KFC BBL – Match 14 – Strikers V Thunder – FCN Preview

There’s nothing quite like New Year’s Eve at the Adelaide Oval, and what better way to spend it than watching an action-packed BBL game under lights! The Strikes have forged a powerful reputation on this particular night as the city of Adelaide turns blue for this massive game of cricket, the Thunder however know that they’re on the brink of a BBL finals campaign which should furthermore liven things up tomorrow evening.

No-doubt still recovering from that shock of events against the Perth Scorchers in Western Australia last week, the shaken-up Strikers will be looking to turn the corner and wipe that previous match from their memory bank in front of what is expected to be a sell-out crowd in Adelaide. The Scorchers loss could also be seen as a handy learning curve, something they can avoid in the future with a bit of preparation. Having said that, the Scorchers bowled extremely well and fully-deserved the win, proving to be the better team on the day. Now they face the rising-Sydney Thunder in a huge NYE clash, there’s no doubting whatsoever that the crowd will be fully behind them, but will it be enough? One thing that will help is that Sydney are also coming off a loss, and an area where they’re particularly-strong in didn’t fire a shot against Hobart. The Thunder have a very spin-orientated attack, so players like Alex Carey, Colin Ingram and Matt Short could all play a huge part in the match with the bat.

Speaking of Colin Ingram, the Strikers captain really needs to get a move on if his side is to avoid the bottom four as the tournament deepens. Nicknamed “the bulldozer”, Ingram has been anything but in BBL08 with scores of 1, 21 & 2. Last time the Strikers were in Adelaide, Matt Short smoked 65 against the Renegades as he partnered up with Jono Wells in the middle order as the runs kept flowing. Everyone expects big things out of Alex Carey, and why shouldn’t they after what he’s been able to deliver in the past two seasons. Amazingly, it’s a bowler who holds the key to the game for Adelaide. No surprises here, it’s Rashid Khan’s leg-spin. Despite having lost two of their three games in the tournament already, Rashid has kept them in the game just about every time which is a phenomenal effort. Easily one of the most economical bowlers in the competition so far, the Afghani’s wicket-taking ability is just as impressive and should come into play once again against the Thunder.

The Thunder shouldn’t be discouraged by their most recent loss against the Hobart Hurricanes down in Tasmania, they were up against arguably the best team in the competition at the moment. I’ll get straight to it, England’s Jos Buttler has gone above & beyond for the Thunder this season already. Back-to-back fifties (63 & 89) in the tournament really has highlighted just how talented this man is with the bat, and Adelaide’s beautiful batting deck should only work in his favour. The only concern for the Thunder would be their dependency on Buttler, apart from the overseas wicketkeeper they’ve been substandard in the batting department so far. 19-year-old Jason Sangha and all-rounder Daniel Sams who bats No. 6 are the Thunder’s two next best batsman with 73 runs apiece. Apart from that first game against the Stars, Sangha has only managed two single-digit scores while Sams is proving to be nothing but an asset down the order with his big-hitting. Skipper Shane Watson can’t seem to get past 20 at the moment, and star recruit Joe Root has also been underwhelming so far averaging just 14.66.

Daniel Sams has been getting the job done with both bat & ball in BBL08, he’s leading the Thunder’s wicket-tally with 6 from three games and should only add to that as the tournament progresses. It’s expected that the Thunder will attempt to stem the flow of runs in Adelaide with spin, pace cost them dearly in Hobart which could see Chris Green, Fawad Ahmed, Jonathan Cook and maybe even Jason Sangha’s part-time leggies take up a significant chunk of the innings. Seamer Gurinder Sandhu could be a potential inclusion along with Arjun Nair if they feel the need to slip in another all-rounder who also provides an alternative spin option with the ball. It’s crunch time for both Joe Root and Shane Watson, if there was ever an opportunity to rediscover some form with the bat, tomorrow night’s match would be the ideal time on a pitch that rewards a batsmen’s stroke play. A win would see them consolidate second spot on the BBL08 points table for the time being, however a loss could open the door for the Sixers and Renegades in particular who are circling like a school of sharks beneath them.

Fantasy Breakdown

Top 5 fantasy picks | Adelaide Strikers | BBL | 14th match | Adelaide

  • Rashid Khan
  • Billy Stanlake
  • Alex Carey
  • Colin Ingram
  • Jake Weatherald

Wildcard pick – Peter Siddle

Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 14th match | Adelaide

  • Jos Buttler
  • Daniel Sams
  • Shane Watson
  • Fawad Ahmed
  • Joe Root

Wildcard pick – Callum Ferguson

Team XI’s

Adelaide Strikers (possible) – 1. Alex Carey (wk) 2. Jake Weatherald 3. Colin Ingram © 4. Matt Short 5. Jono Wells 6. Jake Lehmann/Cameron Valente 7. Michael Neser 8. Rashid Khan 9. Peter Siddle 10. Ben Laughlin 11. Billy Stanlake.

Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Jos Buttler (wk) 2. Shane Watson © 3. Callum Ferguson 4. Joe Root 5. Jason Sangha 6. Daniel Sams 7. Arjun Nair/Jonathan Cook 8. Chris Green 9. Nathan McAndrew/Gurinder Sandhu 10. Sam Rainbird 11. Fawad Ahmed.

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