The Big Bash League returns to Canberra on Wednesday as the nation’s capital plays host to a huge match between the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Renegades, a clash which could have big implications for the semi-final places.
This match is the last for the Thunder this season and if they are to make the top four they need to win it and win it well. The Renegades will all but secure a spot in the semi-final should they come out on top.
The Thunder have kept their campaign alive with two wins in their last three matches but ultimately not being able to see off their city rivals in between those victories could be their undoing. Even if they win this match they would need results elsewhere to go their way to make it into the semi-finals which is not a great position to be in.
Sydney have suddenly started to score some decent runs and on this track you would think they will need plenty of them here but if they can get a few runs on the board they will probably back their bowling attack to get the job done for them. It will be interesting to see if they look for a big win or just take their chances with any win.
The Renegades were one of the front runners in the early part of the season but as players have come and gone they have now lost their last three matches which due to a huge break that they had was stretched over a fortnight. Therefore it has been a while since they won a match and they need to get back to winning ways here.
In the opening gambits of the campaign the Renegades bowling attack was on top of most sides but just recently they have begun haemorrhaging runs which will not please them. If they can tighten up with the ball they still have enough with the bat to get the job done. That is their aim now as they bid to secure a semi-final spot.
Sydney Thunder will be without Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson for this match. Both miss out with injuries. Ed Cowan has been given the ok to feature for the Thunder and he could start the match.
Melbourne Renegades will be without Brad Hodge who is a last minute absentee with appendicitis. Marcus Harris was originally left out of the squad but he gets a reprieve and could go back to opening the batting.
I’m going with two bets in this match. The first one is on the Melbourne Renegades to win the match. Sydney Thunder have been pretty ordinary with the bat this season to the extent that Usman Khawaja is already third in their list of run getters for players still in their squad. He isn’t around in this match and that should play into the hands of the Renegades. If they can bowl like they did at the beginning of the season they have enough with the bat to get it done.
One man who can contribute with that is Tom Cooper who has a ridiculously low performance line at 18.5. He has covered this with the bat in every match he has batted in so far this season but with Mohammad Nabi now away it is almost a certainty that he’ll open the bowling too. One wicket covers this line but he’s good enough to make 20 with the bat. Throw in the catching potential and that is a crazy line.
WON – Back Melbourne Renegades to beat Sydney Thunder for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365
Back T.Cooper’s Performance – Over 18.5pts for a 6/10 stake at 1.83 with Paddy Power
Back him here: