Dominant victories in their previous outings in the BBL to both the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder has set this match up quite nicely, the hosts just one win off joining a cluster of teams on four wins apiece in the competition. The last time these two teams met, it was Brisbane who got the job done against the Thunder in a rain-affected match at Spotless Stadium.
Things are starting to look a lot more positive for the Brisbane Heat after making a slow start to the tournament. All of a sudden Brendon McCullum has appeared from the shadows with three-consecutive fifties at the top of the order, and for the first time in BBL08 Brisbane’s pace attack looked threatening against the Renegades in Geelong. Better yet, the current Australian selections for the upcoming test series featuring Matt Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns shouldn’t impact the side whatsoever going by how they’ve been operating as a unit. Burns contributions with the bat have been minimal this season, and Renshaw & Labuschagne didn’t really look comfortable at the crease for the Heat either. It’s been the likes of Brendon McCullum, Max Bryant and skipper Chris Lynn doing most of the damage this season for the Heat, they could almost be seen as the troublesome-trio.
Bryant’s see ball, hit ball approach has been exciting to watch, and the experience of Brendon McCullum whose contribution to the team was questionable for the first handful of matches has just reminded everyone what he’s capable of with a flurry of runs in his past three stints at the crease. The six-hitting specialist known as Chris Lynn has led the way for the Heat again in 2018/19 with an average of 52.16, now it’s up to the rest of his team to pull together and perform. Afghani spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman continues to play a crucial part for the Heat in BBL08, his economy for the tournament is 5.58 which signifies just how difficult it is to take runs off the teenager. One notable feature about this Brisbane side is how many bowling options they possess, if they can utilize their three seamers and two specialist spinners to the best of their advantage, winning matches regularly shouldn’t be a problem (especially given the strength of their batting line-up). You can never be too sure with the Brisbane Heat though, they also happen to be one of the most inconsistent teams in the BBL.
Almost a mid-season shakeup (if you could even call it that), the Sydney Thunder have introduced a host of new faces in BBL08 as they look to press on towards another finals campaign. New Zealander Anton Devcich, England’s Chris Jordan and New South Wales limited-overs wicketkeeper Jay Lenton all featured in their first match of BBL08 for the Thunder last weekend. Losing Jos Buttler was certainly a key omission for the lime green men, but the use of Kiwi all-rounder Anton Devcich up the order could prove quite handy in the English wicketkeeper’s absence. Skipper Shane Watson finally found the middle of his bat on Sunday at Spotless Stadium, the veteran opener smashed 68 off 40 deliveries as he set the match up beautifully for the Thunder. After a solid stint at No. 3, South Australian batsman Callum Ferguson seems to be in a bit of a rough patch at the moment having scored two doughnuts (0) in his past three innings for Sydney.
Something that should benefit the Thunder is their long tail, with Chris Jordan at No. 9 they shouldn’t be bowled out easily. Similar to the Heat in this particular area of the game, this Sydney team also has a wide-variety of bowling options at their disposal. With the recent addition of Devcich, the Thunder now have four potential spin options in himself, Ahmed, Green and Nair who picked up 3 wickets in his last game. The pace attack should take care of itself, Daniel Sams has been good all year for the Thunder and now has experienced-campaigner Chris Jordan supporting him from the other end. This is the perfect opportunity for the Thunder to get their revenge on the buoyant-Heat up at the Gabba, they didn’t get the opportunity to fire back at them at Spotless Stadium due to the huge downpour of wet weather that night and ended up losing due to DLS which is never fun.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Brisbane Heat | BBL | 33rd match | Brisbane
- Chris Lynn
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Max Bryant
- Ben Cutting
- Josh Lalor
Wildcard pick – Alex Ross
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 33rd match | Brisbane
- Daniel Sams
- Shane Watson
- Callum Ferguson
- Fawad Ahmed
- Anton Devcich
Wildcard pick – Ryan Gibson
Brisbane Heat (possible) – 1. Max Bryant 2. Brendon McCullum 3. Chris Lynn © 4. Sam Heazlett 5. Ben Cutting 6. Alex Ross 7. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 8. Josh Lalor 9. Brendan Doggett 10. Mitch Swepson 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Anton Devcich 2. Shane Watson © 3. Callum Ferguson 4. Ryan Gibson 5. Daniel Sams 6. Arjun Nair 7. Jay Lenton (wk) 8. Chris Green 9. Chris Jordan 10. Gurinder Sandhu 11. Fawad Ahmed.
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.