KFC Big Bash League: Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers Preview

Batsman hits ball

We preview the opening match of the BBL 07 as Sydney Thunder opens things up against the Sydney Sixers at the Spotless Stadium. 

We kick off the seventh edition of the KFC Big Bash League with a Sydney Derby as the Thunder and the Sixers go toe to toe at Spotless Stadium.

The two sides experienced vastly differing campaigns last time out as the Thunder finished rock-bottom while the Sixers went all the way to the final where they were beaten by the Scorchers.

Thunder vs Sixers | Tuesday 19 December | Spotless Stadium, Sydney | 10:40

To Win Match
Thunder 91/100 | Tie 35/1 | Sixers 91/100

Bet now on cricket

Sydney Thunder
Following a magnificent showing in the fifth edition of the KFC Big Bash, the Sydney Thunder were forced to endure a torrid campaign last time out. They only won three of their eight matches and finished bottom of the ladder.

The side’s management has done well to bring the likes of Callum Ferguson and Jos Buttler who will add some much-needed experience to a batting unit that battled without Andre Russell and Shane Watson last season.

Of course, Russell remains banned following a doping incident while Watson will be hoping to stay fit throughout the competition this season. If he does stay fit and plays every game, he'll make runs. One feels that he'll need to be managed carefully, only bowling where absolutely necessary.

Fawad Ahmed and Mitchell McClenaghan will be the Thunder's main threats with ball in hand. Ahmed, in particular, will need to fire, in a competition that has traditionally been quite kind to attacking wrist-spinners. McClenaghan has proven his worth with the Mumbai Indians and in the New Zealand national side.

Lastly, Clint Mackay will head into this tournament on an absolute high after topping the wickets table at the NatWest T20 Blast. The 34-year-old bagged 23 wickets in 12 matches for Leicestershire and will no doubt be looking forward to bowling in home conditions again.

Sydney Sixers
While the betting seems to suggest that both teams are pretty evenly matched, I think that the Sixers just shade the Thunder in the opinion of many pundits. Having said that, I think that they lean a little too heavily on one or two key players and could be found wanting early on in the competition.

You feel that Moises Henriques will be key to his side’s chances in this competition. The Portugal-born Aussie all-rounder was excellent last season in the competition, scoring 263 runs in 10 matches at an average of 29.22.

Most of the noise will be around the return of Jason Roy for the first part of the tournament. While he most certainly qualifies as a marquee overseas player, his performances in various T20 competitions around the world have left a bit to be desired.

His hit-and-miss nature is something that is generally tolerated in the shortest format of the game, however, he does have a penchant for only coming good once in every three or four innings. That will most certainly have to change in the limited time he’ll be plying his trade in the competition.

Running through the Sixers’ bowling options, Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis will likely lead the attack with Jackson Bird being put on stand-by for the Aussie Test squad following Mitchell Starc’s bruised heel.

Whether or not they’ll opt to play both Steve O’Keefe and Johan Botha remains to be seen. Greg Shipperd may choose to go with Botha ahead of O’Keefe because of the former’s ability with the bat. A late cameo from the South African may well be necessitated, if a less than convincing top order battles in the early and middle parts of the innings.

Verdict: Sydney Thunder 91/100
The Thunder have made excellent acquisitions that add to the talent that has been with the franchise for several years. The BMT brought to the table by the likes of Watson, Buttler, Ahmed, McClenaghan and MacKay should see them through. 

Click here to follow us on Twitter for live updates, sporting previews, fixtures, and results.

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

Bet now on cricket

Register now and start betting on Durban July Horse Racing