Saturday’s Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for crunch all-Sydney showdown between the Sixers and Thunder.
History: Played 14: Sixers 9 V Thunder 5
Last meeting: December 24, 2018: Thunder d Sixers by 21 runs at Spotless Stadium
Final Thoughts: This Sydney derby shapes as one of the most important yet. The Sixers can all but seal a semi-final berth with a victory, while the Thunder are desperately seeking a win to keep their playoffs hopes afloat.
The 7-5 Sixers are third on the BBL08 ladder. They have won three on the trot, thrashing the Heat by 79 runs, the Hurricanes by 9 wickets and the Strikers by 8 wickets.
Ben Dwarshuis produced the crazy figures of 3/7 from four overs as they kept the Strikers to 8/124. Moises Henriques plundered 61* off 31 as the Sixers mowed down the target with six overs left.
The 5-6 Thunder are in fifth spot. They are only one point behind the Stars but have played one more game.
Callum Ferguson’s brilliant century spearheaded a six-wicket win in Perth last week, but the Thunder lost to the Renegades at home and away either side of that result. They were bowled out in a 27-runs loss in Melbourne on Wednesday.
The Thunder have won three of the last four Sydney derbies, including their Christmas Eve clash earlier this season.
Jos Buttler (63 off 37) led the Thunder to 9/169, while the Sixers fell 21 runs short despite Tom Curran’s (62 off 40) lower-order heroics. Curran also took 3/24 in a stellar all-round performance in a losing effort. Buttler has since returned to England.
If the underdog Thunder are to keep their season alive, their skipper needs to stand tall. Shane Watson hit 68 and 100 back-to-back a couple of weeks ago, but has just 13 runs in three innings since. We’re tipping him to tee off at the SCG.