EM – Sixers v Thunder Big Bash Tips: Bet on Sixers to win the Sydney showdown

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Sydney Thunder recently claimed second place from its Cross City rivals but Matt Harris supports the Sixers to pick up the points on Saturday

Defending BBL champions the Sydney Sixers got off to a quick start in this year’s tournament, but two straight losses to the Perth Scorchers saw them lose their place in the top two. It could be argued that most sides will lose to leaders Perth, but those losses leave the Sixers with the prospect of a more awkward route to the final.

Losing James Vince for international duty would have been a concern, but England’s The first player couldn’t really build on his strong performance from a year ago. Replacing him appropriately will be crucial in the final stages of the regular season.

Strength at depth has always been key to the Sixers’ success in all departments. In their recent win over the Renegades, Moises Henriques and Jack Edwards rallied with the racquet, while Ben Dwarshius won the Player of the Match award with a five-wicket haul.

Sydney Thunder was the team that pulled the slump capitalized on his cross-city rivals as they moved up to second place. Like the Sixers, this Sydney franchise has lost a player to England, but while the in-form Sam Billings has gone, Alex Hales has found his touch.

There was nothing he could do to stop Thunder from winning against Hobart in slipping to defeat, but 38 and 80 points in his last two games have helped Hales become the first Englishman to complete 9,000 T20 runs.

With Michael Gilkes, Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams also in the runs are, there are few issues in the Thunder’s top order. The addition of Mohammad Hasnain’s Thunderbolts has upped the bowling but an expensive Seam attack remains a potential weakness.

To coincide with the Sydney Derby, the SCG are hosting Saturday’s competition. The floor has hosted four previous games at BBL 11 with extremely contrasting results. The first two games saw the Sydney Sixers followed by the Hobart Hurricanes, each post 213, which was more than enough to win.

In the next two games, the Sydney Sixers successfully chased goals of just 147 and 105. It’s difficult to draw any conclusions from these results, but with the possibility of a drizzle here and there, it should be a day to win the bat flip and insert.

Just four points separate these two Teams and the Sixers have a game in hand so match result bets are as close as you might expect. The Sydney Sixers are ahead at 1.8810/11, with the Thunder just behind at 2.0811/10.

It’s as difficult to call as these numbers suggest: in terms of batting The Thunder rely heavily on the top three, and while I mentioned Daniel Sams, his 98 against the Renegades was one of those exceptional once-in-a-lifetime innings.

The Sixers have greater depth of shot and there’s bowling -Attack Thunder is likely to get expensive under pressure I’ll side with the favourites.

Jack Edwards is the man who was promoted from the inside to fill in for James Vince and he impressed last time out at 40 against the Renegades. His highest score in 26 games in this format is just 47, but he’s an improving player and at just 21 he has time to fulfill his potential.

Edwards is the second favorite at 7/2 and passes my recommended bet. Josh Philippe is a short favorite at 5/2, while other options include Daniel Hughes at 7/2 and Moises Henriques at 4/1.

My match prediction could be tested by any of Sydney Thunder’s top three. Earlier in this tournament I mentioned the inconsistency of Alex Hales – something I witnessed firsthand last summer. A first ball followed by a century in the blast on consecutive days last June could define his performances.

However, once he gets some momentum it can be difficult to change and he comes in with scores of 80 and 38 in this game. He’s the Dangerman and if you’re looking for a third pick Hales on the top score for Sydney Donner at 12/5 would be my preference.

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