Out-of-form Melbourne-R will take on high-flying Sydney-T in the New Year clash of the Australia T20 League 2020-21. Both sides met previously on Boxing-Day, and Sydney-T humiliated Melbourne-R by 129 runs.
Match Timings: Jan 01, 12:40 PM IST
Sydney-T and Melbourne-R will face each other for the second time after a Boxing-Day clash in Canberra. Sydney-T are in terrific form and defeated both Melbourne franchises comprehensively. Sydney-T have lost just one game out of five and entering this fixture with a four-matches winning streak. In the previous two encounters, their batsmen enjoyed the game and scored 200 plus total twice. In its last clash of the season in 2020, Sydney-T posted the third-highest total in the tournament history and emerged victorious by huge 75 runs.
Alex Hales was destructive, and he set the tone for Sydney-T. The Englishman smashed 71 off just 29 balls. The middle-order was tested, but it didn’t harm their run-rate. They got 40 off the last 15 balls to get 219. In the chase, Melbourne-S was out of the frame, and Sydney-T grabbed all four points. Khawaja’s form is a big concern, and he got the start with Alex Hales but got out after 31-balls 37. The top-order is showing good intent, and bowlers are delivering with full enthusiasm. Chris Green got a 4-wickets haul in the last game, and he was also handy in batting. Things are getting better for them with every match. Ferguson’s dream season continued with the bat, scoring the third half-century of the season in his last outing. He has aggregated 197 runs at an average of 49.25. With this form, they would eye the top spot on Friday.
Meanwhile, Melbourne-R came close to victory in the last match against the defending champions, but Holder snatched the victory when Sydney-S required 16 off the final over. After four defeats from the first five matches, Melbourne-R are in deep trouble. They have four points with just one win and one Bash Boost Point. In the previous game, they looked slightly better in the approach. Marsh and Finch batted very well by adding 76 for the opening wicket. They lacked most in the middle-order, and Marsh scored yet another half-century, but his strike rate was not up to the mark. Melbourne-R finished on 168, and they controlled the game with tight bowling, but Holder rescued Sydney-S with back-to-back boundaries in the final over. The entire team performance has suffered this season, and the last match saw some positives in this side. They slipped in the end, but the task against a top side would not be easy.
Carrara Ovalis a decent ground for the T20, and it has a good amount of help to pacers with some bounce. It has little bit of help to the spin, but batsmen will have better chances. Chasing would be a great call after winning the toss.
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Oliver Davies, Baxter Holt (wk), Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha
Shaun Marsh (c), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper (wk), Rilee Rossouw, Beau Webster, Mohammad Nabi, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Josh Lalor, Noor Ahmad, Mackenzie Harvey
This season so far – M: 5, Runs: 196, Avg: 49.25
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 17, Wickets: 30, Avg: 15.36
This season – M: 5, Wickets: 7, Runs: 96
White-ball series vs. India – M: 5, Runs: 284, Avg: 56.8
This season – 35, 12, 20, 39
This season – M: 3, Wickets: 9, Avg: 16.44