BBL06 - Match 25
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BBL06 - Match 25
2016-17 Big Bash formSydney Sixers: W L W L W WSydney Thunder: L L L L W W
Top runscorer picksSydney Sixers: Daniel Hughes - $4 at Bet365Sydney Thunder: Shane Watson - $4 at Sportsbet
Top wicket-taker tipsSydney Sixers: Jackson Bird - $5 at Bet365Sydney Thunder: Carlos Brathwaite - $5 at CrownBet
SYDNEY Sixers could wrap up a semifinal berth on Saturday night as they resume hostilities with their crosstown rivals.
Victory at the SCG would put them first in the 2016-17 Big Bash League standings with 10 points – a tally no team outside the top four can now reach.
It is a refreshing change of fortune for last year’s wooden spooners.
Key to that revival has been Daniel Hughes, who is enjoying a breakout season at the the top of the order.
The 27-year-old New South Welshman has scored 40 or better in three of his four innings for the Sixers in BBL06, compiling 196 runs at 65.33.
But what stood out in the win over Melbourne Renegades last time out was the even contributions of the top five batsmen.
Hughes (41), Michael Lumb (31), Nic Maddinson (26), Moises Henriques (30) and Brad Haddin (31) each did their bit as the Sydneysiders chased down 171 with a few balls to spare.
They have also been boosted by the return of Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon, both of whom add class and experience to an already capable bowling unit.
Yet the Sixers may have a tougher time of things than they did in the BBL06 opener at Spotless Stadium a few weeks ago.
Sydney Thunder started the season in absolute shambles with four straight defeats, but consecutive wins have kept their faint finals hopes alive.
Shane Watson, who missed the early fixtures through injury, has begun to show some real touch with bat and ball.
The skipper took 3/23 in the win over Melbourne Stars and backed up with a top score of 55 off 31 balls against Hobart Hurricanes.
He was ably assisted at Bellerive by James Vince, who has joined as a replacement for Eoin Morgan – his captain in the England ODI team.
With Andre Russell injured, the Thunder have also flown in Carlos Brathwaite.
The West Indies allrounder will be a very valuable asset indeed if he can produce anything like his last-over heroics in the 2016 World T20 final, when he struck four consecutive sixes to clinch the title and break English hearts.
But the Thunder will be without star speedster Pat Cummins, who is part of Australia’s ODI squad for the five-match series against Pakistan.
That could mean a call-up for Gurinder Sandhu or even Alister McDermott, whose brother Ben smashed 114 in Hobart’s incredible victory over the Renegades on Thursday.
Shane Watson betting specials
If the Thunder are to pull off the most miraculous of late sprints and snare a Big Bash semifinal slot, their skipper must fire.
Watson started slowly on his return from injury, but he has made vital contributions with either bat or ball in his last three appearances.
He needed that half-ton against the Hurricanes to justify his inclusion at the top of the order.
Now he must produce something similar in what is a do-or-die derby date in enemy territory.
With Cummins unavailable, he will also have take on more responsibility with the ball in hand.
Watson’s all-round best is hard to beat, which makes him a massive threat – and great value – in all the BBL player prop markets.
Top Thunder runscorer – $4 at Sportsbet
Top Thunder bowler – $4.50 at CrownBet
Top match batsman – $8.50 at Sportsbet
Man of the match – $9 at Bet365
Most Thunder runs/wickets double – $15 at William Hill
Sixers vs. Thunder online bookie bonuses
Australia’s best cricket betting sites have put up a number of juicy Big Bash bonus deals for Saturday’s Sydney derby:
– Pocket up to $50 in CrownBet Rewards if your head-to-head pick loses despite scoring 160 runs or more
– Money back up to $25 in CrownBet bonus points if your top team batsman selection either makes a duck or hits 30+ runs and doesn’t top score
– Double winnings up to $200 cash at Bet365 if your team hits eight or more sixes and wins the match
– Cash back up to $50 in bonus bets at Palmerbet if your match result tip loses after hitting 170 runs or more
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