About the Match
Both the Sydney Thunder and the Adelaide Strikers are coming into this game on the back of narrow losses to the Hobart Hurricanes. For the Sydney Thunder, it was their third loss in five games while the defeat for the Adelaide Strikers was their first of the tournament. The competition is heating up in the BBL and every match is going to be important from here on in. Neither of these two teams is going to be taking it easy.
Thunder has had a tough ride in the tournament so far as they have struggled with their batting, depending heavily on contributions from Watson and Buttler. They have won a few matches that they maybe could have lost and lost some that they should have won.
Their last defeat to the Hobart Hurricanes was one such match which they really should have won thanks to an incredible 82 off just 43 balls from Jos Buttler. The English international also received decent support from Kurtis Patterson and Shane Watson but there was absolutely nothing to depend on down the order.
No other player apart from the top-3 made it past 11 not out which Gurinder Sandhu slogged in the end.
It was very disappointing and a continuation of the problems that Thunder have been facing. This will be the last match that they will have the services of Jos Buttler for, after which they should welcome back Usman Khawaja, but that could put even more pressure on their batting.
Patterson, Ferguson, and Rohrer must find some way of scoring runs otherwise it will all be down to Shane Watson to carry the side.
Thankfully for the Thunder team, their bowling has been much better. The spin trio of Green, Ahmed, and Nair have been excellent ensuring that their team stays in the hunt even if they are lacking for runs. Mitchell McClenaghan has also been picking up regular wickets to give this Thunder team a very decent bowling attack.
Al they need is for some of their dormant players to wake up and they could really have a season to remember.
The Strikers finally tasted defeat in their last match against the Hobart Hurricanes. It was a match where the momentum constantly shifted between the sides and it could easily have been another victory for the Strikers. There were a few things that were visible in this match.
The first was that their bowling, which has been their strength till now, could be targeted by the opposition. Ben Laughlin went for plenty of runs, as did Michael Neser, Peter Siddle. The only time the momentum was grasped back by the Strikers was when Rashid Khan was bowling. His bowling figures of four overs, 18 runs, and two wickets were absolute gold in the context of the match.
Even Billy Stanlake had a good day as he escaped the brunt of the punishment as well.
They will be put under pressure by the Thunder top-order again but we don’t think they have the depth that the Hurricanes possess.
For the Adelaide Strikers, getting their batting in order will be a higher priority. Cameos from their leading batsmen have meant that they always have to leave it close to the end to finally get over the line. Jono Wells in the lower middle order has been brilliant at scoring quickly and clearing the boundaries while Alex Cary has been excellent at the top of the order.
Colin Ingram also finally showed the kind of talent he has been known for in the last match. Only Travis Head needs to ensure that he converts his starts into significant scores and the Strikers will be properly sorted.
Pitch and Conditions
The Sydney Showground stadium is expected to provide a bit of assistance to the spinners which should make the Thunder very happy. They want to be careful though because Rashid Kahn could end up being the one bowler to take the most out of such a wicket. We think it will be a game where a score of around 160 should be considered par.
The last five matches between the two teams have been shared 2-2 with one no result thrown in. The most recent two games have been won by the Adelaide Strikers, however, both teams have undergone a fair bit of change in the interim period.
We expect the Adelaide Strikers to continue their recent dominance of the Sydney Thunder.
Back the Adelaide Strikers to win