With the odds stacked against them, the Perth Scorchers head to Spotless Stadium in Sydney where they’ll be desperately searching for a win to keep their BBL08 campaign alive. The second-placed Sydney Thunder will take on the out-of-sorts Scorchers who’ve already lost three games this season, could the home team inflict the killer blow on Perth’s finals aspirations? Only time will tell…
A couple of close-losses for the Thunder in BBL08 would be undoubtedly frustrating them, but at the same time they’re not showing any signs of capitulating compared to previous seasons. So far it’s been Jos Buttler and Daniel Sams who’ve led by example in the tournament, both proving to be extremely-consistent performers in their area of expertise. Speaking of performing, it was refreshing to see Adelaide-local Callum Ferguson score some runs on his home deck at the Adelaide Oval for the Thunder, unfortunately his innings was in vain as the Strikers proved too good for the visitors in the dying stages of the match. In hindsight, execution cost Sydney the game. Not for the first time in the tournament, star English-recruit Joe Root was dismissed for under 20 runs for the fourth-consecutive time. It’s not the confident, elegant Joe Root we’re used to seeing, he looks uncertain, almost restricted in his stroke-play which has led to his downfall in BBL08. The Thunder may not know it, but cracks are starting to form in their line-up.
Even Jason Sangha’s dominant start to the tournament in Canberra has been quickly-forgotten, his past three efforts at the crease amounting to just 12 runs at an average of 4. Despite looking good against the new ball, skipper Shane Watson is also finding it difficult to go on with his innings and has been out in the 20’s on three occasions already. Averaging 48.75, the Thunder will continue to look to Buttler as their major scoring outlet, but he can’t do it on his own despite his extraordinary capabilities in this format. All-rounder Daniel Sams has been a dream-recruit for the Thunder this season, he’s picked up 8 wickets and has looked damaging with the bat. It could be time to welcome back long-time servant of the club Gurinder Sandhu after Sam Rainbird was picked apart by the Strikers batsmen, the 25-year-old hasn’t played since the match in Canberra against the Stars. Veteran leggy Fawad Ahmed will continue to toil away at the opposition batsmen as one of the Thunder’s strike bowlers, he’ll need to improve on his efforts against the Strikers with a bounce-back performance tomorrow night.
The Scorchers are one game away from complete-disaster, not many (if any) teams usually recover from a 1-4 start to the tournament. So far, they’ve been shooting themselves in the foot constantly, and it’s likely that Perth coach Adam Voges is feeling a bit on edge at the moment. Their most recent match in Hobart against the Hurricanes wasn’t a complete train wreck, but it wasn’t far off. The return of Cameron Bancroft didn’t play a huge part in the match, apart from making his long-awaited return to cricket since sandpaper-gate in South Africa. The decision to play Will Bosisto over Sam Whiteman was a questionable one, and in the end the Bosisto’s first-ball duck spoke for itself. Hilton Cartwright gritted his teeth at No. 3, and all-rounders Ashton Agar and Nathan Coulter-Nile did what they could to put runs on the board after Perth managed to consistently lose wickets. Both senior batsmen Michael Klinger and Ashton Turner have been huge disappointments in BBL08, but that doesn’t compare to how dysfunctional their batting order has been so far.
They need someone to stick their hand up and start leading the team, and Hilton Cartwright looks to be the most-likely candidate. The Scorchers have no problems whatsoever with their bowling unit, in fact they’re probably the reason Perth have actually won a game this season. The fast bowlers have been doing most of the damage, Jason Behrendorff in particular who has 6 wickets in the tournament. If Jhye Richardson could reproduce his heroics with the ball against the Strikers and Andrew Tye could rediscover his BBL07 form, they’d be just about unstoppable in that area of the game. Unfortunately for the Scorchers, they haven’t managed to reach the heights of last season’s efforts with the ball, and their batting has been woeful to say the least. With that in mind, expect the Scorchers to start reshuffling the order and potentially making a change to their XI in Sydney tomorrow night.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 17th match | Spotless Stadium, Sydney
- Jos Buttler
- Fawad Ahmed
- Daniel Sams
- Shane Watson
- Chris Green
Wildcard pick – Arjun Nair
Top 5 fantasy picks | Perth Scorchers | BBL | 17th match | Spotless Stadium, Sydney
- Nathan Coulter-Nile
- Hilton Cartwright
- Cameron Bancroft
- Jason Behrendorff
- Ashton Turner
Wildcard pick – Jhye Richardson
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Shane Watson © 2. Jos Buttler (wk) 3. Callum Ferguson 4. Joe Root 5. Jason Sangha 6. Arjun Nair 7. Daniel Sams 8. Chris Green 9. Gurinder Sandhu 10. Jono Cook/Nathan McAndrew 11. Fawad Ahmed.
Perth Scorchers (possible) – 1. Sam Whiteman/Will Bosisto 2. Michael Klinger 3. Hilton Cartwright 4. Cameron Bancroft 5. Ashton Turner © 6. Ashton Agar 7. David Willey 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile 9. Andrew Tye 10. Jhye Richardson 11. Jason Behrendorff.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.