The 41st game of Big Bash League (BBL) will see Perth Scorchers take on Sydney Thunder at Optus Stadium, Perth on Thursday.
In their last match, Perth Scorchers succumbed to their six defeat of the competition at the hands of Hobart Hurricanes.
Ashton Turner-led side will have to learn from their mistakes and make a strong comeback against Sydney Thunder.
On the other hand, Sydney Thunder will be looking to produce consistency with the bat and ball in order to win as many games as possible. Shane Watson-led unit were pretty frustrated after suffering a narrow-defeat at the hands of Melbourne Renegades.
The franchise is currently lying at the fourth position with 9 points in 10 matches so far in this year’s competition.
On the other hand, Perth Scorchers will be desperate for a better show as they are currently placed at the bottom of the league table, but a win could lift them to fifth position.
In the batting department, the focus will be on the likes of opener Cameron Bancroft and Captain Ashton Turner to produce the goods for the team, as they’ve scored 191 and 302 runs respectively at averages of 38.20 and 43.14. Sam Whiteman’s return to form in the previous game was another positive for Perth Scorchers, as he has the ability to turn things around with the bat.
Hilton Cartwright and Michael Klinger have also chipped in with crucial scores for Scorchers in this year’s competition. Klinger has not been able to replicate his form from previous edition but will be keen to produce consistency in the coming games of the competition.
On the other hand, pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye will lead the bowling attack for this game. Tye is currently leading the bowling charts for the franchise with 12 wickets in 9 matches. Rookie medium-pacer Aaron Hardie also bowled well in the previous game and finished with 2 wickets from his three overs. Mathew Kelly and Usman Qadir leaked a lot of runs in the previous game played against Hobart Hurricanes.
William Bosisto, Hilton Cartwright, Michael Klinger, Ashton Turner (c), Cameron Bancroft (wk), Aaron Hardie, Sam Whiteman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Matthew Kelly, Usman Qadir.
On the other hand, Sydney Thunder have been also inconsistent with just three wins out of six played. Captain Shane Watson will be hoping to see his side put in a much better show to get back to winning ways in the competition. Thunders ploy of using Anton Devcich as makeshift opener has not yet reaped rewards. All-rounder has managed to score only 47 runs in 3 matches at an average of 15.66. Devcich was dismissed for a duck in the previous game played against Melbourne Renegades.
The side will be relying on their in-form Captain Shane Watson to produce something special with the bat in this game. Watson has been franchise’s leading run-getter with 289 runs in 10 matches. He also has a brilliant century against Brisbane Heat in a game played at The Gabba. Callum Ferguson looked in good touch with the bat and notched up his first half-century of this year’s tournament. He has scored 228 runs in 10 matches at an average of 22.80.
Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams have been consistent with the bat, chipping with valuable contributions. Sangha was the standout performer with the bat in the previous game and scored unbeaten 54 runs in a losing cause for Sydney Thunder. Daniel Sams has done exceedingly well with the bat, and has been valuable in the bowling department in terms of providing crucial breakthroughs for the side.
Surprisingly, he is the leading wicket-taker for Thunder so far this season with 14 wickets in 10 matches. He was once again excellent with the ball in hand against Melbourne Renegades and provided breakthroughs with the new-ball. Medium pacer Gurinder Sandhu picked up three wickets in the previous game against Renegades. The spin duo of Fawad Ahmed and Chris Green were economical with the ball in the previous game.
Shane Watson (captain), Jay Lenton (wk), Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams, Callum Ferguson, Chris Green, Fawad Ahmad, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Jordan, Arjun Nair, Anton Devcich.
The wicket at Optus Stadium will provide assistance to quick bowlers in the early part of the innings. The weather forecast on Thursday is going to cloudy skies.
The Optus stadium has hosted four games this season. The average score at the venue has been around 140 runs. All the games played at this venue have been won by side batting second.
Both the sides will keen to have a bowl first on this surface. It does tend to provide movement off the pitch in the early stage of the game.