January 24, 2020
Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Thunder
Venue: Blundstone Arena | Start: 6:10pm (AEDT)
Hobart Hurricanes – The Canes kept their BBL09 hopes alive by a thread in defeating the Renegades by just four runs on Tuesday night. In one of the games of the season, momentum swung back and forth before young quick Nathan Ellis delivered a masterful final over, conceding just six when the Renegades needed 11 to win. What was more impressive was the resilience shown by Ellis, after leaking 20 runs in the 18th over thanks to a Mohammad Nabi onslaught. The win means there’s still life in Adam Griffith’s side yet, and despite sitting in seventh are just two points behind the Thunder in the finals’ spots. This is another must-win game for the men in purple, who require two wins from their last two games (plus some other results going their way) to scrape into the playoffs.
In welcome news, the Canes welcome back D’Arcy Short after arriving home from Australian duties. Short will rekindle his partnership with Matthew Wade at the top, a pairing that reaped huge rewards for the the club last season. In BBL08 Short and Wade were the two highest run scorers in the competition. But they’ve got a tough call to make, after fellow opener Mac Wright dominated in just his third ever Big Bash game at Marvel Stadium, plundering 70 off 50 balls. After that seemingly undroppable knock, expect Griffith to opt for a top-order reshuffle, with Jake Doran the man likely to make way.
Sydney Thunder – Similarly to the Hurricanes, the Thunder need two wins from their final two games to ensure a BBL09 finals berth. But with two points on their opponents, they’re still in better shape for their first playoff spot in four years. Coach Shane Bond is begging his side for consistency after their stop-start season. The Thunder’s only back-to-back wins came in their first two games of the season, and since then have struggled to string performances together. This was highlighted in the last week when a dominant bowling performance in the Sydney Derby was followed by a lacklustre showing with the bat in Perth, where the Scorchers chased down their score with a whopping 27 balls to spare. While on paper the total of 5-153 looks respectable, it was all down to one man – Alex Hales – whose 85 off 59 kept his side in the game. Their next highest score was just 22 despite playing on the competition’s best batting surface.
Unlike every other BBL team, the Thunder did not have any players miss games in the recent India v Australia ODI series, and won’t be welcoming back any international stars. Expect minor changes to their 13-man squad.
Betting Analysis – With two 175-plus scores in three games at Blundstone Arena this season, this clash could easily be another high-scoring encounter given the hitting power on either side. For the home side, Wade’s return to form was ominous on Tuesday night, and with Short having not played competitive cricket since January 5, is the preferred top runscorer option. With the ball, Ellis has continually improved throughout the season without being rewarded in many games. That could change here. For the visitors, Hales is similarly looking in ominous touch while expect some value for Chris Morris (over Daniel Sams) in the wicket-taking markets.
Head to Head: Hobart Hurricanes
Top Runs Scorer – Hobart Hurricanes: Matthew Wade
Most Wickets – Hobart Hurricanes: Nathan Ellis
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Thunder: Alex Hales
Most Wickets – Sydney Thunder: Chris Morris