Registering back-to-back wins, Sydney Thunder is all set to take on Melbourne Renegades (MR) on Saturday (December 26) at Manuka Oval in Canberra. This will be the 14th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 but the two teams will be facing each other for the first time in the ongoing season.
Adding to it, Sydney Thunder comfortably won their last match in Canberra against Perth Scorchers. They were given a below-par target of 153 runs in a slow pitch. The skipper Callum Ferguson guided the side to victory with an unbeaten 61 runs off 53 balls knock.
Lying at the number five position in the points table, Sydney Thunder will look to be once again dominant in Canberra.
Here, let’s take a look at Sydney Thunder playing XI against Melbourne Renegades:
Usman Khawaja, who is playing for Sydney Thunders since 2011, has not able to get the desired start. In the first two matches, he has scored seven and 17 runs respectively while against Perth Scorchers in the last match, he was out after scoring 21 runs off 25 balls. His slow start led Thunders to set up a low 153 runs target. If he doesn’t get runs on the board against Melbourne Renegades, he might lose his place in the playing XI.
Alex Hales has been back to back out for a duck in the last two matches before scoring 46 runs against Melbourne Stars in the first match which ended up in a losing cause. The right-hand batsman needs to set up a good partnership with Usman Khawaja, which the duo haven’t managed in the last two matches.
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson was the main architect of the victory in the last match. After the fall of the two opening batsman, he took the game in his own hand and played a rocket-fueling innings to release the pressure. The right-hand batsman registered the second half-century of this season to take home. He will look to get runs and guide his team to victory in Canberra.
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 is undoubtedly going to play in Canberra.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Baxter Holt didn’t get the opportunity to bat in the last match. But he has not been impressive in the first two matches. He was out for one run in the season opener of Sydney Thunder against Melbourne Stars, which his side ended up losing. Against Brisbane Heat, he only scored 23 runs off 24 balls.
Playing the first season of BBL, the 21-year-old is taking time to get in a rhythm after a long hiatus due to COVID-19. The franchise will hope that Holt gets good runs on board in Canberra.
Ben Cutting, who has returned to play for Sydney Thunder, gave a massive contribution in the last win. 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.
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.
Being the match-winner for them with the bat against Brisbane Heat, Daniel Sams went too expensive in the last match with the ball. He conceded 10 runs per over while picked the only wicket of Ashton Turner. He didn’t get the opportunity to bat but the all-rounder will want to redeem against Renegades.
The spin bowling allrounder has gone too expensive. In the first two matches, he has given away over 40 runs his four overs quota in each match. In the last match, he got only one over to bowl but went wicketless.
While with the bat, he has scored 5 and 6* runs respectively in the first two matches but he didn’t get the opportunity to bat in the last match.
The pacer Nathan McAndrew, who is playing the competitive series for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, has picked up three wickets in three matches. But he hasn’t been able to control the run rate.
The 27-year-old will look to be economical in death overs.
The pacer Adam Milne, who was swooped in place of Jonathan Cook, was the most economical bowler for Sydney Thunder. He gave away only 17 runs in his four overs but he could not get the wickets. The speedster is undoubtedly going to play in Canberra.
Tanveer Sangha, who is playing the maiden Big Bash League season, leaked 36 runs in four overs against Perth Scorchers. He picked the wicket of Jhye Richardson but the leg-spinner created many opportunities but was unfortunate to get the wickets. The 19-year-old will want to continue his good form throughout the season to keep Sydney Thunder in a good position.