Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers Big Bash Betting on Wednesday 18 January, 2012 at SCG at 7.00pm.
Game 1 – defeated Brisbane Heat by seven wickets (with eight balls remaining) at SCG (16/12)
Game 2 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 42 runs at Blundstone Arena (21/12)
Game 3 – defeated Melbourne Stars by two runs at SCG (27/12)
Game 4 – lost to Melbourne Renegades by eight wickets (with 14 balls remaining) at Etihad Stadium (2/1)
Game 5 – defeated Sydney Thunder by 17 runs (under D/L method) at ANZ Stadium (8/1)
Game 6 – defeated Adelaide Strikers by 64 runs at Adelaide Oval (10/1)
v Perth Scorchers at SCG (18/1)
Game 1 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 31 runs at WACA (18/12)
Game 2 – defeated Melbourne Renegades by eight wickets (with four balls remaining) at Etihad Stadium (22/12)
Game 3 – defeated Brisbane Heat by 10 runs at WACA (29/12)
Game 4 – defeated Melbourne Stars by eight runs at MCG (4/1)
Game 5 – defeated Adelaide Strikers by 42 runs at WACA (8/1)
Game 6 – defeated Sydney Thunder by nine wickets (with 35 balls remaining) at ANZ Stadium (11/1)
v Sydney Sixers at SCG (18/1)
Stephen Smith has all the talent in the world and has so much potential at such a young age. But it’s far to say the 22-year-old is struggling for form at the moment and is in desperate need of a confidence boost. Smith has been getting plenty of starts with the bat but failing to go on with it, managing just 82 runs from six innings. However the leg-spinning all-rounder showed promising signs with the ball against the Stars a few weeks ago, taking 2-27 from his four overs. He also took an economical 1-18 against the Strikers last game. As skipper, a confident knock with the bat will give Smith and his teammates a tremendous confidence boost.
We have seen a different side of Marcus North during the Big Bash League this summer – and it has been an encouraging side. The 32-year-old has been moved up to open the batting and has thrived in his four matches there, scoring 153 runs at an average of 38. North has played both the aggressor and timid roles in building partnerships with his teammates. The Scorchers skipper was the aggressor during his innings of 70 and opening partnership of 102 with Herschelle Gibbs, but played the laid back role during his innings of 38 not out against the Thunder batting with Mitch Marsh. North can no longer be underestimated – he is a different player!
1. Moises Henriques
2. Michael Lumb
3. Nic Maddinson
4. Ben Rohrer
5. Steven Smith (C)
6. Dominic Thornley/Mitchell Starc
7. Nathan McCullum
8. Peter Nevill (WK)/Brad Haddin
9. Steve O’Keefe
10. Brett Lee
11. Stuart MacGill
1. Herschelle Gibbs
2. Marcus North (C)
3. Mitchell Marsh
4. Simon Katich
5. Luke Ronchi (WK)
6. Paul Collingwood/Shaun Marsh
7. Brad Hogg
8. Nathan Rimmington
9. Nathan Coulter-Nile
10. Michael Beer
11. Ben Edmondson
There is no doubt this is the game of the round and the result will be crucial in determining where the two semi-finals will be played on the weekend.
Both the Sixers and the Scorchers head into this match after annihilating their respective opposing sides last round.
Sydney finally put together two consecutive victories last round when it annihilated the Adelaide Strikers by 64 runs. It was a different looking Sixers outfit, which included a little more experience and a different batting order. Moises Henrqiues benefitted from opening the batting, accumulating 42 from 37 balls.
But it was the Sixers’ bowling that turned heads. They used five spinners during the Strikers’ innings, including Stephen O’Keefe who captured 3-20 from his four overs in his comeback game. Stuart MacGill, Steve Smith and new recruit Nathan McCullum combined for five wickets and all had economy rates of 4.5 or under.
Perth was just as impressive last round, smashing the Thunder by nine wickets at ANZ Stadium. The Scorchers dismissed the home team for a miserable 99, with Nathan Coulter-Nile capturing 3-9 and two run outs, while Brad Hogg picked up a lazy 2-8 from his four overs.
In reply, the Scorchers were lethal. After losing Luke Ronchi on the second ball of the innings, skipper North and Mitch Marsh went on a rampage, chasing down the target with 35 balls to spare. Marsh smashed his way to a career-high 64 not out, while North played an excellent second fiddle role to finish on 38 not out.
Despite the Scorchers’ awesome form this summer, this game will be a lot closer than most expect. The Sixers seem to have found the right personnel and could be boosted by the returns of Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc. Having said that, Shaun Marsh has also been given the all clear to play for Perth – a huge bonus.
The Sixers will give the Scorchers a big run for their money at the SCG. You’d still back the Scorchers to win though, but only just.
Perth Scorchers to win ($1.81 – Centrebet)
Herschelle Gibbs Scorchers High Bat ($3.40 – Sportsbet)
Brett Lee Sixers Most Wickets ($4.00 – Centrebet)