Sydney Thunder are clinging on to their BBL08 finals hopes and need a win from their final game against Hobart Hurricanes to jump into fourth spot.
The Thunder (W5, L7, NR1) need to win and hope other results go their way still in they are to make the playoffs, but the only way to keep the hopes alive is to defeat the top-of-the-table Hurricanes (W10, L3) at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday.
Head to Head
The Hobart Hurricanes have enjoyed facing Sydney Thunder, winning seven of the nine previous meetings between the two sides including a seven wicket win earlier this season. This will be the first meeting at Manuka Oval.
Hurricanes have won seven of the nine matches against the Thunder, including the last two.
The visiting side has won three of the last four H2H matches.
Thunder have never won a home match against the Hurricanes, losing both the matches so far.
The equation is simple for the Sydney Thunder – they need a win and favourable results elsewhere to sneak into the playoffs. The Thunder could effectively be undone by the abandoned match against the Brisbane Heat when the lights failed.
Only Callum Ferguson (395 runs) has enjoyed a productive campaign, while Daniel Sams (15 wickets, 168 runs) has surprised with his all-round returns. But the return of Test stars Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja and Kurtis Patterson gives the Thunder a boost for this must-win match.
The Hurricanes got back to winning ways and booked a home semi-final and the number one seeding last time as the form of Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short at the top of the order continued.
With Jofra Archer (16 wickets) getting back to his best, there is a good mix of enterprise and control in this Hurricanes attack and last year’s beaten finalists remain the team to beat.
The continued dominance of Hurricanes has been a treat to watch, but the return of top Thunder players from international duty makes things interesting. Could they qualify for the finals? Expect Cummins to do his best to help the Thunder.
Prediction: Top Thunder Wicket Taker – Pat Cummins ($3.75 MadBookie)