Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers
Thursday December 31, 7:20pm
The Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers will be hoping to finish 2015 with a bang when they take on each other at the Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve.
The Strikers will be looking to bounce back after their previously unblemished record was terminated by a seven-wicket loss to the Sydney Thunder on Monday. Their in-form batting line-up was restricted to just 9/117 by the Thunder, who had little trouble chasing down the meagre total. The form of opener Craig Simmons may be starting to concern Adelaide with scores of just 13, 1 and 1 to start the tournament following on from no half-centuries last season.
The Sixers’ record currently stands at two wins and two losses, most recently going down to the Melbourne Stars by five wickets at the SCG on Sunday. The Magenta Men could be without captain Moises Henriques for the remainder of the competition after he suffered a recurrence of a calf injury against the Stars, forcing him to retire hurt. That places further responsibility on Jordan Silk to provide the sort of late-order hitting that was desperately lacking against the Stars, with the Sixers scoring only 49 off the last seven overs.
The only fixture at the Adelaide Oval so far this season was a high-scoring affair with the Strikers amassing 5/187 against the Stars who at one stage looked on track to overhaul the target before ultimately falling 20 runs short. That stands in direct contrast to last season where only one first innings total out of five exceeded 150 at Adelaide.
The home side are warm favourites at 1.64 with the Sixers outsiders at 2.42. Adelaide look too short to invest in, especially off the back of a last-start thrashing, however it’s also difficult to have sufficient faith in the visitors whose batting looks particularly light without Henriques.
The omission of the Sixers captain does open up another opportunity, however, with the focus turning to opener Michael Lumb. Lumb has been in good form, top-scoring for the Sixers twice in their opening four games, despite receiving questionable LBW decisions against the Thunder and the Stars. The English batsman also top-scored twice last season and with the visitors lacking depth in their top 6, can be expected to take on more responsibility at the top of the order so look to back him to top-score for the Sixers here at around 4.50 or bigger.