The Optus Stadium in Perth will play host to the first match of the Big Bash League season between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Thunder with the two sides separated by a solitary point and in a battle for a playoff place.
The Scorchers have 10 points from 11 matches (W5, L6) but have lost their last two matches – both to the Stars – after winning three in a row prior to that. The Thunder have 11 points from 11 matches (W5, L5, NR1) and have won two of their last three matches.
The Scorchers would be keen to see their top-order build up from their performances over the past few matches. Mitchell Marsh (365 runs, SR 150.82) continues to be their batting mainstay, while the improved form of Cameron Bancroft and Josh Inglis (324 runs, SR 158.04) is a welcome sign.
Their bowlers have struggled in the early parts of the tournament, but the Scorchers’ attack are back in form. Fawad Ahmed (13 wickets, ER 7.09) and Jhye Richardson (14 wickets, ER 7.19) have been leading their attack really well.
The Thunder continue to be dependent on their top-order led by captain Callum Ferguson (310 runs, SR 132.47), while the likes of Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja remain a bit up and down with their form. Indeed, all the Thunder batsmen have been inconsistent, lacking a collective effort.
Regardless of their batting woes, Daniel Sams (20 wickets, ER 7.76) continues to be among the wickets. The left-arm seamer remains their potent weapon with the ball, with their next best bowler seven wickets behind.
This is as close to a knockout match as you can get. The Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Thunder have nothing to separate their campaign so far and a win will help ease worries. The fact that the two sides meet again during their last round of fixtures gives them another chance, but neither would like to lose points to a direct rival. The Scorchers had been picking up steam before being stopped by the Stars, and would like to think they have an edge. However, they have lost three of their five matches at this venue this season. The Thunder are 3-2 away from home this season, but this match could test their mettle.
History & Statistics
- The Scorchers have scored the most 6s in their last three BBL|09 matches.
- The Scorchers average 6.80 sixes per match, while the Thunder average 3.83 – the highest and lowest respectively this season.
- The team batting first has won five of the last six H2Hs.
- The Thunder have won the last three H2Hs, including the only match here.
While all the eyes are cast on his captain, Inglis continues to garner applause for the way he has been improving this season. Can the young opener score another big knock?
Forget all that is happening around when he has the bat in his hand, Sams knows how to take wickets. He has been pretty accurate with his stuff and effective too for the Thunder.