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Cricket has been rightly called as the game of uncertainty. Sydney Sixers, who were one of the table-toppers not long ago, have slid down to the seventh spot following their second consecutive loss of the tournament, to Melbourne Stars. Stars, on the other hand, registered their first win and have made way into the top-four, thanks to their pretty good net run rate. Sixers have another assignment coming up in less than 48 hours time against Melbourne Renegades who have won both of their matches and are sitting pretty at the second spot in the points table. The match will be played at the Docklands Stadium on Saturday, 29th December.
Melbourne Renegades survived a brilliant spell of Rashid Khan as they climbed to the top of the table with a superb win against Adelaide Strikers in their last game. They have now tied on points with Sydney Thunder at the top of the table with Thunder marginally ahead on net run rate.
Chasing a competitive total of 174, the Renegades got off to a terrific start as they lost their second wicket with 71 runs on board and lots of overs remaining. However, they then slid to 82 for 5 with the Afghan spin wizard striking twice in an over.
Nabi and Christan then stitched together a wonderful, match-defining partnership of 94 runs in just 8 overs as they got home with almost an over to spare. Sam Harper, Cameron White, and Mohammad Nabi have been vital resources for them thus far and Dan Christan proved his worth as well. With the availability of good all-around players, they have a wide array of bowlers along with a deep batting lineup, making them a hard side to face.
Sam Harper, Tim Ludeman, Mackenzie Harvey, CL White, TLW Cooper, Mohammad Nabi, DT Christian, JD Wildermuth, Cameron Boyce, KW Richardson, Usman Khan.
The problem with Sixers' top-four doesn't seem to end as any of their top-three batsmen in Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques, and Joe Denly have managed to upfront 30 runs in three innings. It's been a super difficult job for their middle-order as they had to repair their innings on all occasions Sydney have batted.
With three down inside the powerplay, they got away in their first match, against the Scorchers, with Jordan Silk and Daniel Hughes coming to their rescue. It was Tom Curran's and Shaun Abbot's effort which saved them from embarrassment in the second.
Jordan Silk, Daniel Hughes, and Shaun Abbot once against happened to be their top-scorers with everyone else failing against Melbourne Stars. They could score only a total of 130 with Silk contributing with 41. Steven O' Keefe has been fantastic with the ball for them and bowled another tight spell upfront. He finished with 22 for 2 in his four. Barring Ben Dwarshius, who picked up 26 for 3, no other bowler was effective as Stars cruised to their total with more than five overs to spare.
Jack Edwards, Joe Denly, Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Josh Philippe, Tom Curran, Sean Abbott, Steve O'Keefe, B Dwarshuis, Benjamin Manenti.
With not much time between their two games, the Sixers wouldn't really get to ponder about their back to back losses. However, their failing top-order has clearly played an instrumental role in both of their losses. The Renegades, on the contrary, apparently have most of their things sorted. Additionally, they're playing their next game at home which, along with the aforementioned reasons, makes them better placed to win against Sydney Sixers.