The Sydney derby will kick-start the much awaited seventh edition of the Big Bash League when the Thunder host the Sixers at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday (December 19). Both the teams do not boast of any big international name, but with some big local names in both the sides, the season-opener is being tipped to be blockbuster of a clash.
Popularly known as the Sydney Smash, the fixture has been traditionally dominated by the Sixers as they have won eight while their city rivals have managed to come up at the top only thrice. With the history on their side, the Sixers would start the game as firm favourites but should remain cautious against the winners of the 2015-16 edition.
The Sixers made it to the final in last year’s competition before being crushed against the Scorchers by nine-wickets in the decider and would be keen to start the tournament on a high. On the other hand, Shane Watson-led Thunder have endured a tough time in the tournament so far. Barring the title win in 2015/16, they have finished last on four occasions and seventh on the other.
Sydney Thunder have won the toss and have opted to field in the first game of this year’s Big Bash League. Both the teams had contrasting fortunes in the last season where the Sixers made it to the final while the Thunder ended up with the wooden spoon.
Here is the playing eleven of both the teams:
Kurtis Patterson, Ryan Gibson, Aiden Blizzard, Ben Rohrer, Shane Watson(c), Jos Buttler(w), Chris Green, Arjun Nair, Andrew Fekete, Mitchell McClenaghan, Fawad Ahmed
Jason Roy, Daniel Hughes, Nic Maddinson, Moises Henriques(c), Sam Billings, Peter Nevill(w), Johan Botha, Sean Abbott, Steve O’Keefe, Daniel Sams, Doug Bollinger