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Melbourne Renegades became the first team to be knocked out of the race to the knockouts as they faced a massive defeat at the hands of Melbourne Stars. Now, the race to the playoffs remains between only seven sides and the difference between the team placed at the third spot and the team placed at the seventh spot is not much. Sydeny Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes would both want to climb in the top-half of the table when they lock horns in the upcoming match of the Big Bash League. The two teams are set to meet each other in Sydney on Saturday, 11th January. Hobart Hurricanes, as well, are in the same boat as the Thunder and will be desperate to get another two points to get into the top-four. We expect a hard-fought match between the two sides.
Although Sydney Thunder are above Hobart Hurricanes on the points table because of the superior net run-rate and a point, they have played an extra game. They have seven points to their name in eight matches and a win here will certainly push them to the third spot on the ladder. A loss, however, will certainly make things a bit difficult for them, as far as progressing to the playoffs is concerned.
Sydney Thunder got to a decent start in the tournament and found themselves within the top-four sides for most part of the first half, but their drop down the points table has been sure and slow. They are coming into this match on the back of three consecutive losses, two of them coming against Melbourne Stars.
In their most recent match, the Thunder were defeated by the Stars by a huge margin of six wickets with the win for Stars coming in with 13 balls to spare. The template of losses has been constant for the Thunder in their last few matches. Their batsmen failed to score a total to support their bowlers and the bowlers were left with too little a total to do anything of substance.
Callum Ferguson, Liam Bowe, Brendan Doggett, M Gilkes, AD Hales, Usman Khawaja, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, CP Tremain.
As compared to the team at the third spot, Hobart Hurricanes aren't too behind. They have six points to their name in seven matches and another couple of points will push them into the top-half of the points table. However, they have a pretty poor net run-rate, which they'd like to improve as the tournament progresses.
Although the Hurricanes have had a bad tournament so far, they have still managed to get three important wins against their name. One of those three wins came not a long ago when they defeated Perth Scorchers in a high-scoring match. Hurricanes, however, succumbed to pressure of setting a big total batting first as they faced a heavy defeat from Brisbane Heat.
It has been clearly apparent right from the very beginning of the tournament that the Hurricanes are a bit too over-reliant on their top-order. Against Brisbane Heat, their top-order collapse didn't help their cause as they got bundled out for just 126. The absence of D'Arcy Short, who has been selected for Australia's tour of India, didn't help their cause either. Barring Matthew Wade, who scored 61 off 46 delieries, none of their top-order batsmen even managed to score in double figures.
Their wasn't much their bowlers could have done to defend the total, but they certainly tried hard, albeit in vain. Scott Boland was exceptional in his spell and almost brought them back into the game before Ben Cutting and Jimmy Pearson played responsible knocks for Brisbane Heat to take them home. All in all, the bowlers have found some rhythm for the Heat, but their batting still looks vulnerable, especially with D'Arcy Short absent at the top.
Matthew Wade, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, David Miller, GJ Bailey, Simon Milenko, Clive Rose, Thomas Rogers, Nathan Ellis, Qais Ahmad, Scott Boland.
It is an important fixture for both the sides as the winner, in all likelihood, will move to the top of the table. Both the sides have struggled with their batting while bowling has done pretty well for both. Considering the two teams on paper, the Thunder appear to be ahead, though not by much, and are, therefore, our pick to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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