Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder meet in a crucial cross-town derby at the SCG on Sunday with the BBL08 playoff race hotting up.
The Thunder won the earlier meeting at Spotless Stadium on Christmas Eve, but it is the Sixers who hold the stronger claims of featuring in the final four as we approach the business end of the Big Bash League season.
Head to Head
Sydney Sixers have had the better of their city rivals in BBL history, winning nine of the 14 matches played against the Sydney Thunder. It was the Thunder who won earlier this season when winning by 21 runs on Christmas Eve. It is now wins in five of the last seven derbies for the Thunder. At the SCG, the Sixers lead 4-2 in head to heads.
Sixers have a 9-5 win-loss record against the Thunder.
However, the Thunder have won five of the last seven matches.
The home side has won the last four Sydney derbies.
Thunder have won just two of the six matches played at the SCG, but those two have come in the last three.
The Sixers (W7, L5) are still not guaranteed of progression to the BBL playoffs and need to get a win to remain in the driving seat. For the Thunder (W5, L6), this is almost a must-win match as they look to gate-crash the top-four.
The Sixers are the form team of the competition and have won their last three matches. They also have the incentive of taking revenge for the derby loss in the earlier match this season.
Though there isn’t a single Sixers batsman aggregating more than 300 runs, the consistency of the team is incredible with four players having already scored 250+ runs in the tournament, led by Daniel Hughes (294 runs).
The Sixers bowling is arguably the best of the tournament with four bowlers sharing 63 wickets and all four in the top-15 list.
The Thunder have two wins in their last five (W2, L2, NR1) and have been blowing hot and cold at this crucial stage. They need to win their remaining two matches and hope for help elsewhere to make it to the playoffs.
Callum Ferguson (369 runs) has been the star with the bat for the Thunder. Shane Watson’s runs (301) have dried up a bit, which is a major cause of concern. Among the bowlers, Daniel Sams (15) and Fawad Ahmed (13) remain top of the tree.
Both sides need a win, but it is the Sixers that bring a lot more balanced performances into the game. The Thunder can blast any team on their day, but their inconsistent season makes the Sixers the marginal call ahead of cross-town Sydney derby.
Prediction: Sixers to win ($1.72 MadBookie)