Our Big Bash scribe previews Tuesday's game between the Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers
Looking at these two sides, it would seem as though this should be a very tight encounter. However, after winning their first two games against the Scorchers, the Sixers have now lost six on the trot against their Western Australian opposition. The Sixers have a very good squad this year, despite being without the likes of Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson and Mitchell Starc who are away on Australian duty. The Scorchers have plenty of experience at their disposal, with the likes of Ian Bell, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger and Adam Voges all within their ranks. Both sides have already won a game, while the Sixers lost their most recent encounter against the Hurricanes.
Big Bash Game 7 | Sixers v Scorchers | Tuesday 27 December | SCG | 10:10
To Win Match
Sixers 23/20| Tie 13/2| Scorchers 7/10
The Sixers have been involved in two Big Bash finals and have an array of internationals at their disposal. They have the players for the big games but often have had to play without them due to the Australian Test summer coinciding with the first few rounds of the League.
Missing players such as Bird, Hazlewood, Starc (literally Australia’s full pace attack), Lyon and Maddinson would hurt any team. This season, though, they seem to have very capable replacements. Sean Abbott is a very good bowling all-rounder, Sam Billings is an England international who scores runs all over the ground, Doug Bollinger and Johan Botha bring international and domestic experience, Brad Haddin is a superstar, then Michael Lumb and Jason Roy are two explosive South African-born English batsmen who can take a game away from any opposition.
The team is littered with internationals, and even the players who have not received their national colours, such as Ben Dwarshuis, Daniel Hughes and Jordan Silk are proven Australian domestic players and are always knocking on that door. They are ably led by Moises Henriques whose knock in game one against the Thunder proved crucial in getting the Sixers off the mark.
The batsmen will have to be at their best to contend with Johnson, who took three in the Scorchers opener, while David Willey will also prove a nuisance if the batsmen don’t get on top of him early. The experienced bowling trio of Botha, Bollinger and O’Keefe will need to improve on their last performance against the Hurricanes if they are to stop the likes of Klinger, Sam Whiteman, Ian Bell and Mitch Marsh going berserk.
The Scorchers were involved in the first four Big Bash finals, winning two and losing two. They are easily the most consistent Big Bash side, finishing in the top four in each edition of the tournament so far. This season they have a squad that looks as though it will be pushing for a repeat of what they have so far achieved.
Internationals such as Ashton Agar, Bell, Johnson, the Marsh brothers, James Muirhead (remember him?), Voges and Willey will all be keen to prove their credentials this season. They are missing the fast bowling trio of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff but they have very able replacements in line.
The Scorchers got off to a winning start on Friday against the Strikers, winning by a big margin of 48 runs. Ian Bell was a surprise hit, scoring 61 off just 46 balls after the early loss of Michael Klinger. Mitch Marsh showed glimpses of what he can do in a quick 31, while Ashton Turner provided a late surge with a well played 44 off just 19 balls. They managed 197 against a very good bowling attack that featured three internationals.
The bolwers bowled very well and showed good form in restricting the Strikers to 149, which was made to look better thanks to a whirlwind 45 runs from Kane Richardson well down the order. Mitchell Johnson bowled very well and very quickly, as did Willey and AJ Tye. Turner bowled well at the start, going for only six runs in his two overs.
The Scorchers will need a repeat performance and will be looking for more from their openers, Klinger and Sam Whiteman. The middle order proved it can hold its own, so if the openers come to the party they could be looking at a big score.
Verdict: Sixers to make the highest first 6 over score at 9/10.
I really can’t pick a winner here. The teams are just so evenly matched and I reckon it will be an extremely tight encounter. Where I think the Sixers shade it is in the opening batsmen department. Jason Roy is in good form and has been for a while and if he gets going, whether he opens with Daniel Hughes or Jordan Silk, the Sixers will score plenty in the power play. Klinger and Whiteman, while they can be effective, didn’t show me enough against the Strikers to convince me that they can be truly destructive. Back the Sixers to have a better power play here.
Written by Dale Vos for @Hollywoodbets.