Denied of what looked to be a certain victory before a rogue light tower decided to blackout up at the Gabba, Shane Watson and his Thunder teammates will be seething over the fact that they had the Heat wrapped around their finger but didn’t get the opportunity to finish them off. Back home at Spotless Stadium, Sydney will be confident they can bring down the third-placed Renegades tomorrow evening and potentially overtake them on the points table.
He’s the first centurion of BBL08, and what a ton it was from the Thunder captain under an enormous amount of pressure to perform away from home like he did. His International career may be over, but Shane Watson’s BBL lifeline has shown the Australian public that he’s still got what it takes to dominate out in the middle. Watson’s 62-ball century left the Heat stumped for answers as the former Australian all-rounder rapidly took the bowlers apart piece-by-piece, particularly the spinners who were hoiked over the rope six times. Now they come up against the Renegades who haven’t exactly been dominant this season, yet done enough to keep themselves in the top half of the standings. New Zealander Anton Devcich has been handy as Sydney’s makeshift-opener with scores of 21 & 26 alongside Watto, not huge numbers but enough to suggest he’s building on something.
The loss of Jos Buttler was always going to take its toll at some stage, the brutality of his strokeplay hasn’t been matched by anyone apart from Watson who now looks set to produce some big numbers at the backend of BBL08. The middle & lower order just has to do what it can to support their in-form skipper, and they’ve got plenty of big-hitting options to accompany him. Spin could once again be the theme of Sydney’s bowling attack at Spotless Stadium tomorrow, they stocked up on slow bowlers against the Heat with five spinners in the side. The combination of Daniel Sams, Chris Jordan and Gurinder Sandhu seems to be a concrete-structure for them at the moment in terms of fast bowling, Watson seems to be tactically using Sandhu for a couple of overs before changing the pace of the game which is intelligent captaincy. The deceiving leg-spin of Fawad Ahmed is always a major factor in the game, if he’s taking wickets the Thunder are more often than not winning games of cricket.
A backward step was taken in their last match against the Stars at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, now the Melbourne Renegades find themselves fighting to hold onto a spot in the top three. A match that was dominated by opposition all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, the Renegades failed to match his efforts with both bat & ball which eventually saw them cough up the win. After making his return at the SCG where he managed to find some form with two big blows over the rope to win his team the game, Cameron White once again fell short in BBL08 scoring a sluggish 1 off 5 balls against his former team. Both White and Tom Cooper have been dead weight in this Renegades side this season, although Cooper has managed to string together some modest numbers in recent times. The return of regular-skipper Aaron Finch must be seen as a massive positive, the 32-year-old has been one of the most dominant batsman in BBL history since its inaugural season.
Renegades seamer Kane Richardson continues to keep his team in the finals race, his 16 wickets at an average of just under 15 signifies just how consistent the South Australian has been in BBL08. He’s just lacking a bit of support from his fellow bowling attack at the moment, both Jack Wildermuth and Cameron Boyce aren’t having the impact they would’ve hoped for recently which is putting a lot of pressure on Richardson to make regular breakthroughs. It would be great to see Dan Christian get on a roll with the ball, he’s an experienced campaigner who has plenty to offer with his variations and accuracy. Both Christian and Nabi are vital role-players in the team as the Renegades two specialist all-rounders, they just haven’t been able to get themselves involved in the game regularly enough in the tournament. Can the Renegades cause an upset away from home, or will the Thunder strike down the visitors in front of the Thunder army?
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 38th match | Spotless Stadium, Sydney
- Fawad Ahmed
- Shane Watson
- Daniel Sams
- Jason Sangha
- Anton Devcich
Wildcard pick – Chris Green
Top 5 fantasy picks | Melbourne Renegades | BBL | 38th match | Spotless Stadium, Sydney
- Aaron Finch
- Kane Richardson
- Dan Christian
- Sam Harper
- Mohammad Nabi
Wildcard pick – Chris Tremain
Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Anton Devcich 2. Shane Watson © 3. Callum Ferguson 4. Jason Sangha 5. Daniel Sams 6. Jay Lenton (wk) 7. Chris Green 8. Chris Jordan 9. Jonathan Cook 10. Gurinder Sandhu 11. Fawad Ahmed.
Melbourne Renegades (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch © 2. Sam Harper (wk) 3. Beau Webster 4. Tom Cooper 5. Cameron White/Mackenzie Harvey 6. Mohammad Nabi 7. Dan Christian 8. Cameron Boyce 9. Chris Tremain 10. Kane Richardson 11. Harry Gurney.
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.