KFC Big Bash League: Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder Preview

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We take a look at Friday's KFC Big Bash League encounter between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder. 

The fourth match of the KFC Big Bash League will see the Adelaide Strikers open their account against the Sydney Thunder at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

The Thunder come into the match fresh off a superb win against the Sixers on the opening day of the tournament and will be keen to make it two from two against a talented Strikers outfit.

Strikers vs Thunder | Friday 22 December | Adelaide Oval | 10:40

To Win Match
Strikers 82/100 | Tie 35/1 | Thunder 1/1

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Adelaide Strikers
There were big changes down in Adelaide following a disappointing sixth-place finish at BBL06. They were unable to keep hold of the effervescent Ben Dunk who made the move to the Melbourne Stars. Brad Hodge, too, jumped ship to Melbourne joining the Renegades in the off-season.

That then leaves enormous pressure on young Jake Weatherald to get the runs at the top of the Strikers’ order. It won’t be an easy task trying to replace the 650-run hole left by the departed Hodge and Dunk.

Weatherald will share that responsibility with of Colin Ingram. The South African is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in this tournament and will relish the opportunity to show what he can do on the biggest stage… and perhaps secure an IPL contract at the same time.

The other player to keep an eye on is Travis Head. The 23-year-old sill skipper the side this season and needs to come good after a disappointing campaign last time out where he only managed 76 runs in five appearances with an average 15.20.

Arguably the most exciting addition to the Strikers’ line-up has to be Rashid Khan. The young Afghan wrist-spinner will be chomping at the bit to get going after the successes of Fawad Ahmed and Shadab Khan in earlier rounds.

Sydney Thunder
The Thunder got their campaign off the perfect start by beating their crosstown rivals by five wickets on Tuesday afternoon. While most of the credit will (rightly so) go the Shane Watson for his electric 46-ball 77, you can’t ignore the good work done by Ahmed and Mitchell McClenaghan with the ball.

Ahmed’s four overs went for just 11 runs while he also picked up the wicket of Daniel Hughes. It’s also worth noting that he didn’t concede a single boundary, a remarkable return for the leg-spinner who continues to impress year after year in this tournament.

McClenaghan too continued where he left off at last year’s IPL. The Kiwi was all fire and brimstone as he got rid of Jason Roy early on before removing the dangerous Steve O’Keefe later on in the piece. He was economical to go with his two key wickets, returning an economy rate of 6.25 as some of the other bowlers battled to keep a lid on the Sixers' top and middle order.

If they are to get one over the Strikers, they’ll need another one of their top order to score big again. Last time out it was Shane Watson who did the work. The Thunder’s fans will be hoping to see a bit more Jos Buttler who got out without troubling the scorers. 

Verdict: Sydney Thunder 1/1
The Thunder’s attack should prove too tricky for the Strikers to deal with effectively. This, coupled with the momentum that the Sydney franchise bring into this match, should see them across the line. Back them at even money here. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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