The second offering in the Big Bash League on Saturday sees the second Sydney derby of the season taking place as the Sydney Sixers host the Sydney Thunder at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground. The Thunder will be looking for the double over their city rivals.
This match is much bigger for the Sydney Thunder than it is for the Sixers. The champions of two seasons ago still have chances of making the semi-finals whereas last year’s beaten finalists are already out of contention.
It has been a rotten season for the Sydney Sixers. They have struggled to get anything going and with six defeats in a row their campaign is over before it has even got going. They have been rotten with the bat this season and the longer that it has gone on their bowling has fallen apart at times as well which is a bad combination.
Ironically their squad probably looks stronger for the final four matches of the campaign but that will not count for anything from a competitive point of view. The Sixers are now left to play the role of party poopers for those still in contention and they can begin with their city rivals here. With contracts up for grabs they still have plenty to play for.
The Sydney Thunder kept their season alive with a win last time out and they know they need to win out if they are going to make it into the semi-final. Even then it might not be enough but defeats for the Heat and the Renegades earlier this week has certainly helped their cause. A win here would have them right in among the pack.
If they are to win out from here then they are going to need their batting to keep on coming good. It is a help that they have Usman Khawaja back and we saw the sort of form he is in during their previous match but the worry is that there might not be much in their line up should he suddenly fail.
Jason Roy and Sam Billings have left to join up with the England ODI squad but the Sixers do have Nathan Lyon back from Australia duty. Joe Denly and Carlos Braithwaite take over the overseas duties from now on in.
Sydney Thunder have named an unchanged squad for this match which means they expect James Vince to be fit after illness kept him out of the previous game.
The Sydney Sixers can play with a little bit of freedom in this match and that could serve them well. We saw against the Perth Scorchers that the pressure the Sydney Thunder are under can cause some crazy things to happen.
Even with a seemingly impossible way to lose in that match we almost saw them carry it out. If we think back to the first Sydney derby the Sixers lost from a great position but in a similar situation here I don’t think they will lose. Carlos Brathwaite makes the Sixers look a stronger side and if they can keep Khawaja quiet I think they can pick up that elusive first win here.
WON – Back Sydney Sixers to beat Sydney Thunder for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Ladbrokes