BBL07 - Sixers vs. Thunder
MATCH UP STATS
BBL07 - Sixers vs. Thunder
BBL07 resultsSydney Sixers: L L L L L LSydney Thunder: W L L W L L W
THE Sydney Thunder are alive and kicking after beating an undermanned Perth Scorchers side on Thursday night.
Usman Khawaja made a triumphant return to the Big Bash League with a sumptuous 85 as the Green Machine posted 4/175 on a two-paced wicket at Spotless Stadium.
That good work was almost undone in the dying overs, but Kiwi quick Mitchell McClenaghan did just about enough to hold the fast-finishing Scorchers at bay.
The win leaves the Thunder one game and two spots outside the top four with a handful of fixtures left to play.
While they still have finals in sight, there is no hope for the Sydney Sixers.
The men in pink are winless after six games and look short of quality in every department.
The absence of Moises Henriques and Steve O’Keefe leaves a big hole in their leadership, while Daniel Hughes has only just returned from injury.
In better news, Nathan Lyon joins the Sixers squad in career-best form after a dominant Ashes series.
Usman Khawaja odds and specials
|Man of the match||+400||+600||–|
|Top Thunder runscorer||+175||+250||+225|
|To score 50||+185||+225||–|
It was little over a week ago that Khawaja’s place in the Test team was under scrutiny.
Now we are all asking why he wasn’t considered for Australia’s upcoming ODI series against England.
The graceful southpaw has picked up exactly where he left two years ago when he inspired the Thunder to their maiden Big Bash League title.
Khawaja averages 53.17 in the BBL – a competition record – and is one of only two players to have scored multiple centuries.
He has scored 50 or better in each of his last five Big Bash knocks for a tally of 430 runs at a strike rate of well over 170.
That is fair going for a guy who apparently lacks the right stuff for limited-overs cricket.
Best bets for top wicket-taker
Nathan Lyon – +350 at Ladbrokes
Like Khawaja, the one they call ‘GOAT’ is a woefully undervalued white-ball cricketer.
Lyon holds the best bowling record of any spinner in Big Bash history, beating out even the great Muttiah Muralitharan.
He could make a huge difference to the Sixers in a season where the tweakers have thrived.
Mitchell McClenaghan – +300 at CrownBet
McClenaghan is erratic, expensive and a proven wicket-taker in T20 cricket.
The Black Cap was more Hyde than Jekyll the other night as Hilton Cartwright and Cam Bancroft took 20 off his near-disastrous closing over.
Nevertheless, eight scalps in the first four games of the season showed what this guy is capable of when he gets it right.
Sixers vs. Strikers BBL tips
This season is a right-off for the Sixers.
Even with Lyon in, their squad lacks anything like the balance or quality of the top teams.
The Thunder aren’t all that much better off.
Khawaja’s performance against Scorchers papered over a troubling lack of depth in the batting order.
Once he and Shane Watson are in the sheds, there is not much top-shelf ballstriking to call on.
On the other hand, the Sixers have nobody of that calibre to begin with.
We are siding with the bookies and backing the Green Machine to do the Sydney Smash double.
Our tip: Sydney Thunder to win (-131.58 at CrownBet)