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January 2, 2020

Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Sixers

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

Melbourne Renegades – With no wins from their opening four clashes, are the Gades already staring down the barrel of a finals-less season? The 14-game season certainly allows for some early leeway, but they wouldn’t want to allow many more games to slip.

Aaron Finch’s side were poor in their loss to the Strikers on Sunday night, going down by 18 runs in their first outing at Marvel Stadium for the season. Things were on track in their chase until a mindless 13th over saw Finch and Dan Christian needlessly runout before Marcus Harris hit one down the throat of deep backward square. From here the Renegades were always chasing, and never recovered. For new coach Michael Klinger, the most disappointing aspect of this piece of cricket – and something that has summed up their season to date – is the lack of cricket smarts that so defined their title-winning year in BBL08.

Further, some players simply aren’t standing up. Last season’s key all-rounder Dan Christian is yet to fire a shot in BBL09, returning no wickets and just 30 runs in four games. Fellow all-rounder Jack Wildermuth, who has also played for Australia in the T20 format, is similarly yet to fire. Highly-rate T20 bowler Harry Gurney is also struggling, going at over 10-an-over this season, with just three wickets to his name. The usual suspects in Finch, Shaun Marsh and Kane Richardson have all started the season solidly, but quite clearly the Renegades need to start sharing the load.

Sydney Sixers – The Sixers have mixed brilliance with apathy this season and it’s difficult to know which side is going to turn up on the day. In any case, they’ll take huge confidence from their thrilling super over victory in the Sydney Smash, undoubtedly the game of BBL09 thus far. Pleasingly for coach Greg Shipperd, skipper Moises Henriques has hit form again while opener Daniel Hughes has scored 37 and 35 in the last two games after a poor start to the season.

A win here for the Sixers takes them to 4-2 ahead of a huge home game against the Strikers. Selection wise, it’s currently unclear whether the Sixers’ leading wicket taker in BBL09 Sean Abbott will line up against the Renegades after suffering a side strain the Sydney Smash. Englishman James Vince missed that clash after being hit on the elbow in the nets but is likely to return.

Betting Analysis – The Marvel Stadium surface was again tricky to bat on in the Renegades’ opening clash of the season there, continuing the trend of last season where the team batting first passed 150 just once in seven games. While the Strikers just surpassed that mark on Sunday night (6/155), it’s likely we’ll see another lower scoring encounter in this one. Look for Aaron Finch to score big on a ground he knows better than most, and Harry Gurney to bounce back following a poor run of form. For the Sixers, skipper Henriques is a strong top runscorer option despite coming in at four, while with the ball Tom Curran will take huge confidence from his dominant performance in the Sydney Smash.

Head to Head: Melbourne Renegades
Top Runs Scorer – Melbourne Renegades: Aaron Finch
Most Wickets – Melbourne Renegades: Harry Gurney
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Sixers: Moises Henriques
Most Wickets – Sydney Sixers: Tom Curran