The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for the Sydney Thunder’s high-stakes showdown with the Brisbane Heat.
History: Played 10: Heat 7 V Thunder 2 (1 No Result)
Last meeting: December 17, 2019: Thunder d Heat by 29 runs at The Gabba
Final Thoughts: The Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat square off in a crunch BBL encounter, with both teams aiming to push through the midtable logjam.
The Thunder chalked up just their second win over the Heat in the 2019-20 BBL season opener at The Gabba.
Sydney captain Callum Ferguson’s brilliant 73 not out off 44 powered his side to 6/172. Cameron Green (2/19) and Arjun Nair (2/22) were excellent with the ball as Brisbane crashed to 143 all out, Ben Cutting top-scoring with just 28.
The Thunder have crafted a 3-2 record from six matches, with one no result. But they are coming off a three-wicket home loss to the Stars on Thursday.
Ferguson has top-scored for the Thunder four times. But the team needs regular runs from Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja. The opening pair made one run between them against the Stars.
Heat search for consistency
The 2-3 Heat have been enigmatic with the bat to say the least. They bookended being bowled out for 109 on New Year’s Day by the Scorchers with the only scores over 200 this season.
The mercurial Chris Lynn (88* off 55) and Max Bryant (65 off 36) steered the Heat to 3/212 in a 31-run win over the Hurricanes on Friday.
The teams’ showdown at The Gabba last season was highly controversial. And crucial, given both sides missed the playoffs by a point. Shane Watson’s century guided the Thunder to 4/186. The Heat were 2/10 in reply when floodlight failure stopped play for the night.
The Heat won their previous four clashes with the Thunder, including a 15-run victory in a rain-shortened Sydney encounter earlier last season.
Brisbane’s prospects hinge too heavily on Lynn making a big score. Sydney have been the superior bowling unit of these two sides and boast the all-round depth to back with confidence at home in this one.