Our prediction is Sydney Thunder to win!
Match 38 of the Big Bash League sees two sides who will be desperate to get back to winning ways after failing to achieve victory – but in different ways – in their last match. Sydney Thunder host the Melbourne Renegades at the Sydney Showground Stadium – also known as the Docklands with both teams trying to keep pace with leaders Hobart Hurricanes.
Thunder were seemingly on course for victory in their last match against Brisbane Heat only for power failure at the Gabba to bring about a premature end to the game before the Duckworth/Lewis method could be applied and they had to take a share of the points. The Renegades, meanwhile, are fresh off the back of a beating by cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars in the derby.
These two sides met at a similar stage last season, although the game was played in Canberra. On that occasion, the Renegades held on to take a nine-run win with Marcus Harris and Kane Richardson playing starring roles.
It is all starting to come together for Thunder, who were expected to struggle without Jos Buttler. They have confounded expectations with Shane Watson in particular stepping up to the plate with the bat. His half-century helped them beat Adelaide Strikers by 71 runs and he then smashed a century against Heat in a game they looked nailed on to win when the lights went out. They are appealing and may yet gain the points from that match but they have to put that behind them and focus on the matches to come.
More of the same from them – and the power staying on – ought to be exactly what they are looking for. Usman Khawaja and Patrick Cummins remain unavailable due to Test duty but the team has done fine without them all season. They have Jason Sangha available again following the tour game against Sri Lanka and he may come back into the side at the expense of Arjun Nair.
Anton Devcich, Shane Watson (c), Callum Ferguson, Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Jay Lenton (wk), Chris Jordan, Gurinder Sandhu, Fawad Ahmed, Jonathan Cook
Defeat in the Melbourne derby will have come as something of a shock to Renegades fans, who must have been confident going into the match as their side had looked the part when beating Sydney Sixers by seven wickets. However, a full-strength Stars side was too good for them – even with Aaron Finch back at the top of the order. A worrying top-order collapse opened the door for their rivals and they will be keen to avoid a repeat.
With Marcus Harris away on Test duty, a recall for Beau Webster looks likely. They would not want to risk a repeat or an even bigger collapse by gambling and selecting another bowler, especially with all-rounders Mohammad Nabi and Dan Christian already in the side. They badly need one or two of their batsmen to register a score otherwise they will be in trouble – it has been too long since one of them did so.
Aaron Finch (c), Sam Harper (wk), Tom Cooper, Cameron White, Beau Webster, Mohammad Nabi, Jack Wildermuth, Dan Christian, Kane Richardson, Cameron Boyce, Harry Gurney
The Sydney Showground pitch has been unpredictable this season, although in the Melbourne derby it played flat and true. More dry and warm weather over the coming days should ensure it stays much the same.
The Spotless, or Showground Stadium has now hosted 18 domestic Twenty20 matches and the side batting first has won 10 times, with the side batting first winning eight times. In four five matches played this season, the side batting first has the advantage 3-1 while the average score batting first this season is a very healthy
Every match at the Sydney Showground (Spotless) Stadium this season has been won by the side batting first, including three victories for Thunder. Only once have they won the toss and chose to field, and that resulted in a defeat at home to Brisbane Heat so they can be expected to prefer to set a target on their home patch. The Renegades, meanwhile, have bowled first every time they have won the toss, so may be comfortable chasing, particularly after losing batting first last time out.
The Renegades might have a point to prove and a brilliant record against Thunder but they are not invincible. In fact, their batting has been very fragile in recent matches and that is a weakness Thunder will try to exploit – especially as the two sides meet again in around a week from now. The Stars proved they are beatable in their last game and with Thunder smarting from their disappointment against Heat, they have every chance of taking just a second win against their Melbourne opponents in this match.
Our Prediction is of a win for Sydney Thunder!
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