After an upset win over the Sixers on Saturday night, it doesn’t get any easier for the Heat as they host the Thunder at the Gabba. The Thunder come into the clash on a five-game win streak in BBL10 and will be looking to hold their spot at the top end of the table. Can the Heat cause another upset to place themselves right in the finals mix? Or will the Thunder continue their dominant run?
See our full preview and BBL betting tips for Monday night’s clash below.
Gabba, Monday January 4, 7:15pm
Brisbane Heat Squad: Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Joe Burns, Max Bryant, Tom Cooper, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Sam Heazlett, Matthew Kuhnemann, Ben Laughlin, Jimmy Peirson, Lachy Pfeffer, Simon Milenko, Jack Sinfield, Mark Steketee, Connor Sully, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jack Wildermuth, Jack Wood
Sydney Thunder Squad: Callum Ferguson, Sam Billings, Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
After a loss in their opening match to the Stars, the Thunder have been on a roll peeling off five straight wins that has them sitting as the favourites to take out the title. This run of form has been led by their incredible batting unit with Callum Ferguson (208 runs, 5th), Alex Hales (197 runs, 6th) and Usman Khawaja (164 runs, 10th) all sitting inside the top ten run scorers in the comp. With the emergence of young star Ollie Davies and the arrival of Englishman Sam Billings, the Thunder have an embarrassment of riches with the bat.
Whilst the Thunder have been dominant with the bat, the emergence of nineteen year old Tanveer Sangha has been crucial to the Thunder’s success. Sangha is ranked number two in the comp for wickets with 10, with a remarkable average of 13.7 and an economy of 6.42. The young leggie has created a dynamic spin duo with Chris Green, with both having the ability to bowl crucial overs during the powerplay.
The Thunder have won two of their past three games against the Heat, including a remarkable four wicket win back in December off the back of some Daniel Sams heroics. With the way the Thunder are going at the moment, Sams shouldn’t be required to produce again with the bat. Whilst the Heat did pull off an impressive upset over the Sixers, cricket fans know that it’s hard to trust the Heat given their inconsistency. The battle between Callum Ferguson and the in form Mujeeb will be a crucial one, but with the form the Thunder are in at the moment, they’re simply too hard to go past.
Xavier Bartlett has had an impressive start to his BBL career, taking seven wickets at an average of 19.28. The 21 year old has been trusted with the new ball and has caused opposition sides plenty of trouble with his swing and bounce. Bartlett has taken wickets in the powerplay in three of his five games this season, and he’ll need to produce against the star studded top order of the Thunder.
The Heat have had six different leading wicket takers in their six games this season, so there's plenty of value in this marker for the Heat. Bartlett has looked the most dangerous of the Heat seamers this season. He bowls at the top and at the death, giving him excellent opportunities to take wickets when the batsmen are going hard. At $5.00, Bartlett is an excellent value choice to be the Heat’s leading wicket taker.
Even at 36 years of age, Callum Ferguson continues to be one of the best batsmen in the Big Bash. Ferguson sits as the fifth highest run scorer in the comp with 206 runs at an average of 41. Ferguson has three half centuries from his six matches and has been the Thunder’s top run scorer twice already this season.
Ferguson has the most runs of any current Thunder player against the Heat with 149, last season Ferguson smashed 73 not out off just 44 balls in a man of the match performance against the Heat last season. Ferguson has been in excellent touch this season and coming up against a bowling unit that has lacked consistency, Ferguson will be well positioned to put up another big score.
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