Our prediction is Perth Scorchers to win!
Match four of the Big Bash League 2018-19 gives us the first chance to see Sydney Sixers in action and offers Perth Scorchers an opportunity to atone for their loss to Melbourne Renegades in their first match.
The Sixers did not host the Scorchers in last season’s BBL but when they travelled to Perth, it was the Scorchers who ran out winners, by seven wickets. In fact, the Sixers have only beaten the Scorchers once since beating them twice in the season they won the tournament.
There are some interesting battles to look out for as England pair Joe Denly and Tom Curran turn out for the Sixers against compatriot David Willey, who plays for the Scorchers. Experience could hold the key – with the Scorchers missing some key players, can they rely on Michael Klinger’s nous to get them home or will Sixers captain Moises Henriques prove to be the main man? Nobody has scored more runs than them in this fixture.
The Sydney Sixers were the first ever BBL champions, back in 2011-12, and they followed that up by winning the now-defunct Champions League T20. However, since then, they have made it to the knockouts on three further occasions, twice finishing as runners-up and once making it no further than the semi-finals.
Last season they finished fifth in the table and will want to make amends. Overall, they have won 33 of their 64 BBL Matches, which gives them a win percentage of 53.9 – only Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers can better that.
They have put together a solid squad and like many others, have turned to old rivals England for their overseas players in Denly and Curran – one a batting all-rounder the other a bowling all-rounder. That gives their squad plenty of depth and they will only miss Nathan Lyon through international commitments for this game.
Joe Denly, Daniel Hughes, Justin Avenado, Moises Henriques (c), Jack Edwards, Peter Nevill (wk), Tom Curran, Jordan Silk, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshius, Steve O’Keefe.
The Scorchers put in a disappointing performance to begin their BBL season and were well beaten by Melbourne Renegades. No batsman scored more than Michael Klinger’s 28 and he may need to recover some of his best form if Perth are to bounce back.
Despite defending a total of just 103, they still took six Renegades wickets suggesting that as a bowling unit, they will be hard to handle this season. As the team which has tasted more BBL success than any other with three titles, they can be expected to bounce back strongly – but they must do it without Mitchell Marsh, back with Australia. Will Bosisto has been drafted in as a replacement and could play.
It would be hard to argue in favour of them making massive changes from the side that travelled to Melbourne. One change they may consider is bringing in Jhye Richardson to replace Andrew Tye, who struggled against the Renegades. However, he tends to excel against the Sixers so he may be safe.
Sam Whiteman (wk), Michael Klinger, David Willey, Will Bosisto, Ashton Turner (c), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Usman Qadir
The Sydney weather has been variable all week and come matchday, there could be heavy rain in the morning, but it should clear by the time of the game. Moisture around could lead to a slower pitch and outfield than usual, limiting run-scoring and bringing the bowlers into play.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is one of the world’s – not just Australia’s – iconic cricket venues and has played host to BBL matches right from the very start of the competition. It has hosted 42 domestic Twenty20s, with the side batting second winning 22 of those, the side batting first 19 and one tie. The Sixers have a 14-15 win-loss record here.
In the first two matches of the BBL, the side winning the toss chose to bat second. On both occasions, that was a winning move. The SCG just favours sides chasing down targets so expect both captains to prefer to chase – particularly if weather means they are unsure of what sort of pitch they will play on, and therefore what sort of score is a good target to set.
Both of these sides go into the season needing to make sure new players gel with their current ones and make up for big departures. The Sixers must quickly come to terms with the losses of Nic Maddinson and Carlos Brathwaite while the Scorchers are still without Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh. However, with a game under their belts – despite the result not going their way – we back them to be too strong for a Sixers side that may take longer to find their best form.
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