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It’s all on the line again for the Thunder against the Strikers

Tue, Jan 17, 1:17pm by Senior Writer

Preview: Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers

Date and Time: Wednesday January 17, 7:40pm AEDT

Venue: Spotless Stadium, Sydney

TV: Channel 10

Sydney Thunder’s do-or-die improbable run to the Big Bash semi-finals hits another key cross-road on Wednesday night when they face an already-eliminated Adelaide Strikers at Spotless Stadium.

The Thunder need to win to have any hope of making the playoffs, but they still need a host of results to go their way over the following days.

It is a remarkable enough feat for their title defence to be still alive after they lost the first four matches, but they have clawed things back with wins over the Stars, Hurricanes and the Sixers to sit on six points.

They go into this match as $1.85 favourites, with the Strikers, who bowed out of contention when they failed to beat the Renegades on Monday night, are $1.95 to re-claim some pride.

The key to the Thunder’s up-turn in fortunes has been a much-better effort with the ball. The three wins have seen them bat second and restrict their opposition to 166 (twice) and 99.

The brilliant bowling performance against the Sixers was spearheaded by Fawad Ahmed, who took 4-14, while Carlos Brathwaite finished with 3-21. Ahmed, who has eight wickets in the BBL, is $4 to be top wicket-taker in this match for the Thunder, while Shane Watson, who has contributed five wickets this campaign, is $4.50, the same price as Brathwaite.

The Strikers’ performances have largely dependent on Ben Dunk’s efforts with the bat. Dunk’s dismissals in the past two matches in the 30s have precipitated poor finishes from the Adelaide side and put extra pressure on Brad Hodge. Dunk has 299 runs for the BBL and Hodge 247, but the next is Jake Weatherald on 117.

Dunk is $3.50 to top score, with Hodge at $4.50, the same as Weatherald.

In terms of the Thunder, Kurtis Patterson is their leading scorer for the series with 144 but a top score of just 38 not out, while Ben Rohrer has 138 with a top score of just 30.

It makes betting on their top scorer a little problematic, with Watson at $4 having made 55 against the Hurricanes along with opener James Vince, who has scored 44 and 28 the past two matches. Patterson is $4.33.

Kieron Pollard took 3-30 against the Renegades, while Ben Laughlin was excellent with 2-15, moving him to equal most wickets for the series for his team with nine. Laughlin is $4 favourite to take the most wickets, Michael Neser is $5 and Pollard is $6.

Just how the Strikers’ front up having lost their chance to make the semis is the unpredictable element of this match. But you suspect that the Thunder’s greater motivation to stay alive will give them the edge.

Suggested Bet: Thunder to win at $1.85

Full Match Market: (Sportsbet)  

Sydney Thunder $1.85

Adelaide Strikers $1.95

Top Thunder Runscorer

Shane Watson $4

James Vince $4

Kurtis Patterson $4.33

Aiden Blizzard $5

Ben Rohrer $6

Ryan Gibson $8.50

Others: $10 or longer

Top Strikers Runscorer 

Ben Dunk $3.50

Brad Hodge $4.50

Jake Weatherald $4.50

Craig Simmons $5

Tim Ludeman $5

Kieron Pollard $8

Alex Carey $8

Others: $10 or longer

Top Thunder Wicket Taker 

Fawad Ahmed $4

Shane Watson $4.50

Carlos Brathwaite $4.50

Clint McKay $5

Gurinder Sandhu $5

Alister McDermott $6

Chris Green $6

Arjun Nair $6.50

Liam Hatcher $6.50

Top Strikers Wicket Taker 

Ben Laughlin $4

Kane Richardson $4.50

Michael Neser $5

Ish Sodhi $5

Liam O’Connor $5

Wes Agar $6

Tom Andrews $6

Kieron Pollard $6

Jake Lehmann $15

Ben Dunk $15


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