About the Match
Sydney Sixers registered two consecutive wins recently against Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder to accumulate 4 points; they stand in the 7th place and will take on Brisbane Heat, who currently are in the 5th place with 8 points, at Sydney on 18th January. Brisbane Heat lost both games recently against Hobart Hurricanes and will be eager to bounce back before it gets too late. Sydney Sixers on the other hand had a poor start in the league and have done well to start winning matches; both sides are looking for another boost here to improve their standing on the points table.
Spinner Nathan Lyon took 3 wickets against Melbourne Stars in an economical manner to give the Sixers an edge bowling first; they restricted the opponents to a lowly 128 with help from pacers Sean Abbott and Carlos Brathwaite, who took 3 wickets between them. All-rounder Nic Maddinson posted a well-made 62 off 31 to steer the team towards victory while Daniel Hughes contributed with 49 to give them a good start. The Sixers won the game by 8 wickets with almost 5 overs to spare, and they will be determined to keep the winning momentum going.
Chasing 157 against Thunder, openers Joe Denly and Daniel Hughes posted a superb 69-run stand to start the chase on a positive note. Nic Maddinson and Moises Henriques then kept the scoreboard ticking and steered the team to their first victory of the season. Earlier, Henriques took 2 wickets while Lyon, Brathwaite and Abbott provided regular breakthroughs with their spin and pace skills to restrict Thunder to 156.
The Sixers have improved their performance in recent games and could put up another all-round show here to win again.
Batting first against Hurricanes recently, the batsmen could muster only 165 runs after players like Sam Heazlett and Alex Ross were dismissed cheaply for single digits. Captain Brendon McCullum led from the front, scoring 51 off 38 while Joe Burns, Ben Cutting and Jimmy Peirson helped keep the scoreboard ticking. However, the bowlers failed to defend the humble total and lost the match despite a wicket each by Mark Steketee, Doggett, Ben Cutting and Joe Burns.
They had to chase 180 runs against Hurricanes in an earlier match but the batting line-up collapsed after a strong start to the chase. Sam Heazlett and McCullum posted a 64-run opening stand but players like Joe Burns, Ben Cutting and Marnus Labuschagne failed to impress with the bat. Jimmy Peirson and Alex Ross tried to revive the innings by scoring 20+ runs each, but they fell short of the target by a narrow 3 runs.
Their recent losses must have hurt the team morale, but they have good resources to make a much-needed comeback on Thursday.
Both teams are facing each other for the first time this season and will try to put their best foot forward as the competition heats up; while the contest could swing either way, we feel that Brisbane Heat with its hard-hitters and in-form bowlers are better placed to win against the hosts.