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The top half of the points table in Big Bash League is pretty jam-packed with the difference of just one point between the teams placed first and the teams placed fourth at the ladder. Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers occupy the second and third spot respectively and will be looking to strengthen their position in their next game. They are set to play against each other at Coffs Harbour International Stadium, on 5th January. A win for Sydney Sixers will push them to the top spot at the ladder, tied with the Stars, whereas a loss for them will push the Strikers to the second position. Both the sides have plenty to get from this match and we expect them both to come all guns blazing in this encounter.
ladder, the Sixers have had a pretty good tournament so far. They have won four out of the six matches they have played and faced defeat in two matches. Although, they do not have a splendid net run-rate as the Stars , the Strikers or the Thunder have, they'll be pretty satisfied with the way they have gone about their business.
They had a relatively poor start to the tournament as the over-reliance on Josh Phillipe was well and truly apparent. In their last three matches, however, their batting has stepped-up and that has overshadowed the batting's over-reliance on Phillipe. In their previous encounter, their bowlers did a fine job to keep Renegades to a manageable total of 154. Jackson Bird and Llyod Pope were brilliant in their eight overs combined as together they picked up four wickets at the expense of just 46 runs.
With the bat, it were the innings of James Vince and Daniel Hughes that kept Sydney Sixers in the hunt, but it was the innings of Jordan Silk that saw them home. With Joshua Phillipe, Daniel Hughes, and James Vince all getting dismissed after getting starts, the onus was on Silk to guide them home and he did it to perfection. He kept his nerves in the death overs and took Sixers home despite having no support from other end. He scored 36 off 26 deliveries.
All in all, the Sixers' batting still appears to be a bit out of sorts, but their bowling certainly looks invincible at the moment. Their bowlers did an incredible job in all of their last three matches and would be looking to build on to that. With Hughes, Silk, and Vince back amongst the runs, the fans as well as the management will be looking for a better all-around performance from the team and beating them is certainly not going to be easy.
Josh Philippe, Daniel Hughes, J Vince, J Avendano, Jordan Silk, Tom Curran, Jack Edwards, B Dwarshuis, JM Bird, Lloyd Pope, JR Hazlewood.
After having a dream-like start to the tournament, Adelaide Strikers seemed to be losing steam in their last match. They suffered a close defeat at the hands of Sydney Thunder and narrowly missed the top spot on the ladder. As of now, they are placed at the third spot on the ladder and would be desperate to get back to the winning ways win a win against the Sixers.
Remarkably, the Strikers are the only team to defeat Melbourne Stars in the tournament. Their first match was washed out due to rain and then they followed it up with three remarkable performances, including wins over the Stars, Renegades, and Scorchers. However, they suffered a defeat in their last match, which was against the Thunder, as they failed to chase down a competitive total set by the Thunder. They fought hard with Rashid Khan playing a blinder of an innings, but fell short by a just three runs.
While Rashid Khan did well to drag the match down to the wire, it was set pretty much in the first half of the second innings. Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson didn't allow Strikers' bowlers to dominate as the Thunder posted a competitive total of 168 runs on the board. While the total was still pretty much chaseable, the Strikers failed not only to strike big in the powerplay, but also failed to keep wickets in hand, thereby falling behind the eight-ball.
It was always going to be a steep climb after they were reduced to 38 for 3 in six overs and it didn't prove to be any different. Barring Jake Weatherald, Rashid Khan, and Jonathan Wells to some extent, none of their batsmen looked comfortable as Strikers failed to chase the total down.
Jake Weatherald, Philip Salt, Matthew Short, Alex Carey, JW Wells, CL White, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Harry Conway.
While the Strikers are coming off a heart-wrenching defeat, their first of the tournament, they wouldn't be too worried. Sixers, however, would be a bit concerned about their batting, which hasn't really fired to its potential in the tournament so far. The two teams have had a similar tournament thus far and there's almost nothing to separate the two, at least on the basis of performances. On paper, however, the Strikers appear to be a better-balanced side with both batting as well as bowling contributing. Also, they bat deep with the likes of Rashid Khan available late in the order and that could be significant advantage in crunch moments. For those reasons, we think that it would be best to place your money on a Strikers' win in the upcoming fixture.
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