The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for the Adelaide Striker’s showdown with the Sydney Sixers.
History: Played 11: Strikers 5 v Sixers 6
Last meeting: January 5, 2020: Sixers d Strikers by 7 wickets (3 balls remaining) at Coffs Harbour
Final Thoughts: In one of the fixture anomalies of BBL 09, the Strikers face the Sixers less than three days after their first encounter in Coffs Harbour. And Jason Gillespie’s side will be looking for swift revenge back at home. A Josh Philippe masterclass (83 not out) saw their total of 6/176 chased down with three balls to spare. After a rollicking start to the season, the Strikers have lost their last two Big Bash games. And while it’s far from panic stations, there are certain aspects of their approach they’ll need to tinker with ahead of this clash at the Adelaide Oval.
The Strikers need to change little with the bat. Across the six games they’ve averaged a total of 172 – a strong return thus far. While Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey continue to shine at the top, Jono Wells has maintained a remarkable BBL 09 in the middle order. His scores of 55*, 18*, 68*, 20, 26 and 40* give him an incredible average of 113.5. That is more than 40 runs better than the next best in Marcus Stoinis for the Stars.
Sixers leading from the front
Philippe’s aforementioned innings has led the Sixers in a very strong position. They’re now a game clear in second and on equal points (10) with the ladder-leading Stars. A win here in Adelaide puts them in a great position to target an all-important top-two position given the new finals format of BBL 09. The bold move to partner Philippe with Justin Avendano, playing his first game of the season and just fourth Big Bash game ever, paid dividends as the 26-year-old smashed 47 off 33 in Coffs Harbour.
It remains to be seen who Greg Shipperd now decides to drop for this clash against the Strikers, with skipper Moises Henriques to return after missing the game to attend the birth of his first child.
Josh Hazlewood, who returned the brilliant figures of 1/18 from his four overs on Sunday night, will play his second and final game of BBL 09 before he boards a plane for the Australian ODI tour of India. His presence in this clash – at a venue he has enjoyed much success at international level – should prove vital to the outcome.
*And a quick word on Wednesday’s second BBL game, at the MCG (Stars v Thunder, 7:10pm AEDT). The ladder-leading Stars should prove too strong, and on what’s likely to be a tacky MCG wicket. Therefore, look for Aussie leg spinner Adam Zampa to spin a web.