The Scorchers host the Thunder in the late game on Monday night with both teams needing a win as they push for a finals place. The Thunder and Scorchers have both played eleven games and with only one point separating the fourth placed Thunder from the fifth placed Scorchers, this is a must win for both sides.
The Scorchers are on a two-game slide after their loss to the Stars on Saturday night. They looked in control for most of the game but lost numerous wickets to poor shots that inevitably cost them as they went under by 10 runs. A big plus for the Scorchers is the acquisition of paceman Morne Morkel who will replace Chris Jordan when he departs on international duty for the final match of the regular season and into the finals.
The Thunder, having lost twice to Duckworth-Lewis equations, as well as a draw due to bad weather, in which they were in total control, finally got a bit of wet weather fortune in the Sydney Derby, securing a Duckworth-Lewis victory.
But with both team struggling to chase runs of late it will be a key coin toss as the Perth pitch is also known to favour the team that bats first. The wicket at Perth will assist the side batting first as it tends to get slower as the match progresses. In BBL09, three out of four matches at this venue have been won by the side batting first.
The Thunder won both matches last year against the Scorchers and this will be the first time these two teams meet this season, with the reverse fixture being the last match of BBL09 which shapes up as being equally crucial.
Perth Scorchers squad (13): Mitch Marsh (c), Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Tim David, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie, Joshua Inglis, Chris Jordan, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson
Sydney Thunder squad (13): Callum Ferguson, Liam Bowe, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggert, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu
The Scorchers squandered a brilliant opportunity to knock the leaders off their perch, going down to the Stars. One man who wishes he had his time over again was Josh Inglis who was bowled out for 12. Inglis has made a habit of getting starts without going on with it but he loves batting at this ground only failing to score above 20 on one occasion at Optus Stadium in BBL09. That was back in the second game of the season against the Renegades in which he was dismissed for 14. Inglis has also top scored in the Scorchers last two home games and there is no reason why he shouldn’t again here.
Inglis sees himself in the top 10 for runs scored in BBL09 and averages just under 30 at a strike rate of over 150. Inglis can go big from the start and if he is still in after the power play he could see his high score of 73 this year fall.
There has arguably been no better bowler so far this season than Daniel Sams. He has 20 wickets to his name in 11 matches in BBL09 which sees him as the current top wicket taker, four clear of the second.
His 3/14 in the Sydney Smash speaks volumes of how far he has come this season and his variation has made him hard to get runs off. This is shown in his economy rate of 7.77 which is phenomenal for a bowler who bowls the closing overs.
Sams should feel like home on a Perth pitch full of bounce and one that should suit his pace variations nicely. Look for him to cause all sorts of issues to a Scorchers batting side that struggles in the middle order and tail end.
Statistically the Thunder have the advantage having won the last three clashes against the Scorchers and the Scorchers have struggled when being favourites at home this season, losing their last four matches as favourites at the Optus Stadium. While this is a big game for both teams and I would lean towards whoever bats first, without knowing that I have to lean towards the Thunder to take this one. The Thunder look the more complete side and with the better middle order of Alex Ross and Chris Morris they can take this out.
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