With their Big Bash League hopes all but ended, Melbourne Renegades travel to Manuka Oval to take on Sydney Thunder still in search of a first win.
This match will be a home game for the Thunder, who start with nine points from nine matches (W4, L4, NR1). The Renegades are bottom of the standings after nine straight losses.
With very little to choose between teams from third to eighth, the Thunder can ill-afford to drop points in this fixture. The Renegades have nothing much to lose and this might end up being a tricky banana skin for the Thunder.
A four-wicket win over the Hurricanes stopped the Thunder’s three-match losing run. The top-three of Usman Khawaja (247 runs), Alex Hales (223 runs) and captain Callum Ferguson (295 runs) remain key to their chances. Alex Ross has shown signs of playing the support role, but needs to be a bit more consistent.
Bowling has been all about Daniel Sams (17 wickets), who continues to grab a bagful of wickets. However, with each of their current five frontline bowlers conceding at least eight runs an over, the Thunder need to improve in that department.
The absence of Aaron Finch has put the onus on Shaun Marsh (319 runs, SR 116.84) and Beau Webster (310 runs, SR 144.85) to deliver. The two batsmen have been impressive, but with little support elsewhere other than the sporadic flashes from Simon Harper (200 runs) the Renegades have been struggling with the bat.
Of bigger concern is the bowling unit, with leader Kane Richardson away on national duty. Cameron Boyce (seven wickets, ER 7.38) is doing every bit he can to get the side back on track, while the rest of the attack continue to be generous.
The Thunder have been over-reliant on a few individuals, but thankfully they have enough in that group. There are signs of improvement in the batting area from the remainder of the group, although the bowling remains a huge worry outside of Sams. Those worries are nothing in comparison to what the Renegades are facing. Stand-in captain Dan Christian has a lot of work to do to lift his side to be competitive. All in all, this is Thunder’s game to lose.
History & Statistics
- The Thunder have lost all four matches against the Renegades when they have won the toss.
- The Thunder have lost all three matches against the Renegades while batting first.
- The Thunder have scored just 3.43 sixes per game this season, the lowest among all sides.
- The Thunder had the best opening partnership in five of their nine BBL09 matches, while the Renegades had the same in just two of their nine.
- The Renegades have won eight of ten H2Hs, including six of last seven.
- The Renegades have won five of six designated away H2H matches.
The Thunder have been dependent on their captain Callum Ferguson for runs and he hasn’t disappointed so far. Another big knock could pave the way to playoffs for the Thunder.
Webster has been going from strength to strength this season and has been one of the few positives for the Renegades. His scores could be crucial to how long the Renegades stay alive in the competition.