The Renegades face a challenging opening weekend with back to back clashes against the Scorchers and Sixers. They began their campaign on Saturday against the Scorchers, while on Sunday they face the Sixers, who threw away a golden opportunity to start their season off with a win against the Hurricanes. The Sixers were 1/118 in pursuit of 179, before losing 5/44 off the last 6.2 overs to fall 16 runs short.
The Renegades have had a big offseason recruiting star imports Rilee Roussow, Imad Wasim and Imran Tahir, whilst also picking up local talent in Josh Lalor and Jack Prestdwige. The Renegades have bolstered what was a weak bowling lineup, and now boast lethal spin options in Cameron Boyce, Jon Holland, Noor Ahmed, Tahir and Wasim.
The Sixers hold the head to head advantage 7-5 and have won the past two encounters between the two sides. With the likes of Finch, Marsh, Roussow, Phillipe, Vince and Christian facing off, expect an entertaining clash filled with plenty of runs.
Sunday December 13, Blundstone Arena, 7:15pm
Sydney Sixers Squad: Justin Avendano, Nick Bertus, Carlos Brathwaite, Daniel Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Daniel Hughes (c), Ben Manenti, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Stephen O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Tom Rogers, Gurinder Sandhu, Jordan Silk, James Vince
Melbourne Renegades Squad: Aaron Finch (C), Brody Couch, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Peter Hatzoglou, Jon Holland, Benny Howell, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Rilee Rossouw, Beau Webster
This is a crucial clash early in the season for both sides, given the fact both sides will play their first ten games away from home, they can’t afford to get off to a slow start. Whilst the Renegades possess one of the competition’s best batting lineups with Finch, Harper, Marsh, Webster and Roussow, the bowling attack will be under pressure as James Pattinson, Will Sutherland, Noor Ahmed, Imad Wasim and Mohammed Nabi won’t be available for the first few games of the season. Can Kane Richardson shoulder the load with the ball?
The Sixers will need to tinker with their batting lineup after Dan Christian and Carlos Brathwaite were wasted in their chase against the Hurricanes on Thursday night. With some adjustments to the middle order, plus an improved performance out of young gun Josh Phillipe, the Sixers shouldn’t have any troubles putting up a big score.
Whilst they struggled at the death, the Sixers bowling attack showed early that even without Abbott, Starc and Hazlewood, they can take plenty of wickets. Ben Manenti and Ben Dwarshius were excellent with the new ball, coming up against a Renegades side that has consistently struggled against spin, expect Manenti to play a big role with the ball.
Whilst both sides possess plenty of firepower with the bat, it’s the depth in Sixers bowling attack that will prove the decisive factor. After a disappointing loss on opening night, expect the Sixers to bounce back with a victory over the Renegades.
Whilst he had a nightmare start to the season, Josh Philippe has been one of the most in form T20 batsmen in the country over the past year. Philippe scored 487 runs in BBL09, the third most in the competition. Philippe loves playing against the Renegades with scores of 61, 33 and 52 in his last three matches against Melbourne. With Outside of Kane Richardson, there isn’t any pace depth in the Renegades side, so expect Philippe to be smashing them to all parts of Blundstone Arena on Sunday night.
Philippe Top SYD Runscorer
Aaron Finch started the summer on fire with knocks of 114, 60 and 75 in the ODI series. He now comes back to a competition he has dominated since its inception and against a team he has had plenty of success against. Finch has scored 328 runs against the Sixers, the most of any player in matches between the Renegades and Sixers. Finch has scores of 109, 9, 44, 51 and 57 in his last five innings against the Sixers. With Finch in some excellent form, expect the Renegades skipper to send a message early in the tournament, posting a big score on Sunday night.
Finch Top MEL Runscorer
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