There are three matches left in the regular season in the Big Bash League and two of them take place on Sunday, beginning with a huge clash between the Sydney Thunder and the Perth Scorchers in which everything is at stake for both.
The Scorchers go into the match in the better position of the two as they know that if they win they will make the playoffs but if they lose they are likely to miss out. The Thunder definitely miss out with a loss but victory gives them half a chance.
The Sydney Thunder have hit the skids at just the wrong time and now they are in a position where they have to win and hope a result goes their way after that. If they are going to do that then a few players are going to have to turn their form around and do it pretty quickly you would suggest. That has been the main problem for the Thunder. While you can highlight the amount of bad luck they’ve had with the weather and close finishes, ultimately when it has counted too many big players have lost form.
That is particularly the case with the bat, where other than Alex Hales, few of their top order look in any sort of touch whatsoever and they are desperate for someone to come good and give him some support here. Their bowlers are just beginning to suffer a little as well and that is not a good combination. That said, they can just free the minds now and know there is nothing to lose so they might as well give it everything.
Unlike in football, the Perth Scorchers are not in one of those positions of not knowing whether to stick or twist. They know in all likelihood they have to win here as it is hard to see both the other results going their way should they lose. They shouldn’t necessarily think about losing because it wasn’t too long ago that they eased their way past the Sydney Thunder in the reverse meeting between these two.
The Scorchers were well beaten last time out though, and in keeping with their opponents here, there is a feeling that a couple of their key batsmen are just beginning to lose form. That is not the case with Liam Livingstone, but one or two other big names are no longer performing. That is going to put pressure on a bowling attack that has lost one of its key components since their last outing so this will be a test for them.
The Sydney Thunder have named an unchanged squad to the 13 men that went into battle and lost to the Hobart Hurricanes last time out. It might be a case of giving those who have them in this mess to get themselves out of it.
The Perth Scorchers have been forced into a change which they knew they were going to have to make as Chris Jordan has left to join up with England in South Africa. He has been replaced by Morne Morkel who will make his Scorchers debut in the game.
I think given what is at stake here we might see a lower scoring match than we might expect. Everything is on the line here so the pressure will be on both teams. That might see them a little more reluctant to play the expansive shots we are used to seeing from them and actually this pitch might dictate to a little bit of lower scoring too. The runs line for this match is 306.5 which just feels a little high to me.
It is hard to judge just how well this pitch is playing because there have only been two completed matches of a full length on it this season and one of them was against a Hobart team whose matches tend to be higher scoring than most but with so many batsmen out of nick in these two sides and both teams having good bowling options I can’t believe there will be an avalanche of runs. If early wickets are taken I don’t think there is the form down the innings to see us past this number so it is the under for me.
VOID – Back Under 306.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365