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BBL Tips & Preview – Thunder V Heat

The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips as last season’s playoffs adversaries Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat get their seasons underway at Manuka Oval. 

BBL Tips – Sydney Thunder V Brisbane Heat

19:15 (AEDT), Mon 6th Dec @ Manuka Oval, Canberra

History: Played 14: Heat 10 V Thunder 3 (1 No Result)

Last meeting: January 31, 2021 (Knockout): Heat d Thunder by 7 wickets (5 balls remaining) at Manuka Oval

Final Thoughts: Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat kick off their BBL|11 campaigns in Canberra on Monday night.

The Thunder finished third last summer but are on the fifth line of betting to win this season’s title at $8. English opener Alex Hales was the Big Bash’s top run-scorer last season and again shapes as the Thunder’s key man – particularly with Usman Khawaja (initially, at least) on Ashes duty and Callum Ferguson retiring.

Sam Billings, Alex Ross, and all-rounders Daniel Sams and Ben Cutting provide excellent batting depth. Spinners Tanveer Sanga and Chris Green, and seamers Brendan Doggett and Saqib Mahmood make up a well-rounded bowling attack.

The Heat, also at $8 for BBL glory, landed fourth last year before making it to within one win of the final. But the Queenslanders will be without fringe Australian Ashes bowlers Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson and Mark Steketee to start the season. That will heap more responsibility on brilliant Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s shoulders.

The mercurial Chris Lynn headlines the Heat’s batting line-up, which lacks genuine depth. The likes of Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett and Tom Cooper need big seasons.

The teams split their BBL|10 regular season encounters, picking up a home win apiece.

The Thunder prevailed by four wickets with seven balls to spare in Canberra during the opening week of the campaign. Chris Lynn (69 off 44) guided the Heat to 6/178 but Daniel Sams’ (65* off 25) sensational knock got the Thunder home. The Heat responded with a five-wicket win with five balls to spare in Brisbane as their resurgence gathered momentum. Alex Hales (46 off 26) top-scored for the Thunder (8/174) but a 90-run stand from Joe Burns (52 off 38) and Joe Denly (50 off 36) put the Heat in a winning position.

The Heat against ran down the Thunder in the Knockout, winning by seven wickets with five balls left at Manuka Oval. Sam Heazlett (74* off 49) and Jimmy Peirson (43* off 24) led Brisbane to the target of 159.

The rivals are locked as $1.90 equal favourites to get their season underway with a win. The Ashes-dictated disruptions to the Heat’s bowling attack are hard to overlook, however, while the Thunder’s 4-1 regular-season record at Manuka Oval last summer is worth noting.

Look to box-office openers Hales and Lynn in the top runscorer markets.

Tip: Result – Thunder @ $1.90

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