Eyeing their fifth consecutive triumph, Sydney Thunder will take on a struggling Melbourne Renegades in Match No. 22 of the Big Bash League at Carrara Oval on New Year (January 1).
Having 15 points in their kitty, Thunder are at the second place in the points table and will be seeking to surpass the table-toppers Sydney Sixers, who are ahead by just one point (16), with both the teams having registered four wins out of their five respective matches.
On the contrary, Renegades, who have not been able to forget their moral-destroying defeats against Sydney Sixers and Thunder, respectively, are placed at the bottom of the table (7) after winning only one match out of their five encounters.
This would be the second meeting between Renegades and Thunder as they last met on December 26 when the latter stormed to a 129-run victory.
Among all the six teams, Thunder have been enjoying with their in-form batting order (1 to 3) in the ongoing season. In the first 6 overs, their batting average is more than any other team in the league.
In the first 6 overs, Thunder’s top three batsmen have scored runs at an average of 38.3. On the other hand, Renegades' top-order batting average has been 23.1.
To tilt the match in their favour, Renegades will have to keep a check on Thunder’s top-order early. However, they failed in this in the last contest against the same opponents. Even Thunder have a well-balanced batting unit as their middle-order is reinforced by Alex Ross, Ben Cutting and Daniel Sams who came to the party when their top-order failed to score in the previous games.
Hales' explosive 71 off 29 balls hogged the headlines as Sydney Thunder registered the highest total of BBL 10 so far.
The Renegades also have Shaun Marsh who played magnificently in two out of five matches but in three other innings he has scored only 17 runs. Rilee Rossouw and Jake Fraser-McGurk have also been in inconsistent form. Skipper Aaron Finch ended his run drought by stitching a 75-run partnership with Marsh, contributing 39 runs. However, they could not carry the momentum forward.
When it comes to bowling, Thunder's spin twins Chris Green and Tanveer Sangha have been successful in troubling opponents throughout the match. Green has a strike rate of 12 in the first six overs. In the middle-overs, he has taken more wickets (6) than any other bowler from both the teams at a strike rate of 9. Sangha has also troubled batsmen in the middle overs (6 to 16).
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (C), Sam Billings (WK), Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Adam Milne, Ollie Davies, Tanveer Sangha, Nathan McAndrew
Shaun Marsh, Sam Harper (WK), Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nabi, Aaron Finch (C), Imad Wasim, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Kane Richardson, Jack Prestwidge, Peter Hatzoglou