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Watch Live: Kayo Sports

December 26, 2019

Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers

Venue: Optus Stadium | Start: 7:10pm (AEDT)

Perth Scorchers – In one of the fixture anomalies of BBL09, the Scorchers face the Sixers for a second time less than two weeks into the competition. But they go into the clash still kicking themselves from a huge missed opportunity on Monday night when, seemingly cruising to a comfortable away win at the Adelaide Oval, Adam Voges’ side somehow conjured a way to lose in spectacular fashion. At 0/124 after just 8.4 overs chasing 199 (in 18 overs), the Scorchers looked destined for a second win of the season which would leapfrog them into third. But a Rashid Khan three-wicket blitz would put them on the back foot before further wickets meant that, in short time, they were out of the game. They would lose 7/53 and fall 16 runs short.

Pleasingly, the opening stand between Englishman Liam Livingstone (69 off 26) and Josh Inglis (50 off 27) bodes well for the Scorchers going forward. The new opening pair had put on just 2 and 20 in their first two games together, but this 124-run stand (the only three-figure stand in BBL09 thus far) would give them huge confidence knowing the middle-order hitting power they possess.

More worrisome, however, is the Scorchers’ bowling. The men in orange are conceding over 9.8 runs an over in their first three games – the most of all the Big Bash clubs. The twin spin of Ashton Agar and Fawad Ahmed have combined for just four wickets in the first three games while Mitch Marsh’s return to bowling has not gone to plan thus far (0/53 off four overs in the last two games). While there appears little wrong with their batting, the Scorchers’ bowling woes need to be addressed.

Sydney Sixers – The Sixers will be desperate to rediscover the form of their season opening win over the Scorchers at the SCG. Since then, they’ve suffered comprehensive losses to the Hurricanes and Heat, perhaps justifying why they were $10 outsiders at the start of the season. In both of these losses they’ve suffered match-defining collapses; an incredible 7/13 against the Canes in Alice Springs, and a similarly-crippling 5/49 in pursuit of the Heat’s mammoth 209. Losing wickets in clumps will be the key address from coach Greg Shipperd before this clash in the west. Further, the Sixers need more out of their top order, and in particular Daniel Hughes. The experienced left-hander finished as the fifth-highest run scorer in BBL08 (399 runs @ 30.7) but has started this season slowly, returning scores of 22, 2 and 8.

While they’re struggling with the bat, there’s seemingly no such issues with the ball. Although the Sixers conceded over 200 against the Heat, that was largely down to Chris Lynn’s immense hitting power which, on his day, will take down any franchise side around the world. The likes of Tom Curran, Sean Abbott and Ben Manenti have restricted the Scorchers and Hurricanes to 131 and 129 respectively and on balance, their bowling stocks look strong.

Betting Analysis – With both sides possessing big hitting power on a deck that’s bound to be batting-friendly, big totals are expected. Seven of the eight games at Optus Stadium in BBL08 saw scores of 175-plus, and Saturday night’s clash saw that trend continue as the Scorchers amassed 7/196. Look for Livingstone to continue the form he showed in Adelaide, while Chris Jordan should bounce back from a tough night at the office with the ball. For the Sixers, James Vince has made a start in each of the three games thus far and at number three is a shrewd top runscorer option. With the ball, if you’re after a value pick, off-spinner Ben Manenti is your man. The unheralded tweaker has taken two wickets in all three of the Sixers’ BBL09 games, and is doing strong work in the all-important middle overs.

Head to Head: Perth Scorchers
Top Runs Scorer – Perth Scorchers: Liam Livingstone
Most Wickets – Perth Scorchers: Chris Jordan
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Sixers: James Vince
Most Wickets – Sydney Sixers: Ben Manenti