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January 11, 2020
Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes
Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium | Start: 6:10pm (AEDT)
Sydney Thunder – After Wednesday night’s loss to the Stars, the Thunder have now lost three in a row, undoing a strong start to the season. It was a peculiar approach by Shane Bond’s side batting first at the MCG, as Alex Hales (26 off 28) and Usman Khawaja (33 off 27) ticked along at a fairly pedestrian pace (33 off 27) despite the benefit of the power play. They would keep eight wickets in hand until the final over yet posted just 145, a total easily chased down by the ladder-leading Stars. Their scoring rate early-innings is undoubtedly something they’ll address ahead of this clash back at home.
The biggest story of this week, though, which will have huge repercussions for their BBL09 campaign is the ban imposed on star off-spinner Chris Green. Green can’t bowl for three months in Cricket Australia sanctioned tournaments after it was deemed his action exceeded the degree limits imposed by the governing body. The spinner, who recently penned a six-year deal with the Thunder, has been his side’s most economical spinner and his loss will put pressure on Arjun Nair and Jono Cook to perform in his absence. Should Bond wish to revert to the three spinners approach we saw earlier in the season, look for former Stars tweaker Liam Bowe to make his debut.
Hobart Hurricanes – Like the Thunder, the Hurricanes have hit a rough patch in BBL09, losing three of their last four. And with their two best players in D’Arcy Short (Australian ODI squad) and Riley Meredith (side strain) out for the foreseeable future, they’ll need a collective lift should they hope to shake the form slump.
Matthew Wade (61 off 46) was amongst the runs in the loss to the Heat on Thursday night but the scorecard may have been deceiving. Wade never truly got going in his knock, admittedly not helped by the regular loss of wickets. And when he torched Australian T20I batsman Ben McDermott going for a suicidal run to cover at a crucial juncture of the clash, the impact of his performance was somewhat lessened.
Yet it’s hard to criticise Wade when no other Hurricanes batsman posted over 17 against the Heat, and this has been the story of their season. It’s grim reading when you look at the Canes top six in BBL09. Star signing David Miller (88 runs in 7 innings), the experienced George Bailey (47 runs in 4 innings) and opener Caleb Jewell (112 runs in 7 innings) simply haven’t fired. If they’re any hope in this clash, these three simply must stand up in the absence of Short.
Betting Analysis – Despite their poor recent form the Thunder, in particular their polished top four, should prove too strong for an undermanned Hurricanes bowling outfit in this clash. For the individual markets, look for skipper Callum Ferguson to continue his brilliant form that sees him in second on the top runscorer table for BBL09. With the ball, Daniel Sams remains far and away the most likely Thunder bowler to take a bag. Given Wade’s position as opener and fairly seamless transition back to the white ball, he remains the smart top runscorer bet for the Canes. With the ball it’s far trickier, although Qais Ahmed will be used as a wicket taking option in the middle overs.
Head to Head: Sydney Thunder
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Thunder: Callum Ferguson
Most Wickets – Sydney Thunder: Daniel Sams
Top Runs Scorer – Hobart Hurricanes: Matthew Wade
Most Wickets – Hobart Hurricanes: Qais Ahmed