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With not many matches to go for the playoffs, a win or a loss could prove to be the difference between progressing to the next round and missing out narrowly. Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers, who both are placed just outside of the top-half of the ladder, and each match hereon is going to be of massive importance for them. They are set to lock horns with each other on Monday, January 20th in the second game of the day, the game which is to be played at WACA Cricket Ground, Perth. Considering their respective run in the tournament so far, recent as well as on the whole, there is not much to choose between the sides. They both will be looking to get two important points and a hard-fought contest is certainly on the cards on Monday.
The Scorchers will be ruing their recent loss to the Melbourne Stars. They did all the hard-work with the ball and kept the mighty Stars' batting unit to a total of just 141, but their batting failed to chase down a relatively easy total. They gave away easy wickets to Nic Maddison, a part-time bowlers, by all standards, as they lost the match by 10 runs. A win in that game would have pushed them to the fourth spot, but as it stands now, they are at the fifth spot, right behind the Thunder, with ten points to their name in eleven matches.
Bowling first against the Stars, Matt Kelly and Jhye Richardson never allowed the hosts to get going and picked up important early wickets of Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, and Nathan Coulter Nile early in the innings to rock the Stars. Jhye Richardson, in particular, has had an impressive run in the tournament so far and is likely to play a key role once again. The Scorchers were brilliant all throughout their bowling, but a subpar batting effort robbed them of two important points.
With the likes of Cameron Bancroft, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Liam Livingstone in terrific touch, the Scorchers would have fancied their chances. However, they lost wickets in a bunch in the back-end of their innings as they slid from 94 for 3 to 129 for 9. Eventually, they ended up just ten runs short of the target, which they would have chased down nine times out of ten.
Josh Inglis, Kurtis Patterson, CT Bancroft, Liam Livingstone, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh, Tim David, Fawad Ahmed, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Matthew Kelly.
Even though they won their match against the Sixers on the basis of Duckworth Lewis method, they would take that on any day of the year. The win not only kept them in the hunt, but also pushed them to the fourth spot on the ladder and they'll be looking to rise from here and strengthen their playoff chances. As of now, they have five wins to their name in eleven matches, totalling to 11 points and need three wins in three matches to be ascertain of a playoff spot. Having said that, a couple of wins should also be good to take them through to the next round, but they won't like to take that for granted.
The Thunder started off extremely well in the tournament, but a poor run in the middle part of the tournament sent them crashing into the bottom half. A win against the Sixers, however, has reignited their hopes and they are likely to come motivated against the Scorchers.
Against the Sixers, their bowlers produced a senstation effort as they knocked down the potent Sixers' batting unit and kept them to a total of just 76 in a rain-curtailed game, which was cut short to 16 overs. The chase was never going to be difficult for them and even though they lost two early wickets, they looked all set to knock offthe target with considerable ease. Rain played spoil-sport once again with Thunder having lost two wickets and 28 runs on the board, but that was more than what they needed as per the DLS method.
Sydney Thunder have been inconsistent in the tournament so far, but their bowlers have bowled pretty well. With each match carrying massive importance, now would be the best time for their batsmen to step up their game, and if they manage to do that, the Thunder fans will be in for a delight in the remainder of the tournament.
Jay Lenton, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, AD Hales, Alex Ross, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Brendan Doggett, Arjun Nair, Liam Bowe.
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With each team looking to push hard and grab whatever they can from every encounter they play, this is going to be a closely fought encounter. The winner of this game will walk-in to the top-four, at least for the time being, and would need to keep winning to stay there, and the loser will make qualification very difficult for them. Considering the two sides on paper, and their respective performances in the tournament so far, there is little to choose between the two, and the points table reflects that. Having said that, the Scorchers have a better-balanced side and are playing at home. Therefore, they are our pick to win the upcoming encounter.
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