After a night off the Big Bash returns with a Saturday night double header, kicking off at Marvel Stadium as the Renegades host the Thunder. Both sides are in the top five and coming off wins, so this will be an entertaining affair. As always, we’ve got you covered with our preview and tips!
Marvel Stadium, Saturday January 8th, 6.05pm (AEDT)
Likely XI: Mackenzie Harvey, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Nic Maddinson, James Seymour, Sam Harper, Mohammad Nabi, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Zak Evans, Zahir Khan
Despite back to back wins, the Renegades will have plenty to ponder about the makeup of their playing eleven. James Pattinson has been omitted from the 14 man squad, meaning Mohammad Nabi will go back into the starting eleven after being subbed in as an X-Factor on Thursday. Nabi has struggled with the bat this season, but his 2/19 off four overs will see him picked as a bowler, as the Renegades have tended to stack up with spinners this season. There’s also a high chance the Renegades make some changes to their batting order, given the poor form of Sam Harper. Harper won’t lose his spot in the side as the Renegades don’t have another keeper in their squad, however Mackenzie Harvey will likely take his spot at the top of the order.
The Renegades have been fortunate with the Covid issues of their last two opponents in the Stars and the Heat, however the return of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh gives the Renegades star power with the bat they’ve been missing desperately. Both have hit half centuries in the last two games respectively, and will be key to setting up the Renegades innings with the bat against an in-form Thunder side.
The big test for the Renegades will be whether their bowling can stand up against a quality batting unit. The Renegades have conceded scores of 126 and 128 in their last two games, however they conceded an average score of 167 in their first six games of the season, including two scores over 200.
Likely XI: Alex Hales, Matthew Gilkes, Jason Sangha, Alex Ross, Oliver Davies, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Gurinder Sandhu, Nathan McAndrew, Mohammad Hasnain
The Thunder will be forced into a couple of changes with Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood heading back to England. Mohammad Hasnain will come in for Mahmood in a like for like swap, while Alex Ross comes back into the middle order after missing the last three games due to Covid protocols. Ross has scored 181 runs at an average from just six games, and will fill the hole created by Sam Billings' departure.
The Thunder are coming off an outstanding victory over the Scorchers, led by a disciplined bowling performance and quality batting from their youngsters. Gurinder Sandhu (4/22) led the way with the ball, while Matt Gilkes (32 off 23), Jason Sangha (34 off 26) and Ollie Davies (19 off 10) guided the Thunder home.
The Thunder are the form team of the competition with four wins in a row, with two of those coming against the top of the table Scorchers. They’ve got great balance with bat and ball, and with the all-rounders of Cutting and Sams, there’s plenty of X-Factor in this side.
Although the Renegades are coming off consecutive wins, it’s hard to get too excited until they perform against a side at full strength. The Thunder have beaten the Renegades in three of the last four meetings between the two sides, and with the form they’ve shown with the bat, it’s hard to see the Renegades bowling attack containing them.
The Thunder have averaged 180 runs per game in the five games preceding their rain reduced match on Thursday night, in the six games against non covid affected opposition, the Renegades averaged 141 runs per game.
There’s simply too much power in this Thunder batting unit for the Renegades to contain, and they’ll pick up their fifth consecutive win.
Same Game Multi
Jason Sangha has been a revelation this season and has been a major part of the Thunder’s hot streak. Sangha has smashed 278 runs at an average of 68 from just six games, to be sitting as fifth highest run scorer in the tournament. Our BBL Data Tools show us that Sangha has hit the 20 run mark in five of his six games this season.
For the second leg, we’re going with Shaun Marsh to score 10+ runs. Marsh has scored 21 and 57 from his first two games this season, and has hit the 10+ mark in eight of his last ten innings. The experienced left hander has been a class above in both games this season, reminding fans why he has been one of the most prolific run scorers across the history of the BBL.
To round out the multi, we're going to stick with the first method of dismissal being caught, which has saluted in over 80% of games in BBL11.
Sangha 20+ Runs
Marsh 10+ Runs
1st Wicket - Caught
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