It’s a Sydney derby with a bit more spice as the top of the table Sixers take on the Thunder at Manuka Oval. The Sixers come into the clash off a last ball victory against the Heat, whilst the Thunder will be looking to bounce back after a seventeen run loss against the Scorchers. With top spot on the line, expect an exciting encounter between the two best teams in the competition. See our full preview and betting tips for Wednesday night’s clash below.
Manuka Oval, Wednesday January 13, 7:15pm
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, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain, Daniel Sams
Sydney Sixers Squad: Justin Avendano, Jake Ball, Nick Bertus, Jackson Bird, Carlos Brathwaite, Daniel Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Ben Manenti, Stephen O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jake Ball, Gurinder Sandhu, Jordan Silk, James Vince
The first Sydney derby of the season comes in the back half of the season and it’s set to be a cracker. The Sixers sit atop the table but with a win the Thunder will leapfrog them into top spot. The Sixers weren’t at their best against the Heat on Sunday, but a Dan Christian masterclass got them over the line in another tight game. Their experience and depth, the Sixers just keep finding a way like true champions.
The Sixers variety with the ball looks to be a crucial advantage they will hold in this clash. With O’Keefe, Bird, Brathwaite, Pope, Christian and Ball all in the attack the Sixers have incredible flexibility that allows them to adapt to any situation like they did in their last match against the Heat. Their depth with the bat was also on show in their last match, with the top three of Philippe, Edwards and Vince all scoring under 20, it was Daniel Hughes (51) and Dan Christian (61 not out) that got the Sixers across the line. It’s a matter of who, not if, the Sixers batting unit will get you.
The Sixers have won two of their last three against their crosstown rivals, and the Thunder have lost two of their last three games after starting the season 5-1. Whilst the Thunder do have depth with the bat, it’s clear that if you can restrict the top three of Hales, Khawaja and Ferguson the Thunder struggle to hit winning scores. The Sixers have barely put a foot wrong this season, and with a chance to break clear at the top of the table, expect a big performance from the men in magenta.
With Alex Ross coming back into the Thunder side after a groin injury, Sam Billings has moved up to number four and almost single handedly dragged the Thunder to victory in their last match against the Scorchers. Billings smashed 83 off 46 deliveries in a knock that included eight fours and four sixes.
Billings has scored 122 runs at an average of 30.50 in his first five games this season and with an extended opportunity at number four, he’s only going to get better. Hales, Khawaja and Ferguson don’t haven’t scored a half century in their last four matches and whilst they aren’t in terrible form, there has been an opportunity for some other players to shine in the middle order.
Josh Philippe has had an outstanding BBL10 campaign at the top of the order for the Sixers. The twenty three year old has scored 273 runs at an average of 30.33, with a strike rate of 140. Philippe has been dynamic throughout the powerplay this season, often getting the Sixers off to fast starts.
Thunder quicks Adam Milne and Nathan McAndrew have struggled in the powerplay this season, so it looms as a perfect matchup for Philippe. Even Daniel Sams (who is under some doubt after missing the Thunder’s last match with concussion) has struggled with his economy this season, conceding 8.28 runs per over. After a couple quiet games, this matchup should give Philippe a great opportunity to go big.
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