About the Match
Reigning champions Sydney Thunder continue to be on a losing streak, this time suffering defeat against the Renegades by 49 runs; they are at the bottom of the table and will take on Brisbane Heat, who have 2 points from their win against Strikers, on 28th December at Sydney. Heat batsmen posted a superb 206 batting first against Strikers which helped them register a fine win by 10 runs and are currently placed in the 6th place; they will be eager to dominate the struggling Thunders and continue with their winning momentum. It needs to be seen which side can overcome the nerves under crunch situations and pull off a win here on Wednesday.
They have strong pacemen like Andre Russell, Pat Cummins and Clint McKay, who took regular wickets against Renegades while spinners Chris Green and Fawad Ahmed also took a wicket each to restrict the opponents to 179 runs. However, the batting line-up put up a dismal show, with the usual hard-hitters like Eoin Morgan and Russell getting out at single digits; they were all out for 130 by the beginning of the 20th over leading to a humiliating loss yet again.
In the first match against Sixers, Morgan and Gibson did well scoring 53 and 26 runs respectively to take the total to a respectable 159 with help from Cummins and McKay down the line. However, the bowlers looked lost at sea, giving away too many easy runs and they lost the match by 9 wickets. They have an experienced batting unit with players like Rohrer, Morgan, Gibson, Jake Doran and Russell but they could try to focus better on building strong partnerships here.
The bowling squad has spinners and pacemen in the right mix, who could take wickets regularly; if they can put up a disciplined attack, then surely Thunders can come back to their glorious form.
Batting first against Strikers, top-order players Jimmy Peirson and Brendon McCullum did extremely well to build a 90-run opening stand; Chris Lynn and Alex Ross then stabilized the innings with 29 off 20 and a superb 64 off 36 runs respectively. They posted a formidable total of 206, which the bowlers led by speedster Mark Steketee, who took 3-32, defended successfully to win the match.
The pace attack has experienced players like Ben Cutting and Steketee, who could try to demolish the Thunder batsmen here; spinners like Samuel Badree, Floros and youngster Mitchell Swepson, who took a wicket in the last game, provide variety to the squad and an outwit the opposition here.
Overall, the Heat is a strong contingent with bat and ball, and look to be in good form to take on the might of the hosts on Wednesday.
Thunder are yet to win a match and they will fight hard for a comeback on home turf; however, we feel that Brisbane Heat with its sturdy and in-form batting line-up, is better placed to emerge victoriously and carry forward its campaign