Hobart-H and Sydney-T will be squaring off in the first doubleheader clash of Australia T20 League 2020-21. Both sides have lost its previous encounter and separated by just one point in the table.
Match Timings: Dec 07, 12:40 PM IST
Two strong sides Hobart-H and Sydney-T will go head to head in Perth Stadium on Thursday. Both have played wonderful cricket so far and are the top contenders to finish in the playoffs. After the defeats on Monday, both will try to decrease its difference to table-leaders, Sydney-S. Hobart-H started the season on a positive note after surprising the defending champions, and after eight matches, they have won five and lost just three. In the previous outing against Melbourne-S, they fell short of 10 runs at home. Melbourne-S posted a huge total of 183, riding on Stoinis’ unbeaten 97. Meredith and Ellis were better with the bowl and shared five wickets together. The required-run-rate pressure haunted Hobart’s chase. McDermott played a fine knock of 91 off 58 balls, but he didn’t get enough support from another end. When he got out, Hobart needed 21 off final over, and this time, Melbourne managed to hold the nerve.
McDermott has been impressive since the hundred in the warm-up match against Indians, and he amassed 277 runs this season at an average of 55.40. Dawid Malan has impressed since his debut in Australia T20 League, and he contributed 154 in just 4 appearances, including a half-century. In middle-overs, Tim David and Colin Ingram are in good touch. The duo Meredith and Ellis bagged 12 wickets each, and Hobart’s bowling unit relies on both. Faulkner will still miss a couple of games, but Sandeep Lamichhane played a key role in middle-overs during this period. Peter Handscomb has led Hobart’s unit with ease, and despite the injury issues, he continued with a good team combination.
Meanwhile, Sydney-T had the same story, and the only target they have, to finish in the top two this season. Callum Ferguson led from the front with managing his own form. Sydney-T have lost two games this season and standing at the second spot in the table. If they lose here, Hobart will take that spot, and recovery would be tough. The tournament is in its second half, and each game would decide the playoff qualification.
In the previous Monday encounter, Sydney-T were off the colors against Brisbane. Despite some trouble in middle-overs, they got 175 on board, thanks to the late fire from Cutting and Sams. The best part is, Alex Hales continued his blistering touch in the powerplay, and in the last game, he scored 46 off 26 balls. Brisbane made this chase an easy task with a match-winning stand from Denly and Burns. They avoided any late drama to seal full four points with five balls spare. Sangha was the big positive who scalped three wickets. Sydney-T would go for a victory on Thursday and extend the top form. After the inclusion of Sam Billings, they have boosted its middle-order. Hales and Ferguson both are leading the batting unit with scoring 243 runs each. Hales provides a quick start, and Ferguson constructs the innings. Usman Khawaja is also looking better since Christmas. Sydney-T has the best batting unit, and they have crossed 200 runs mark twice this season. It will be a game between two top batting sides, and Sydney-T has a slight edge over Hobart.
Perth will host back-to-back matches, and it will be played on the same used surface. The dryness of the surface can help spin. Batting would be bit easier in the afternoon, and chasing is a safe call after winning the toss.
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Oliver Davies, Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
Ben McDermott (wk), D Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb (c), Colin Ingram, Tim David, Johan Botha, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith, Sandeep Lamichhane
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 243, Avg: 40.50
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 243, SR: 176.08
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 277, Avg: 55.40
Season so far – M: 4, Runs: 155, Avg: 38.75