Only one-point separates Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League with both teams looking to return to form in their encounter at Sydney Showground Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.
The Thunder have seven points from eight matches (W3, L4, NR1) but have lost their last three matches. The Hurricanes six points from seven matches (W3, L4), and come here with just one win in the last four matches. However, it is the loss of key personnel that puts the Hurricanes under immense pressure.
The Thunder have had a mixed bag so far, combining their early season form that landed three wins in the first five with three consecutive defeats coming into this fixture. Captain Callum Ferguson remains the pillar of their season with 288 runs so far (SR 139.80). However, batting inconsistencies from the rest have contrived to pull them down.
The best bowler for the Thunder has been Daniel Sams. With 15 wickets to his name, he has been a massive boost for Ferguson. However, with Chris Green suspended from bowling and withdrawn from the squad, the Thunder need to find a bit of mental strength to motor on.
The Hurricanes are missing some key players themselves – D’Arcy Short, Riley Meredith and James Faulkner, for different reasons. Their absence was felt in the loss to Brisbane Heat, although the match showed that Matthew Wade coming in is a welcome boost.
Scott Boland’s performance against the Heat is a huge positive, while Qais Ahmad remains their best bet to be amongst the wickets. However, they look really inexperienced and imbalanced without their key players.
The Thunder need a win to get back on track, after losing sight of the top spots. A win is an absolute must for them, considering it is a close affair between four sides in the middle. The Hurricanes are also in the mix, thanks to their run earlier in the tournament. However, they can’t let the absence of players ruin their season. That said, expecting them to rise to the occasion looks a bit too much at the moment.
History & Statistics
- The Thunder are unbeaten at the venue against the Hurricanes with a 2-0 record.
- The Thunder have won only three of ten matches against the Hurricanes, but all three have come in their last five matches.
- The Thunder have had the best opening partnership in five of their eight matches this season.
- The Hurricanes had the best powerplay score in just two of their seven matches this season.
- The Hurricanes have been averaging 4.80 sixes per game, while the Thunder have been averaging 3.33 per game.
Ferguson has been doing the job for the Thunder and will hope that he can lead them once again.
With Short out of the fray, the onus of leading the Hurricanes – quite literally – has fallen on the shoulders of Wade. If he can put in a big score, the Hurricanes will start believing they have a chance to compete.