Hello and welcome to Match 34 of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 between Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers at the Perth Stadium. Thunder currently sit on top of the table, while Scorchers have secured three wins in a row after going four games without a victory. Will they continue their winning streak or will Thunder stop their run? Watch this space for all the updates.
After no wins in four matches, Perth Scorchers have now won three in a row and suddenly look to pose a threat. Sydney Thunder, on the other hand, bounced back with a 39-run win over Hobart Hurricanes after a disappointing five-wicket loss against Brisbane Heat and sit pretty at the top of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 table.
Thunder perhaps have the best batting unit in the tournament, while the addition of Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone has added a spring in Scorchers’ step. Also, with Mitchell Marsh too slowly returning to his best, it has translated to some big victories. More often than not, the batting has been an area of concern for the Scorchers, but that has taken an upward curve especially in the last three matches.
While Thunder with a run-rate of 9.4 have the best scoring rate, the Scorchers have not just been the most economical (7.4) and have the best runs per wicket (18.1) and balls per wicket ration (14.6) ratio this edition so far. Hence, it will be safe to say that it will be a battle between the best batting and the best bowling unit. Moreover, only 51.54% of the runs they have conceded have been in boundaries, which is once again the best in the tournament.
Thunder’s top three average a combined 32.7 which is the best this tournament, which has been largely thanks to Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson’s domination at the top, while the Scorchers score 22.8, meaning that there’s a gap of almost 10 runs per wicket.
It is the middle-order that has come to the Scorchers (4-6) rescue, scoring 33.1 runs per wicket with the likes of Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner and Josh Inglis doing all the scoring, while Thunder are at 26.2.
Thunder will once again be without the services of Daniel Sams. Their coach Shane Bond during the previous match had made it clear that the all-rounder, who has already missed a couple of games due to concussion, is only available after the Scorchers’ game. Sams has picked up eight wickets at 21.75 from seven matches, while with the bat, he has scored 133 runs at a strike-rate of 218.03 this season. Thunder as a result have to make do with the likes of Arjun Nair, Nathan McAndrew and Chris Green to score some vital runs down the order.
This could be a big game for Sam Billings, who has scored just 39 runs in four innings since he has come in.
Sydney Thunder likely XI: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green, Arjun Nair, Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha
As far as the Scorchers are concerned, they will want to keep the same XI, considering how well they have done in the last three matches. They do have an excellent balance in their team and in the end, it is all going to come down to execution for them. If they do that, they have the potential to make serious inroads in the competition.
Perth Scorchers likely XI: Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Colin Munro, Josh Inglis (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed