The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for Sydney Thunder’s capital clash with Melbourne Renegades.
History: Played 10: Renegades 8 V Thunder 2
Last meeting: December 19, 2019: Thunder d Renegades by 6 wickets at GMHBA Stadium
Final Thoughts: Sydney Thunder are looking to solidify their standing in the BBL’s top five when they host the winless defending champion Melbourne Renegades.
The 4-4-1 Thunder arrested a four-match losing streak with a four-wicket win over the Hurricanes on Saturday. Alex Hales top-scored with 55 off 36, before Alex Ross (32* off 22) finished the job. The Thunder reached the target of 163 with two balls to spare.
The Renegades slumped to 0-9 with a dismal 63-run loss to the Strikers on Sunday afternoon. Beau Webster’s 49 off 33 was a lone positive as they crumbled to 110 all out in the 18th over.
The Renegades’ hopes of getting off the mark have been hampered by captain Aaron Finch and Kane Richardson being away on ODI duty. The Thunder are unencumbered by Australia’s quick-fire tour of India.
The Renegades boast a dominant 8-2 head-to-head record against the Thunder. But it was the Thunder who powered to a six-wicket win in Geelong during the first week of the BBL09 campaign.
Alex Hales (68 off 38) and Usman Khawaja (66 off 46) got the Thunder off to a flying start, before the visitors reached the target of 170 with two balls left. Shaun Marsh (42 off 33) top-scored for the ’Gades.
The Thunder start as $1.68 favourites – which may be overestimating the struggling Renegades. Khawaja, Hales and Callum Ferguson are all blue-chip Top Batsman options for Sydney. But Shaun Marsh is the clear pick in Melbourne’s line-up at present, top-scoring three times this season. The veteran is integral to any chance of an upset.