On Sunday (31st January), Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat will take on each other at Manuka Oval (Canberra) in the Knockout stage of the Big Bash League 2020/21 (BBL 10). It will be their third meeting in this BBL season, while both claimed one victory each in their earlier meetings in this season.
The winner of this forthcoming match will qualify for the Challenger of this tournament, where they will face Perth Scorchers on 4th February. Meanwhile, the loser of this Knockout match will end their journey in this BBL season.
Big Bash League 2020-21 (BBL 10), Knockout: Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat – Match Preview
In the league stage of this BBL season, Sydney Thunder won eight games and lost six matches. Surely, they are one of the best sides in this BBL season.
Alex Hales is the leading run-scorer in this BBL season as he has scored 535 runs in 14 matches (average 41.15; strike-rate 163.60). He has scored one century and three half-centuries in this season. Also, their skipper Callum Ferguson has scored 380 runs with the help of three half-centuries and Usman Khawaja has scored 310 runs (highest score 49). Meanwhile, Ben Cutting and Sam Billings have scored 246 runs (12 innings) and 226 runs (9 innings) respectively.
Daniel Sams has recovered from a bone and tendon injury in his right hand. During the match against Hobart Hurricanes at Manuka Oval on last 18th January, Sams got that injury after falling awkwardly during stopping the ball on his own balling. The all-rounder has played an important role for this side as the right-handed batsman has scored 199 runs in 7 innings (average 49.75; strike-rate 191.34) and the left-arm pacer has also taken 10 wickets.
Among their bowlers, youngster Tanveer Sangha has taken 21 wickets in 14 games. He debuted in T20 cricket in this BBL season and he has played an impressive part for his team. Sydney Thunder also have the bowlers like Nathan McAndrew and Chris Green who have got 15 and 13 wickets respectively. Also, while Brendan Doggett has got 8 wickets in four matches, economical Adam Milne has scalped 5 wickets in 11 games.
Latest full available squad
Callum Ferguson (C), Sam Billings, Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
Forms in the last 5 matches (Oldest to latest): Lost, Lost, Won, Lost and Won
After finishing in the fourth position in the final BBL 10 points table, Brisbane Heat beat Adelaide Strikers in the Eliminator to qualify for this match.
Skipper Chris Lynn is their most consistent performer with the bat as the Australian cricketer has scored 426 runs in 11 innings (average 38.72; strike-rate 157.19). Also, Max Bryant has scored 302 runs (14 innings) while Jimmy Pierson has scored 266 runs (14 innings). Lewis Gregory and Joe Burns have scored 171 runs (11 innings) and 142 runs (10 innings) respectively.
Joining the squad at the late moment due to international commitment, Marnus Labuschagne has played a huge role both as a batsman and bowler. Apart from scoring 129 runs in four games, he has also picked up nine wickets.
Right-arm pacer Mark Steketee has got 22 wickets in 14 matches, while Jack Wildermuth and Xavier Bartlett have taken 13 and 12 wickets respectively. However, they are missing Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman who bagged 14 wickets in eight games of this season.
Latest full available squad
Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Joe Burns, Max Bryant, Tom Cooper, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Sam Heazlett, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben Laughlin, Chris Lynn (C), Morne Morkel, Lachy Pfeffer, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth
Forms in the last 5 matches (Oldest to latest): Lost, Lost, Won, Won and Won
Big Bash League 2020-21 (BBL 10), Knockout: Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat – Match Prediction
While they have already met twice in this BBL season, Sydney Thunder won the first game by 4 wickets and Brisbane Heat won the next match by 5 wickets. Though Heat are currently in good form, especially after the addition of Marnus Labuschagne, both teams are very balanced side.