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The Big Bash League is going to go into the New Year with plenty to look forward to as BBL 08 continues to be extremely hard fought. The entire BBL League table is separated by one win from the current second to the seventh-placed side. Even the top and bottom side are not too far away.
This means that everyone is within grasp of each other and so no one can be written off.
Sydney Thunder has lost its last two matches in the BBL and now hosts the Perth Scorchers. The BBL season has been tough for the Perth Scorchers so far as they have lost three out of the four matches they have played.
Both sides are going to be desperate for a win and it will be interesting to see which side manages to come out on top.
The last two matches that Sydney Thunder have resulted in losses for the side and a few familiar trends are starting to emerge. The dependence of Sydney Thunder on Jos Buttler is becoming very clear. He is the highest scorer in the BBL right now but he is only going to be around for a couple of more matches.
In the meantime, the other batsmen are struggling to score enough runs.
Shane Watson is getting starts but he is not looking anywhere near as comfortable at the crease as he used to. We don’t think he is going to be able to play the big innings that we are so used to seeing from consistently in T20 cricket.
Callum Ferguson got 47 in the previous match and looked in good form. His presence in the side is taking some pressure away from Joe Root and Jason Sangha. Root has struggled to make an impact in the BBL while Sangha seems to be batting too low for his liking.
Daniel Sams is ultra aggressive and can come off in some games but he is not someone you want to see in the middle with more than a couple of overs to go.
Sydney Thunder also doubled down on their spin-heavy approach by adding a fourth spinner to its side. That did not work out as Arjun Nair bowled just one over and Cook went for plenty of runs. Chris Green was the pick of the bowlers with just 18 runs from his four overs. Daniel Sams also bowled well to take two wickets from his four overs in the previous match.
Sydney Thunder’s bowling is good enough to be effective with scoreboard pressure on its bat but its clear that the batsmen will have to do most of the work. On current form, that looks unlikely.
Jos Buttler, SR Watson, Callum Ferguson, JE Root, Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams, Christopher Green, Sam Rainbird, Jonathan Cook, Fawad Ahmed, Gurinder Sandhu.
The Perth Scorchers lost their previous match against the Hobart Hurricanes on a very slow University of Tasmania cricket pitch. Having lost the toss, the Perth Scorchers were always up against it and ended up being restricted to just 107.
The Hobart Hurricanes had the advantage of knowing their total and could bat at leisure to chase down this small target.
The Perth Scorchers welcomed back Cameron Bancroft into their side after his ban tenure was completed. It was surprising to see him bat in the middle order, a position where he is not the most comfortable.
It was also surprising to see Inglis being left out of the side after having performed well in the previous match. Hopefully, these mistakes will be rectified in the upcoming matches.
The Perth Scorchers are being talked off as having lost their edge but we believe this side is due for a bounce back. The addition of Cameron Bancroft provides the side some much-needed stability and it’s just a matter of getting the players into their right places.
No one in the top-order scored runs for the Perth Scorchers in the match against the Hobart Hurricanes. Hilton Cartwright with 29 runs was the highest scorer in the top-5. That is just unacceptable.
The Perth Scorchers batting unit must take more responsibility and start putting some runs on the board.
We do believe that the Perth Scorchers have a bowling unit to put Sydney Thunder under immense pressure. The likes of Behrendorff, Willey, Richardson, Agar, Coulter-Nile, and Tye should fancy their chances against Sydney Thunder.
If this bowling unit can get the two opposing opening batsmen early then the Perth Scorchers are in with an excellent chance of winning this match.
M Klinger, David Willey, CT Bancroft, AJ Turner, Hilton Cartwright, William Bosisto, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, AJ Tye, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The BBL 08 match between Sydney Thunder and the Perth Scorchers will be played at the Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney.
The weather forecast for is pretty good in Sydney on match day. There is a 20% chance of some showers but overall the outlook calls for sunny weather with some clouds around. The pitch at the Sydney Showground Stadium is good for batting. The spinners get some assistance but overall, there are plenty of runs to be had.
We think the Perth Scorchers have a better side than Sydney Thunder at the moment. The only glaring weakness in the Perth Scorchers side seems to be the lack of a quality spinner (Agar is not that). Still, Sydney Thunder’s batting problems should allow the Perth Scorchers to win this match.
Back the Perth Scorchers to win.
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