Sydney Sixers will start their chase for a second consecutive playoff place when they take on a Perth Scorchers side looking to bounce back from their Big Bash League failure.
The Scorchers failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time ever and will be keen to make amends this season ahead of their opening game.
It is the bowling that put the Sixers in the playoffs frame last season and that could once again be the case this year. A unit that has Sean Abbott, Steve O’Keefe and Tom Curran, not to speak of the new recruit Jackson Bird makes them a very tough bowling group.
The batting group isn’t bad either, with Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes and the youngster Josh Philippe giving them a good chance. With James Vince joining the team straight from the MSL where he scored 226 runs (SR 141.25), the Sixers could be up for a big game.
Last season saw the worst of the Scorchers, who picked up just four wins and crashed to ten losses. There have been some defining changes in the squad, but the core group still remains. Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner and Cameron Bancroft will remain key to their chances.
Mitch Marsh and Andrew Tye bring in a wealth of Big Bash experience, but it is the addition of Chris Jordan that sets the pulses running. The England all-rounder is a great choice and the Scorchers could reap the rewards quick. With Fawad Ahmed joining the squad from the Thunder, this side now bears a better balance than the previous year.
The Sixers have enjoyed playing at home last season, with most of their wins coming at this venue. The slow nature of the Sydney Cricket Ground made sure that the Sixers’ remained on top of their game. With an all-round squad that can make the home advantage count, the Sixers will test the Scorchers. However, it won’t be easy as the visitors are looking to dust themselves off a poor BBL 08 season. Regardless, it could be a close encounter that might still end in favour of the Sixers.
History & Statistics
- Ten of Sydney Sixers’ 15 matches in BBL 08 were won by the chasing side, the same as in ten of Perth Scorchers’ 14 matches.
- Sydney Sixers have won just two of nine against Perth Scorchers when batting first.
- Sydney Sixers have won their last four matches at this venue.
- Perth Scorchers have won ten of 14 matches against Sydney Sixers.
- Perth Scorchers have won five of their last seven matches at this venue against Sydney Sixers.
James Vince is the quintessential T20 player, who keeps shuttling between T20 tournaments. His experience and ability to score runs at a quicker pace than expected makes Vince a dangerous proposition.
Jordan has showed that his T20 skills are among the best, if not the best. His bowling remains an excellent value add, given that he can bowl at either ends of the innings.