The Thunder host the Hurricanes from Sydney Showground Stadium on Saturday night in a match that both teams desperately need to win. Both have lost three of their last four games and currently sit in the bottom half of the table. The Thunder are coming off a comfortable loss to the Melbourne Stars and the Hurricanes off a loss to the Brisbane Heat. Whichever team can put up a decent score here will likely be the one to get their season heading back in the right.
The Thunder and Hurricanes are yet to play eachother this season but the Thunder have won three of their last five matches against the Hurricanes. The Thunder are yet to win at home this season and that is a stat that they will be out to change against a Hurricanes side now without their leader D’arcy Short who is on international duty. Matthew Wade came into the team last match as his replacement and showed his pedigree with a well-constructed 61 off 46 against the Heat, which was one of the only positives they could take out of the match.
Sydney Thunder Squad (13): Callum Ferguson (c), Liam Bowe, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Alex Hales, Liam Hatcher, Usman Khawaja, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Chris Tremain
Hobart Hurricanes Squad (13): Matthew Wade (c), Qais Ahmad, George Bailey, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, David Miller, Jake Reed, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose
Liam Hatcher has been approved by the Technical Committee to join the squad as a Local Replacement Player for Ollie Davies and he is a chance at getting a start against the Hurricanes. Other than that change and the omission of Green for the remainder of the BBL season due to his bowling action, the Thunder remain relatively unchanged.
In a game that on paper that doesn’t appear to have much to separate the two the best option looks to be the Thunder to have the most match sixes. The Thunder have hit three fewer sixes than the Hurricanes this campaign but nine of the Hurricanes sixes were off the bat of Short who is now missing from the team. The Thunder have plenty of big hitters in their squad with the likes of Hales, Gilkes, Ferguson and Khawaja all capable of getting their fair share of maximums. Add to the mix Chris Morris, who has largely failed to impress with the bat but is capable of his share of sixes on his day and the Thunder could rack up enough sixes here.
Scott Boland put in an impressive display in the Hurricanes last match loss to the Heat. He took figures of 3/16 off 4 overs and took 2/29 off 4 the game prior where they defeated the Scorchers. Boland looks to be in fine form so far this BBL season and is a great chance to pick up a few wickets again here against the Thunder.
Boland’s economy rate of 5.63 ranks the third best in the competition and he has frustrated batting teams in both games he has played as they have struggled to get him away. In their last game against the Heat his pressure from keeping the runs down led to Chris Lynn being run out.
Both teams are really struggling for form and consistent performances this season but I have to lean towards the Thunder to get their first home win of the season here. Matt Wade is a big addition to the Hurricanes team but he still is no D’arcy Short and the batting of the Thunder is stronger than the Hurricanes. Khawaja, Hales and Ferguson all look to be in good touch as well as Alex Ross and they still have the X factor of Morris and Sams who can chip in for late runs. The Thunder will likely get a few too many runs for the Hurricanes who have only scored above 150 in 2 out of their 7 games this season.
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