The Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers are heading in opposite directions on the Big Bash League ladder and that makes Sunday’s showdown at Spotless Stadium a crucial one.
The two sides are separated by just one win, but the Thunder have lost their last two while the Strikers have won three of their last four. That run includes victory over the Thunder on New Year’s Eve.
Head to Head
The two sides have met 10 times in Big Bash history with the Strikers leading 6-3 with one no result. The Strikers were comprehensive winners at the Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve to make it four wins in a row against the Thunder. At Spotless Stadium, the record stands at 2-1 in the Strikers’ favour.
Strikers have won their last four H2H matches against the Thunder.
Thunder have won only nine of their 32 home matches (28%), which is the worst home record of all BBL teams.
Thunder have not lost three BBL matches in a row since BBL06.
England international Jos Buttler (273 runs) has guided the Thunder this season, but he has left for national duty along with Joe Root. Replacement overseas players Chris Jordan and Anton Devcich will be thrust straight into the side.
The loss of Buttler leaves the Thunder short at the top of the order and heavily reliant on Callum Ferguson (158 runs) and Shane Watson (120 runs), although both need to improve on their consistency.
The departure of key players to national duty hasn’t affected the Strikers, with the return of captain Travis Head (43 in 31 balls) in Friday’s win the Melbourne Stars counteracting the loss of Alex Carey.
Peter Siddle is missing once again due to Australia selection, but Billy Stanlake has been released to play in this game. Jake Weatherald (218 runs) remains their most potent batsman, but the improved form of Colin Ingram (177 runs) means that this Strikers side is still to be feared.
The Strikers have shown that they can overcome the absence of key players, while the Thunder remain low on confidence and form. Back only one outcome here.
Prediction: Strikers win ($1.70 MadBookie)