The KFC Big Bash has resumed after its brief Christmas break and the games are already coming thick and fast. The Sydney Thunder have emerged as surprise log leaders with the Sixers, Strikers and Scorchers making up the remainder of the play off spots.
There are just two games remaining in 2015 with the Melbourne Renegades hosting the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers traveling to Adelaide to face the Strikers as the battle for log points intensifies before January.
Wednesday 30 December
After opening their account against the Heat, the Renegades would have been disappointed to have gone down to the Sydney Sixers last time out. They’ll be looking to get back to winning ways when the Scorchers make the long trip from Perth to the MCG.
Both sides have identical records thus far - played two, won one and lost one. With the belligerent duo of Aaron Finch and Chris Gayle opening the batting for the home side, the Scorchers’, depleted, bowling line-up is going to need a minor miracle if they’re to keep the scoring down. With Nathan Coulter-Nile out for the next 12 weeks with a dislocated shoulder and the likes of Mitchell Marsh with the Australian Test squad, they’re going to need David Willey, Andrew Tye and Brad Hogg to repeat their collective bowling performance that sunk the Brisbane Heat last time out.
Dwayne Bravo has been in inspired form thus far and will look to continue his good run with bat and ball on Wednesday. The West Indian has scored an incredible nine-ball 22 in the Renegade’s opening fixture against the Heat, following that up with an even more impressive 23-ball 41 a week later against the Sixers. His form with the ball hasn’t been too shabby either – without having taken too many wickets, opposition batsmen have found it exceedingly difficult to score off of his bowling. If he can restrict the Scorchers’ rather tame looking batting line-up, the likes Finch, Gayle, Cameron White and Matthew Wade should have more than enough runs in their collective lockers for the Scorchers. Back the home side at 8/10.
Thursday 31 December
I have to say that along with the Sydney Thunder, the team I’ve been most impressed with this season is the Adelaide Strikers, even if they were a bit poor last time out. Their first win of the season came against the highly-rated Melbourne Stars. Brad Hodge and Alex Ross were the heroes on that particular day scoring 56* and 65 respectively – eventually propelling the Adelaide side to 187-5 before restricting the star-studded Melbourne team to a paltry 168-7. They’ve looked a solid unit throughout the tournament and currently find themselves occupying third place on the log.
The Sixers have been a bit more hit-and-miss in BBL05 having won two and lost two. What will be most encouraging for the men in pink is how they haven’t been overly reliant on any one player this season with the likes of Brad Haddin, Michael Lumb, Jordan Silk, Nathan Lyon and Johan Botha all putting in some excellent performances this season.
Trying to pick a winner here is actually proving to be quite tricky. Both sides have been indifferent this season following up convincing wins with uncharacteristically weak performances. With that being said, there’s just something about this dynamic Adelaide Strikers side that excites me. Back them to get the job done against the Sixers at 11/20.
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