After a shock defeat at home to the Hobart Hurricanes, the Sydney Sixers will be looking to bounce back swiftly when they host the Perth Scorchers at the SCG.
Having put in a tight and disciplined bowling effort against the Sydney Thunder in their opening match, the Sixers copped a rude awakening when the Hurricanes strode out to the SCG and plundered 6/200 off their 20 overs. New signing Joe Mennie saw his only over dispatched for 20, while left-arm quick Ben Dwarshuis was taken for 44 off his three overs.
Noticeably the slow-bowling pair of Johan Botha and Steve O’Keefe were tougher to get away, combining for figures of 2/51 off eight overs. A frantic 42 off 20 balls from English opener Jason Roy gave the chase some impetus, however the Sixers lost wickets all too regularly at the other end with Roy’s countryman Sam Billings (42 off 33) the only other player to pass 15 as the Magenta Men were dismissed for 140 in the 17th over. After copping a hammering against Hobart there is every chance that Mennie or Dwarshuis could be omitted in favour of young quick Henry Thornton, however outside of that the Sixers have few options with so many bowlers tied up with Australian test duty.
In regards to their batting the Sixers are still without opener Daniel Hughes who is battling a hamstring compliant so it is expected that Jordan Silk will maintain his spot alongside Roy, although Brad Haddin could also possibly be elevated to the top of the order after enjoying plenty of success at the SCG in recent times.
The Scorchers got their campaign off to a blistering start with a strong 48-run win over the Adelaide Strikers. Batting first, the Scorchers overcame the early loss of prolific opener Michael Klinger to post a mammoth 7/197. New overseas signing Ian Bell impressed with a typically classy 61 off 42 balls before he was run out in unfortunate circumstances. Star all-rounder Mitchell Marsh showed glimpses of his best with 31 off 19 balls, but it was his less renowned teammate Ashton Turner who really took the game away from Adelaide with a brutal 44 off 19 balls, including four massive sixes.
Missing some of their big guns, the Scorchers bowling attack still flexed its sizeable muscle with Bell’s compatriot David Willey picking up both openers in a spell that netted him figures of 2/15 off four overs. Despite watching his first ball back in the BBL being crunched for four, veteran paceman Mitchell Johnson proceeded to run through the Strikers’ middle-order with three wickets as Adelaide were eventually bowled out for 149.
Although Perth were generally impressive in the field there were a few holes in their attack with Marsh, Ashton Agar and rookie quick Jhye Richardson all conceding more than 10 runs an over. However Perth have received a timely boost to their batting unit with Shaun Marsh available after recovering from a broken finger, although their attack has been weakened further with Johnson rested which will likely result in a debut for Cameron Valente.
Sydney Cricket Ground
Notably the last two sides to bat first on the SCG reached 200, while in the last five matches here there has been only one first innings total under 160 and just the one victory for the side batting second. In his last two games on home soil, Sixers firebrand Doug Bollinger has conceded runs at an alarming rate of 11 an over.
- The Sixers have lost their last four matches at the SCG.
- In his last five innings’ at the SCG, Brad Haddin has averaged 28.60 at the blistering strike-rate of 158.89.
- The Scorchers have won their last six clashes with the Sixers.
- Four of the bowlers used by the Scorchers last Friday have a career economy rate of 7.85 or worse.
Punters are anticipating that the Scorchers will continue their strong record over the Sixers with the visitors considered pronounced favourites.
It’s fair to say that the Sixers’ first two performances could not have been much further apart with a resounding win over defending champions Sydney Thunder, followed by a dismal defeat to wooden spoon favourites Hobart. I’m willing to overlook Sydney’s performance with the bat against the Hurricanes given the run rate pressure they endured, however there’s no doubt that question marks remain over the consistency of their efforts with the ball.
Perth got their BBL06 campaign off to a confident start and look again to be one of the frontrunners, particularly with a new-found dynamism and depth to their batting unit. But I just cannot get past the fact that they are missing so much quality with the ball, and while a host of all-rounders gives their captain Adam Voges a wide variety of choice, I have concerns over their ability to curtail a powerful batting line-up, such as the Sixers, on a pitch that is ideal for batsmen.
With that in mind I believe the Sixers look a touch big here so are happy to side with the hosts from the off, however given their inconsistency thus far, as well as their poor record at the SCG and against the Scorchers, I will be seeking to lay off to secure some green on either side of the book.
BACK – to – LAY Sydney Sixers at 2.24 or bigger for 1 unit (trade out at 1.65 or better).