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Bookies cannot split the Sydney clubs ahead of BBL opener

Mon, Dec 19, 10:47am by Head Editor

Preview: Big Bash League: Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers

Date and Time: Tuesday December 20, 7:40pm AEDT

Venue: Spotless Stadium, Sydney

TV: Live on Channel Ten

The Sydney Thunder get their title defence underway on Tuesday with a match at Spotless Stadium against their cross-town rivals, the Sydney Sixers.

After struggling through the BBL since its inception in 2011, the Thunder shocked everyone by taking out last year’s title on the back of strong batting performances by Usman Khawaja and Mike Hussey, who finished 2nd and 4th in runs scored in the league respectively.

The fortunes of the Sixers will rest of the shoulders of captain Moises Henriques and the experienced Brad Haddin. Both of their English imports in Sam Billings and Jason Roy won’t play a full BBL season as they’ll be heading to India for England’s ODI series against Virat Kohli’s men, but are available for this match.

The bookies cannot split the two clubs with Sportsbet installing both teams at $1.92 to win the opening match of the season.

Shane Watson will captain the Thunder but has suffered a calf injury that is likely to keep him out of the Thunder’s first two matches. The Thunder will rely heavily on the returning Eoin Morgan but will struggle to replace the wealth of experience missing.

All-rounder Andre Russell instrumental with bat and ball last season, while Clint McKay was the leading wicket-taker in last year’s competition. Runs could be the huge issue for the defending champions, with Mike Hussey and Jacques Kallis gone, while Usman Khawaja will miss the start of the competition due to Australian Test duty.

The first match is always the hardest one to bet on but with the amount of experience that the Thunder have seen walk out the door this off-season, plus the injury to Shane Watson, I’m going to take the men in Magenta here.

Look out for Sixers’ all-rounders Moises Henriques and Sean Abbott to lead from the front with the bat and ball.

Suggested Bet: Sixers to win: $1.92

Sportsbet Full Market:

Head to Head

Thunder $1.92

Sixers $1.92

Top Wicket Taker (Thunder)

Pat Cummins $4.00

Andre Russell $4.00

Clint McKay $5.00

Gurinder Sandhu $5.50

Chris Green $6.00

Fawad Ahmed $7.00

Alister McDermott $8.00

Arjun Nair $8.00

Nathan McAndrew $10.00

Top Wicket Taker (Sixers)

Mitchell Starc $3.50

Josh Hazlewood $4.00

Doug Bollinger $4.50

Steve O’Keefe $4.50

Nathan Lyon $5.00

Sean Abbott $5.00

Joe Mennie $5.00

Jackson Bird $5.00

Johan Botha $5.00

Ben Dwarshuis $7.00

Moises Henriques $8.00

Top Runscorer (Thunder)

Aiden Blizzard $3.75

Usman Khawaja $3.75

Eoin Morgan $4.50

Kurtis Patterson $4.50

Andre Russell $5.00

Ben Rohrer $6.50

Ryan Gibson $7.00

Jake Doran $11.00

Chris Hartley $14.00

Chris Green $23.00

Arjun Nair $31.00

Pat Cummins $36.00

Clint McKay $101.00

Fawad Ahmed $101.00

Nathan McAndrew $101.00

Gurinder Sandhu $101.00

Alister McDermott $101.00

Top Runscorer (Sixers)

Jason Roy $3.75

Daniel Hughes $4.50

Nic Maddinson $4.50

Moises Henriques $5.00

Brad Haddin $5.00

Sam Billings $6.50

Jordan Silk $11.00

Ben Dwarshuis $21.00

Ryan Carters $23.00

Johan Botha $41.00

Sean Abbott $81.00

Doug Bollinger $101.00

Steve O’Keefe $101.00

Jackson Bird $101.00

Joe Mennie $101.00

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