In a bid to get off the mark this season, Sydney Thunder take on Brisbane Heat in Match 7 of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 at the Manuka Oval, Canberra. In their first match, both teams were handed a thumping by Melbourne Stars. While Heat lost by six wickets, Thunder succumbed to a 22-run loss.
The two teams have faced each other on 11 occasions in the BBL. Heat have a significantly better record having won eight of them, while in the last five meetings, they have won thrice and lost just once.
Overall: Matches – 11 | Heat – 8 Wins | Thunder – 2 Wins | No Result – 1
Last 5 Matches: Heat – 3 Wins | Thunder – 1 Win | No Result – 1
Suggested TeamsWhile you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details & Team combination
In the two matches played at the Manuka Oval so far, a wicket has fallen every 14.4 deliveries, 19 runs apart. Both pacers and spinners have conceded at an economy rate of 7.4, but it is the fast bowlers who have returned with a better balls per wicket ratio (13) and runs per wicket ratio (16.1) compared to the spinners whose corresponding numbers are 19 and 23.4 respectively.
In the four T20 matches played at this venue in 2020, only once has a team chased down a target successfully – a feat that was achieved by the Stars against Heat in Match 2 of this edition of the BBL. Even if you take a look at the overall record at this venue in the BBL, the average score batting first is 169, while batting second it goes down to just 122. Hence, winning the toss or bat flip in this case and batting seems to be the safer option.
Pacers have had a 60% share of the wickets this season at Canberra so far, which might make you pick more pacers, but a couple of spinners won’t hurt either and there are a few to pick from either side.
There could be a few interesting match-ups
Thunder’s premier spinner Chris Green has never dismissed Heat captain Chris Lynn in T20 cricket. To add to the off-spinner’s woes, Lynn has a strike-rate of 172.7 against him and has hit a boundary once every 5.5 deliveries. Lynn would want to keep it that way if he wants to play a match-defining innings.
Two crucial cogs in their teams – Callum Ferguson and Ben Laughlin – will have to play a pivotal role for their respective teams to succeed. It is the Australian quick who has the upper hand in this battle, having dismissed the Thunder captain twice in seven T20 innings. Ferguson has managed to score just off 32 deliveries from Laughlin, which he will look to improve in this match.
Alex Hales has been in tremendous form in T20s this year, having scored 974 runs from 31 innings at a strike-rate of 148.3. He is among the top five run-getters in T20s this year. He seemed to be in excellent form in the first match against Stars in which he scored 46 off 41 and he would back himself to get a substantial score in this game as well.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hales could score 14-37 runs in this match.
Thunder captain Callum Ferguson scored a vital 54 in the first game against the Stars but quickly started running out of partners as Thunder eventually fell short. Heat are clearly Ferguson’s favourite team to bat against, having scored 247 runs at 35.29 with a strike-rate of close to 140. He could very well carry on from where he left off in the last game.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ferguson could score 13-36 runs in this match.
On his T20 debut, leg-spinner Jack Wood showed tremendous skill, first removing Ben Dunk for six and then got rid of Glenn Maxwell for 46. He could once again have a say in this game as there is something in the track for the spinners as well.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Wood could score 0-1 wickets in this match.
One of the most prolific hitters in the tournament, Chris Lynn is not somebody who can be kept quiet many times, but he did not look to be at his best in the first match. However, you can bet that the leading run-scorer in the tournament’s history will be itching to get back among the runs, which could be vital given the inexperience in the batting line-up at the moment.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Lynn could score 14-37 runs in this match.