Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat have started their Big Bash League campaigns in contrasting manners and that makes Sunday's clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground a very interesting affair.
While the Sixers have a 1-1 record, the Heat have lost both of their opening matches. It is still early days, but neither team can ill-afford another loss.
The Sixers started the season with an eight-wicket win over the Perth Scorchers, but fell to a 25-run loss to Hobart Hurricanes. The biggest positive coming out of the season so far is the form of Josh Philippe (105 runs, SR 159.09, 4×6). Like the usual, the Sixers have been excellent with the ball.
Three of their main bowlers are conceding at or under seven runs an over, which shows just how strong the Sixers’ bowling is. Tom Curran (five wickets, ER 7.75) leads the show for the Sixers, while three other bowlers have taken four wickets each so far.
The Heat had a disastrous start to their BBL09 season losing both their matches so far – by 29 runs to Sydney Thunder and by 22 runs to Melbourne Stars. Regardless of the results, the emergence of opener Tom Banton (80 runs, SR 186.04, 6×6) has been the shining beacon.
Mitch Swepson (three wickets, ER 8.00) has shown that he can be a good wicket-taking option in the middle-overs. However, they need more control from Ben Laughlin (ER 8.75) and Josh Lalor (ER 9.25) to have any chance of improving their chances.
The Sixers have always been a strong bowling side and this season has been no different so far. All their four frontline bowlers led by Tom Curran have been showing their wares, but their batsmen need to do more. As for the Heat, it couldn’t have started any worse for them. Chris Lynn’s side has been struggling for runs and would do well to see their talisman get into his groove. Unless they do that, the Heat could be pushed into a corner once again.
History & Statistics
- Sydney Sixers have a 9-1 win-loss record against Brisbane Heat, including winning the last five.
- Seven of the last nine H2Hs have been won by the visiting side.
- Sydney Sixers have won seven of the eight H2Hs they have chased.
- Sydney Sixers have won all the five H2Hs when they won the toss.
- Brisbane Heat have the highest average powerplay score (50.69) amongst all the teams last season.
- Brisbane Heat have a better away record (19-18) than at home (13-25) in overall BBL matches.
Tom Curran has been very impressive for the Sixers leading the show with five wickets. His variations are best suited to the format and will once again be crucial for the hosts.
His fellow countryman Tom Banton has been the rising star of Big Bash this season. Banton’s uninhibited stroke play could well prove to be Heat’s key out of this crisis.