets in the power play both with full toss deliveries. Harry Conway has the ability to get tonked on any given night and Henry Thornton is completely unproven at this level.
The Sixers have a few out, and this latest loss of Josh Philippe is a particularly big one. However, they have the championship pedigree and know how to win these big games. Their bowling attack is elite. They have two of the best spinners in the country as well as a dominant pace attack. I like the value of the Sixers to win this one, especially now as underdogs with Philippe out.
Same Game Multi
Moises Henriques has surpassed 10 runs in 75% of his BBL innings dating all the way back to BBL07. He has also passed the mark in his last five straight innings and 12 of his 13 innings this season. Is almost automatic at this point.
Matt Short has been one of the best batsman in the BBL this season, plundering 487 runs at an average of 34.79. He has passed 10 runs in 13 of his 15 innings this season and his last five in a row.
As always, our final leg will be the first wicket of the game to be caught. This bet has saluted in over 80% of games this season and all three finals games so far.
Henriques 10+ Runs
Short 10+ Runs
1st Wicket - Caught
SIX vs STR Same Game Multi