BBL Betting: Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder – Dec 31

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December 31, 2019

Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder

Venue: Adelaide Oval | Start: 7:10pm

Adelaide Strikers – One of the headline games of the season, the New Year’s Eve clash in Adelaide has now become into a must-attend date on the BBL calendar. The night has created big memories since its inception, arguably no more so than when a fresh-faced Travis Head struck a 53-ball ton in BBL05. Head, of course, will be available for the Strikers after the upcoming Sydney Test against New Zealand, strengthening an already solid top and middle order.

It’s another left-hander, however, who has stolen the limelight for the boys in blue thus far in BBL09. Australian white ball keeper Alex Carey has scored 40-plus in all four knocks this season, a consistency that underlines the immense value he provides. Carey has now moved to number three in the order, but can easily swap further down the order. And herein lies his worth: he’s strong at the top of the order (having scored 329 runs as opener last season) or as finisher down the order, as he has done for Australia.

Perhaps the biggest factor for the Strikers going into this clash will be fatigue. The New Year’s Eve clash is their third game in five days, an unusually hectic schedule for BBL standards. As a former fast bowler, however, Jason Gillespie is an expert on load management and will ensure his troops are fresh heading into this game, after which they’ll have a four-day break. And after comfortably accounting for the Renegades on Sunday night at Marvel Stadium, the Strikers will go top of the BBL table with another win here.

Sydney Thunder – The Thunder could easily – and arguably should easily – be atop the BBL09 ladder, losing to the Sixers by the barest of margins in a Sydney Derby thriller on Saturday night. After openers Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja blasted 48 off the opening five overs, a total of 180-plus was on the cards – one that would have almost certainly won them the game. But they would lose 3/6 and then eke out just 149 on a good SCG batting surface. Eventually losing in the super over (in the best game of BBL09 thus far), the Thunder will see their Sydney Derby loss as a huge missed opportunity. Nevertheless, they still sit comfortably inside the top four and have a strong platform from which to launch a finals assault.

In contrast with the Strikers, the Thunder have played just one game in the last 10 days after a hectic start to BBL09. Rather than fatigue, their worry could be a lack time in the middle. That shouldn’t worry experienced trio Hales, Khawaja and skipper Callum Ferguson – the Thunder top three each having passed the three-figure run tally this season in a stat that bodes well for setting up match-winning totals.

Betting Analysis – If ever there’s a Big Bash venue that will be high-scoring, it’s the Adelaide Oval. In the only game of BBL09 at the ground thus far, the Strikers incredibly plundered 198 in a rain-reduced 18 overs. In chasing, the Scorchers would reach 124 in just the ninth over, underlining its batting friendly make-up. Look for Jake Weatherald (83 off 47 in that aforementioned) clash to go big early, before Rashid Khan does his thing on a ground he knows well. For the Thunder, Englishman Alex Hales is seeing them well at the top of the order, and is tough to look past in the individual markets. With the ball, Daniel Sams (seven wickets in four games) is another smart option.

Head to Head: Adelaide Strikers
Top Runs Scorer – Adelaide Strikers: Jake Weatherald
Most Wickets – Adelaide Strikers: Rashid Khan
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Thunder: Alex Hales
Most Wickets – Sydney Thunder: Daniel Sams