Brisbane-H will play its first match of 2021 against the defending champions to change the disappointing tale in Australia T20 League. Meanwhile, Sydney-S are unbeaten since the loss in the season opener.
Match Timings: Jan 02, 2:45 PM IST
Sydney-S and Brisbane’s story is completely the reverse of each other. One side held the nerve in death-overs to produce the win and others had collapsed in the end in a dramatic way. Brisbane could have strengthened its position in the points table. After losing to Adelaide and Hobart on the last ball, Brisbane is mentally stressed out. Their tough luck started with the batting carnage from Daniel Sams who snatched the victory from the jaws of the defeat. Later, Peirson almost took Brisbane over the line but couldn’t get six off the last ball. In the previous game, they needed just two runs and one good throw from Colin Ingram broke their heart to deliver a one-run loss. These disappointing tale summaries the story of Punjab who also had a similar story in the Indian T20 League but they bounced back hard in the second half.
Will Brisbane script something like that in Australia T20 League? Chris Lynn’s injury is a big blow to the side and Brisbane hasn’t clarified his availability for this fixture. There are some flows on the Brisbane side. The top-order is not performing and they are losing wickets in the first 3-4 overs which troubles the middle-order. The bowling unit has been slightly better than the batting. Mujeeb got a fifer in the last game and he has been pretty economical with the economy of less than six. Wildermuth is also bowling very well with picking 6 wickets at an economy of 6.25. Brisbane needs to change the batting attitude and the middle-order has to step up in the chase. Joe Burns has been included in the squad after getting an omission from Australia's Test squad. Joe Denly might be recalled to bat in middle-order. Lynn and Morkel will miss yet another fixture and the duo will be available for the next fixture.
Meanwhile, Sydney-S’ title defense is going strong and they have won four matches out of five. After losing the season opener against Hobart, Sydney-S remained unbeaten and finished 2020 by taking the top spot. In the last two matches, they pulled off two amazing chases and snatched the victory from the jaws of the defeat. First, Hughes smashed Maxwell to get 21 runs off the final over and in the second match, Jason Holder crossed the line for them, requiring 16 off the final over. Chasing the target of 169, Sydney-S’ chase had ups and downs. Josh Phillipe scored 48 off 30 balls at the top but it was Holder who contributed vital 33 runs off 18 balls to seal the game.
The defending champions held the nerves in both games and Brisbane can take inspiration from them. Hughes got a good knock against Melbourne-S and somehow, they can back themselves to win this game too. Its batting unit is in proper shape but the middle-order has slight loopholes. Bowling has been impressive. Carlos Brathwaite and Holder both are providing a good option as the 5th bowler. Ben Dwarshuis is continuing the top form with the bowl and his numbers would be important for Sydney to defend the title this year. Jack Ball would mark his debut for Sydney-S on Saturday. The English pacer was the leading wicket-taker in T20 Blast 2020.
Gabba’s track is a decent T20 ground and it offers good assistance to spin and pace. Batsmen can enjoy the game later as the match progresses. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss.
Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Jack Wildermuth, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Jimmy Peirson (c & wk), James Bazley, Simon Milenko, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Josh Philippe (wk), Jack Edwards, James Vince, Daniel Hughes (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite/Jack Ball, Ben Dwarshuis, Steve OKeefe, Ben Manenti
Season so far – M: 4, Wickets: 6, Avg: 16.66
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Season so far – M: 4, Wickets: 7, Avg: 13.57
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 172, Avg: 34.40
Season so far – M: 5, Wickets: 8, Avg: 18.25