It's derby day in the Big Bash this Saturday as the Thunder welcome the Sixers to the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The SCG is almost sold out in the lead up to the Sydney Derby! The Thunder come into this game knowing that nothing but a win will suffice as they attempt to sneak into the play-offs.
The Sixers on the other hand, have a chance to top the pile if they can claim the two points. Who will come up trumps at the SCG? Let’s take a look:
Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers | Saturday 14 January | SCG | 10:30
To Win Match
Thunder 72/100 | Tie 35/1 | Sixers 23/20
It’s getting pretty desperate now for the Thunder who absolutely need to win their last two games if they are to stand any chance of getting themselves into the play-offs. They have the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling on Saturday in front of a sold out SCG against their city neighbours.
They’re in good shape now too, as they’ve won their last two games by six wickets on each occasion against the Melbourne Stars and the Hobart Hurricanes respectively. The men in green are going to have to dig deep, however, as they’ll be without their two best batsmen this season in Eoin Morgan (with England in India) and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Pat Cummins (with the Australian squad).
That means that Shane Watson is going to have to step up now. The former Aussie international came into this tournament late after suffering a calf strain in a warm-up game. He hasn’t been at his best so far and it’s perhaps time for him to shoulder a bit of the burden.
Bowling wise, the Thunder are in good shape. Fawad Ahmed has been excellent this season while the young off-spinner Chris Green has also been solid. Clint McKay has yet to really hit the heights he achieved last season, being far too loose in his line and length – again, more improvement needed here.
The Sixers have been excellent this season, and a win on Saturday will all but ensure that their place in the play-offs. They comprehensively beat the Thunder on the opening day of the tournament in a nine-wicket victory.
I feel that they won’t have it so easy this time around as the Thunder come into this match with a bit of form behind them. Having said that, the Sixers are on a pretty hot streak themselves at the moment, winning three of their last four games.
Sean Abbott has been the star for the men in pink during this campaign. He currently sits atop the wicket-takers list with 13 and a best of 5/16. He’ll need to tighten up his economy rate though, going for just under eight an over simply isn’t good enough. He will be supported by former South African captain, Johan Botha, who has been his usual industrious self this term with both ball and bat.
While I think the Sixers are the superior side, you simply can’t discount the effect that a sold out SCG will have on the home side. I genuinely think that the Sixers will struggle here, especially against a fired up Thunder side who will be looking for revenge following the reverse fixture on the opening day.
Verdict: Sydney Thunder 72/100
The Thunder have momentum going into this game. Add to the fact that they’ll be playing in front of a sold out SCG, I think they’ll clinch this match to keep their play-off hopes alive. Get on at 72/100.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.