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January 20, 2020
Perth Scorchers v Sydney Thunder
Venue: Optus Stadium | Start: 9:40pm (AEDT)
Perth Scorchers – After three wins in a row, the Scorchers were brought back to earth in the last few days with consecutive defeats to ladder leaders Melbourne Stars. While the first clash saw them bowled out for what coach Adam Voges called an ‘embarrassing’ total of 86 (their third-lowest total ever in the BBL), Saturday afternoon saw them come back strong and restrict the Stars to just 141 at the MCG. But they couldn’t convert with the bat, losing regular wickets (including 8/83) to fall 10 runs short. The fact no batsman scored more than 32 would be the real frustration, having no player to anchor the chase. “There was some poor decision making… I’m very disappointed in that performance,” skipper Mitch Marsh said. “It was a big game for us to gain back a bit of momentum.”
Nevertheless, they remain in the hunt for the BBL finals, in fifth spot at 5-6. Fawad Ahmed has been included in the 13-man squad for this clash despite an abdominal complaint, and looks set to play. This is also the last game Englishman Chris Jordan will play for the club this season, before big South African quick Morne Morkel comes in for the final two games of the season and potentially finals.
Sydney Thunder – Luck was seemingly against the Thunder earlier this season as they had a sure-fire win denied by bushfire smoke and then lost the first Sydney derby in a tense super over. But on the weekend it swung back their way, winning the second derby by just four runs after persistent rain cut the game short. In truth, they deserved the win after bowling out the Sixers for just 76 in a clinical bowling display.
The win was also, to put it lightly, much-needed. After losing four of their previous five matches, a seemingly nailed-on finals position was suddenly in doubt. And it’s by no means locked in yet, sitting in fourth on 11 points and with the Scorchers and Heat lurking behind on 10. As such, coach Shane Bond has dubbed this clash ‘massive’ in the context of the season. “We’re looking forward to going to Perth,” he said. “We play them twice in the next week and a win over there would mean we’re three points clear of Perth with two games to go…We’re playing them at a time when they’re coming off a loss [to Melbourne Stars] and a lot of travel. However, we know they’re tough to beat at home.” The Thunder have made no changes to their 13-player squad for the trip to Perth.
Betting Analysis – Prior to the last clash at Optus Stadium where the Scorchers were rolled for a measly 86, the average total for sides batting first in Perth was a whopping 191. If we mark off the last clash as an anomaly, then we can likely expect another high-scoring affair on Monday evening. Look for Josh Inglis to come out firing for the high side to top the batting markets, while Jordan may just go out with the bang with the ball. For the visitors, expect Usman Khawaja to thrive on a pitch that suits him to a tee, while Chris Morris’ fine form makes him a strong option in the wicket taker markets.
Head to Head: Perth Scorchers
Top Runs Scorer – Perth Scorchers: Josh Inglis
Most Wickets – Perth Scorchers: Chris Jordan
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja
Most Wickets – Sydney Thunder: Chris Morris