Starting their new year with the win against Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder will play their second match of 2021 against Brisbane Heat on Monday (January 4). Brisbane Cricket Ground (BCG) will host this match, which will be the 28th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21.
Syndey Thunder have displayed outstanding performance in the last five matches, winning all of them. They have also defeated Brisbane Heat in the first meeting and will want to meet their winning streak in the second meeting.
Talking about the points table, Sydney Thunder is topping the points table while Brisbane Heat languishing at the second last position. Thus, they are favourite to win this match.
Here, let’s take a look at how Sydney Thunder playing XI might shape in for the fixture:
Usman Khawaja, who is playing for Sydney Thunders since 2011, has returned into the groove after being out of the form in the starting matches. In the last rain-curtailed match, he remained not out and scored 48 runs off 34 balls in which he struck six fours. Had rain not interrupted, he would have scored his fifty of the season. He will look to score one against Brisbane Heat, who are coming off after a win.
Alex Hales, who was also out four duck back to back, supported Usman Khawaja to share 70 runs stand with him against Renegades in the first meeting. He amassed 35 runs off 21 balls, striking four fours and two sixes, to fully utilize the powerplay.
The right-hand batsman scored his first half-century of the season against Melbourne Stars. He also stitched a crucial partnership of 89 runs. Syndey Thunder will hope that he set up another match-winning partnership with his opening partner.
Callum Ferguson (c):
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson is currently the leading scorer for his side, scoring 208 runs. He scored his third half-century of this season in the last outing against Melbourne Stars. Ferguson has always been there to make amends whenever the team has lost early wickets. He will look to get runs and guide his team to victory against Brisbane Heat.
The 20-year-old Oliver Davies played his maiden BBL match against Perth Scorcher. The young debutant accelerated the innings and took the pressure from the captain’s shoulder albeit he didn’t stay longer in the crease. He scored 36 runs off 22 balls, striking one four and three sixes.
He played a similar knock against Melbourne Renegades, scoring 48 runs off 23 balls which included five sixes and one boundary. Davies is the find of this season and is going to be the vital cog for Sydney Thunder.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings played the maiden match of this season against Melbourne Stars. However, he could not score big and was out for 6 runs. As the English cricketer was in 14 days quarantine, it would take some time for him to get back into the groove.
Ben Cutting, who has returned to play for Sydney Thunder, gave a massive contribution in the win against Scorchers. He scored unbeaten 29 runs off 16 balls to take the side across the line. Apart from batting, he played a huge role with the ball, giving away 16 runs in three overs while picked a crucial wicket of Colin Munro.
Against Melbourne Stars, he scored unbeaten 20 runs in just seven balls, striking three fours and one six to take the team’s total past 200.
Having a mammoth experience of playing T20 cricket around the world, the franchise will hope Cutting to come out as the match-winner for them in this season.
Sams, who was the match-winner for them with the bat for Sydney Thunder against Brisbane Heat, got the most important wicket of Nicholas Pooran, whose power-hitting has destroyed many oppositions. He is an overall package and a vital cog to guide them to victory.
The spin bowling all-rounder, who has gone too expensive in the first three matches, notched four crucial wickets against Melbourne Stars. He sent back the two openers Andre Fletcher and Marcus Stoinis early while picked the wicket of Nic Maddinson and Ben Dunk in the middle-overs.
Apart from bowling, he also fired one four and one six at the end to add 12 runs to Sydney Thunder’s total.
In the absence of Nathan McAndrew, Chris Tremain got the opportunity to play against Melbourne Stars in the second meeting. He went on to pick two wickets, including one wicket of Glenn Maxwell. Because of his excellent performance, he was retained against Melbourne Renegades but picked only one wicket while went too expensive. But the pacer is likely to be given a place in the playing XI.
Nathan McAndrew, who had missed two matches because of injury, returned in the playing XI against Melbourne Renegades. He picked the wicket of Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Mohammad Nabi to halt Renegades for 166 runs.
Tanveer Sangha, who is playing the maiden Big Bash League season, was the main architect of the Sydney Thunder’s win against Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
Against Renegades, in his four overs, he notched four wickets, including Aaron Finch, to all-out the opposition for 80 runs. The 19-year-old will want to continue his good form throughout the season to keep Sydney Thunder in a good position.