On a high after a comprehensive win on Boxing Day, Sydney Sixers will hope to get the bragging rights with a derby win over Sydney Thunder at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
The hosts have an even record in the season so far (P4, W2, L2). Both their wins came against the Perth Scorchers (eight wickets and 48 runs), while losing the other two to the Hobart Hurricanes by 25 runs and the Brisbane Heat by 48 runs.
The Thunder have not taken to the field for a week now since their ‘no result’ against the Adelaide Strikers in Canberra. Before that, they defeated the Heat (29 runs) and the Melbourne Renegades (six wickets).
Josh Philippe’s emergence at the top of the batting order (129 runs, SR 132.98) is a big bonus for the Sixers, but they are still struggling to get runs on the board. Only one player aggregating more than 100 runs is a cause of concern, as they will be looking to the likes of James Vince and Jordan Silk to step up.
No such problems with the ball, though, as Sean Abbott (nine wickets, ER 7.50) continues to be amongst the wickets. Tom Curran and Ben Dwarshuis have been impressing at both ends of the innings, which is another positive.
The Thunder have been quick off the blocks thanks to Callum Ferguson (104 runs, SR 160). Usman Khawaja and Alex Hales have also started well, which augurs well for the Thunder. The fact that their middle-order hasn’t really been required is a testimony to how well that trio have been playing.
Two of their main bowlers have returned an ER of under seven, while Daniel Sams (six wickets, ER 8.67) remains among the wickets albeit a little expensive. With Chris Morris set to play a bigger role for the side, the Thunder look a well-settled unit.
The Sixers have been blowing hot and cold this season. Both their wins have been comprehensive and both were against the Scorchers. Otherwise, their batting remains a concern with not many consistent performances. The Thunder, on the other hand, have started well and look well-balanced. Their batting looks a bit more balanced and consistent than their cross-town neighbours.
History & Statistics
- Sixers have won 10 of 15 matches against Thunder.
- Sixers have won 5 of 7 H2Hs at the SCG.
- The team batting first has won eight of 11 matches this season, excluding one no-result.
- Sixers have a 8-3 record against Thunder while chasing.
- Thunder have won 5 of their last 8 matches against Sixers.
- The home side on the day has won the last five H2Hs.
Abbott has been consistently featuring amongst the wickets for Sixers across the seasons. His ability to pick crucial scalps will be an asset in big games like this.
Morris has played just one game for the Thunder so far, but started with figures of 4-0-31-2. He could once again look to be among the wickets.