Our prediction is Adelaide Strikers to win!
Match 22 of the Big Bash League 2018-19 pits against one another two sides in decent form. Given the starts they have made, both will expect to be in contention for the semi-finals in a few weeks from now. The Strikers come into this match on the back of two straight wins while the Sixers narrowly went down to Hobart Hurricanes in their last match. That followed a run of two wins themselves.
When these two sides met last season – in Sydney – the Strikers won a close encounter by just six runs with Alex Carey leading the way with an unbeaten half-century. It is the Strikers who lead the head-to-head in this fixture with five wins to three although at the Adelaide Oval, both sides have three wins apiece.
Although some big stars are still on international duty there are still plenty of fascinating contests to look forward to, not least whether the Sixers batting line-up can cope with the Strikers’ barrage of leg-spinners that was too good for Melbourne Renegades earlier this week.
The reigning champions have made a solid start to this season’s Big Bash, including two wins out of two on the road. They seem to have put defeats to the Renegades and Perth Scorchers at home behind them and with Jake Weatherald now showing some of his best form, things are looking up for the Strikers.
They have packed their side with spinners and Rashid Khan continues to impress and develop his reputation. Liam O’Connor and Colin Ingram have supported him well with Michael Neser and Billy Stanlake chipping in.
It would be a surprise if they made any changes for the visit of the Sixers given that they seem to have settled into the competition with a settled line-up – although they will have to make changes before long due to ODI call-ups.
Alex Carey (wk), Jake Weatherald, Colin Ingram (c), Jonathan Wells, Jake Lehmann, Matt Short, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake, Ben Laughlin, Liam O’Connor
The Sixers have been up and down this season with three wins and three defeats to far. Two of those wins have come on the road, against Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat. However, they came undone last time out against Hobart Hurricanes, struggling to put partnerships together against a spin-heavy bowling attack.
They are relying on captain and vice-captain Moises Henriques and Daniel Hughes for their run-scoring and need spinners Steve O’Keefe, Ben Manenti and Joe Denly to step up for this match – particularly as Nathan Lyon won’t be back with them following his ODI call-up.
The Sixers have played the same team for the last two matches, but given that they have just lost, may consider shaking things up a little. Denly may be struggling but there are few obvious replacements while Lloyd Pope might get a game if the pitch looks very spin-friendly.
Joe Denly, Justin Avendano, Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques (c), Jordan Silk, Josh Philippe (wk), Tom Curran, Sean Abbott, Steve O’Keefe, Ben Dwarshius, Ben Manenti
Adelaide does favour the side batting first and the Strikers have found success by setting a total and then getting their spinners to strangle the life out of run chases. The last time they won the toss they batted so expect them to want to do the same again. The Sixers may not fancy chasing against the Strikers, so they might try to bat too, just as they did when they opened their campaign against the Scorchers.
The Strikers could relish a return to familiar territory after their trip to Melbourne and they are looking strong. They are not showing any pressure of playing as reigning champions and with their key players in good form, have to be favourites for this match. A trial by spin for Sydney Sixers awaits, and given how Johan Botha tied them in knots last time out, this may be another struggle for them. We expect a home win for the Adelaide Strikers.
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