Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers will face-off in the Qualifier of BBL 10 this Saturday.
Expect Sydney Sixers to clinch the Qualifier!
The BBL Finals are all set to begin finally and Sydney Sixers will be taking on Perth Scorchers in the high-octane Qualifier at the Manuka Oval. The Sixers finished at the top of the table in the league stage while the Scorchers were at the No.2 spot. The winner of the Qualifier will head straight to the final but the loser of the game will get another shot as well. They will then play in the Challenger where they will face the winner of the Knockout on the 4th of February. Thus, there’s everything to play for as the top two sides of the season take another shot at each other.
Perth Scorchers would be disappointed that they finished their final league match with a loss against Brisbane Heat. They have been in terrific form and looked all set to finish on a high. But while chasing a target of 182, they fell short by 6 runs. However, there’s not much to worry about as Perth has a solid squad that has performed well throughout the season.
Perth’s batting stars this season have been Colin Munro (411 runs), opener Jason Roy (352 runs), and Josh Inglis (322 runs). Liam Livingstone has been good too while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh looks in great touch after his return from injury. Marsh struck a terrific unbeaten 54 off 26 balls in the last match and almost took his team home. These five make for a strong batting unit.
Jhye Richardson, who is now the highest wicket-taker of the season with 27 wickets, will be the main bowler to watch out for. Andrew Tye (17 wickets) and Jason Behrendorff (14 wickets) have also done a splendid job so far. Fawad Ahmed, who went for 52 runs in his 4 overs, would have to get his act together as the spinner’s form could be crucial on this pitch.
Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Colin Munro, Josh Inglis (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed
AJ Tye, Jason Roy, Jason Behrendorff, Liam Livingstone, Josh Inglis, Jhye Richardson, Fawad Ahmed, Mitchell Marsh, AJ Turner, Aaron Hardie, Colin Munro
Sydney Sixers deserved to end on the No.1 spot at the league sage as they had looked like the best side throughout. Two back-to-back losses last week may have created some flutters in the Sydney camp but they came back to form with a commanding 5-wicket win against Melbourne Stars in their last game. Chasing a target of 178, the Sixers reached home with 1 ball and 5 wickets to spare.
Sydney would be banking on opener Josh Philippe who is the leading run-getter of the team this season with 454 runs in 14 matches with 3 fifties. They also have Jordan Silk (365 runs), James Vince (344 runs), and Daniel Hughes (297 runs) who have held the middle-order together. The return of captain and Moises Henriques to the squad has also been a huge boost and he already looks in good touch. Daniel Christian, who has played some sensational knocks down the order, shined again in the chase against Melbourne Stars with an incredible 49 off 23 balls. His power hitting could well be the difference in this big clash.
As for their bowling, Sydney would be looking towards Ben Dwarshuis who has 19 wickets in the season and is fresh off a spell of 3-27 against Melbourne Stars. The addition of Sean Abbott has proven to be helpful too and Carlos Brathwaite has done a great job as a support bowler. The role of experienced spinner Steve OKeefe, who has been absolutely brilliant this season, will be crucial in this match.
Josh Philippe (wk), James Vince, Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Steve OKeefe, Jake Ball
James Vince, Josh Philippe, Daniel Hughes, Steve O'Keefe, Carlos Brathwaite, Ben Dwarshuis, Jackson Bird, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Sean Abbott, DT Christian
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||20||0.36 mm.||4.12 k/h||From: NW||90%|
|03h||25||0.32 mm.||4.8 k/h||From: WNW||60%|
|06h||27||0 mm.||4.32 k/h||From: WNW||33%|
|09h||22||0 mm.||2.74 k/h||From: WNW||3%|
|12h||18||0.32 mm.||2.94 k/h||From: E||9%|
|15h||18||0 mm.||1.61 k/h||From: E||49%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||1.56 k/h||From: ENE||72%|
|21h||19||0 mm.||2.15 k/h||From: ENE||60%|
The pitch at the Manuka Oval in Canberra is a pretty good one for batting, especially when it’s hard. However, seam bowlers and spinners both will find some purchase here too. Leg-spinners, in particular, have had a good time here and have gone for less than 7.5 runs an over.
The weather at Canberra for the day of the game is expected to be clear and we should hence have a full game. However, showers are expected a couple of days before the match which could influence the pitch conditions.
The average total by the team batting first at the Manuka Oval in Canberra has been around 160-170 runs in the last couple of years. Even in the last played at the venue this season – between Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes – the team batting first scored 177-5 and the target was chased down with ease. Hence, the team which takes the first strike will target a total of around 180-odd to feel safe.
The team winning the toss might look to bat second as chasing has yielded better results on this venue this season. And since this isn’t a knockout game, the move wouldn’t be too risky and might pay off.
Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers have clashed twice against each other this season and both have clinched a win each. Hence, it’s even stevens in this Qualifier as both the teams will be equally matched. Both have been the heavyweights of BBL 10, and it’s tough to say who has the advantage in this clash. Sydney is a batting heavy side while Perth is pretty good in all departments. The difference in this match might be the side with better bowling and Perth does have the advantage in that area. But Sydney Sixers have been the more consistent side and look too strong at the moment.
Expect Sydney Sixers to clinch the Qualifier!