As the race to qualify for the playoffs heats up, Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes will face off on Monday (January 18) in a crucial encounter. Going into this game, the Thunder are placed second on the table while the Hurricanes have fallen to seventh after three consecutive losses. But it must be noted that only four points separate these two teams which shows how close the Big Bash League has been this season.
The Hurricanes have had the upper hand in this fixture over the years, winning eight out of 14 matches against the Thunder. But Thunder have been the better team in recent contests between the two sides, winning four of the last five.
Overall: Matches – 14 | Thunder – 6 Wins | Hurricanes – 8 Wins
Last 5 Matches: Thunder – 4 Win | Hurricanes – 1 Win
While 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
While runs have been scored at a good run-rate (8.3) at the Manuka Oval this season, wickets have also fallen frequently, with a batsman getting dismissed every 16.6 deliveries. Hence, we have picked as many as four bowlers and two allrounders in our team. Ideally, we would have liked Usman Khawaja instead of one of the bowlers but couldn’t do so because of budget constraints.
Spinners have bowled 44% of the overs at this venue this season and that is why we have picked three spinners in our team. Chris Green could also be a decent option on that front as he is set to return for this match. There is hardly anything to separate the bowling strike rates of pacers (16.3) and spinners (16.4) at this venue so far this season.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
In the reverse fixture between the two teams, it was D’Arcy Short who dismissed Alex Hales. It was the second time that Short got Hales’ wicket from just 13 deliveries across three innings in T20 cricket. The England batsman has a strike rate of 153.8 against the Australia allrounder.
Ben McDermott against Daniel Sams at the start of the Hurricanes innings could be a crucial contest in the context of this game. So far, they’ve faced each other five times in T20 cricket, with Sams dismissing McDermott once while the latter has scored 25 runs from 21 deliveries.
While it has been an indifferent season with the bat for D’Arcy Short, he scored a half-century in his previous innings. That, along with his bowling, makes him a very good captaincy option. He has bowled at least two overs in seven out of 10 matches this season. In fact, he took three wickets when these two teams faced off earlier in the competition.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Short could score 15-38 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
On his return, Daniel Sams put in a superb performance against Sydney Sixers. While it was not enough to guide his team to victory, he showed his class with an unbeaten 50 and a two-wicket haul. He averages 45.8 with the bat and has a bowling strike rate of 14.2 this season which are fantastic numbers.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Sams could score 10-27 runs and could take 1-2 wickets in this match.
Dawid Malan was dismissed for a duck in his previous innings, but it’ll be a huge risk to not pick him in your team, especially considering the form he has been in international cricket in recent times. The world’s No.1 T20I batsman has scored 175 runs at an average of 29.2 so far in BBL 10.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Malan could score 14-37 runs in this match.
Alex Hales is currently the third-highest run-scorer in BBL 10, having scored 323 runs at an average of 32.3 and strike rate of 161.5. He’s coming into this match on the back of a top knock in the Sydney derby. We did have thoughts of picking him either as captain or vice-captain but went with allrounders who are safer options.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hales could score 16-39 runs in this match.