The festive season cheer in the Big Bash League will kick-off at the Optus Stadium on Boxing Day when the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers battle it out.
Both teams have identical records so far, separated only by net run rate. One win in three games puts both the Scorchers and the Sixers in the bottom-three of the standings going into the crucial phase of the season.
The sides have already met once in the second match of the season in Sydney, a game that was won by the Sixers by eight wickets.
The Scorchers have lost to the Sixers and the Adelaide Strikers – both away from home, while their only win came in Perth against the Melbourne Renegades. Although they have been able to score 196 and 183 in their last two matches, the Scorchers are missing a top-order batting lynchpin. Captain Mitch Marsh (102 runs, SR 145.71) continues to excel in his new role.
Chris Jordan (four wickets, ER 8.27) remains their best wicket taker, but the Scorchers have missed their usual control. Every bowler has given away runs at at least 7.91 runs per over and that remains a concern. In both the previous games where they scored in excess of 180, their bowlers couldn’t keep the opposition out.
The Sixers started well with a comprehensive win against Scorchers, but soon fell to poor losses against the Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat. While their batting flopped when chasing 130 against the Hurricanes, the bowlers conceded 209 in the defeat to the Heat.
The rise of Josh Philippe (120 runs, SR 134.83) is a welcome sight, while Shaun Abbott and Ben Manenti have chipped in with six wickets each. Tom Curran’s five wickets have come at 9.50 runs per over which is a slight concern, although he has bowled at both ends of the match.
The Sixers dominated their previous match against Scorchers to win comfortably. Both teams have been struggling to get any semblance of momentum. This could be the chance for Scorchers to get back to winning ways, considering their record at Optus Stadium has remained impressive. It will be a test of character for both teams.
History & Statistics
- Scorchers have won 10 of the last 13 H2Hs, including four of the last six.
- Scorchers have won the only H2H played at this venue.
- Scorchers have a 33-17 win-loss record while winning the toss.
- Sixers have won 2 of the last 3 H2Hs.
- Three of Sixers’ five H2H wins have come while chasing.
- The chasing side has won 8 of the last 9 H2Hs.
- The designated home side on the day has won 8 of the last 9 H2Hs.
Josh Philippe has been pivotal for Sixers with his strong starts. With the venue expected to support the strong hitters, his runs could prove to be the difference.
Fawad Ahmed has 13 wickets against Sixers in 11 matches and will hope that he can continue the same form.