Bottom of the standings in the Big Bash League, champions Melbourne Renegades face an uphill battle against the in-form Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium on Thursday.
The Renegades have lost each of their four matches so far, with the latest loss to Adelaide Strikers (18 runs) coming at this venue. The Sixers have three wins out of five, including two in a row. The last one was a thrilling ‘Super Over’ victory over Sydney Thunder in the Sydney Smash.
Regardless of their losses, the Renegades have been impressive with their batting. Captain Aaron Finch (157 runs, SR 138.93) and Shaun Marsh (150 runs, SR 127.11) have been impressive with the bat, although unable to lead them to a win.
The bigger worry for the Renegades has been their misfiring bowling unit. Kane Richardson stands head and shoulders above the rest with eight wickets (ER 6.19), while the next best bowler has taken just three. The concerns run in the foreign player department with both Richard Gleeson and Harry Guerney conceding more than ten runs an over.
The Sixers have been the surprise package of the season, with all-rounder Tom Curran (88 runs @ SR 187.23, eight wickets) leading the show. Three batsmen aggregate over 100 runs this season, led by the exciting Josh Philippe (140 runs, SR 122.80).
The injury to Sean Abbott is a big blow, considering he leads their bowling charts with 11 wickets. Ben Dwarshuis has impressed with his pace and swing up front, picking up six wickets already. The emergence of Lloyd Pope (four wickets, ER 6.07) is a welcome positive for the Sixers.
The Renegades badly need a win and need it now. Another loss will put them in dire position as far as their playoff chances are concerned. Batting doesn’t seem to be a problem, but with the bowlers not performing as a unit the Renegades look a far cry from picking up a win. The Sixers have been steady and consistent so far and look a settled side ahead of this encounter. They start as favourites, although the Renegades are capable of springing a surprise.
History & Statistics
- The Renegades have won three of the last four H2Hs, including the last two.
- The Renegades have had the best powerplay score in three of their four matches this season.
- The Sixers have won three of the four H2Hs where they chased.
- The Sixers have won five of the last eight H2Hs.
- The Sixers have won on three of their last four visits to this venue.
Kane Richardson has been consistently amongst the wickets for the Renegades. His success with the ball has helped them remain competitive. If he can repeat his performances, the Renegades can hope to break their duck.
While all eyes remain on Tom Curran, Moises Henriques has been silently contributing with 114 runs at a SR of 144.30 this season. He will be keen to play another silent knock.