Defending champions lock horns against Hobart in Sunday’s first doubleheader clash of Australia T20 League 2020-21. Hobart would eye a much-needed victory for the playoffs, while, Sydney-S would aim for a top-two finish.
Match Timings: Jan 24, 1:45 PM IST
Ahead of the playoffs, Sydney-S and Hobart face off each other in the crunch game of the Australia T20 League. The reigning winner suffered a heavy defeat in the reverse fixture of the Sydney derby. Sydney-T thrashed the bowling attack with high-class batting. Alex Hales’ terrific hundred helped Sydney-T to post 232. Defending champions conceded the highest score in the tournament history. Moises Henriques played his first match and scored a fine half-century. Sydney-S scored 182 while chasing but the efforts were not good in the chase of 233.
Leaders are in a safe position and they have assured the playoff qualification. With 32 points in the bag, defending champions can back themselves for the top two finish. At the current stage, Perth and Sydney-T both are in good form and they are also in contention for the top two spots. One more defeat can spoil the hopes for them. In another game of the day, their city rivals will face Adelaide so this game is pretty important for Sydney-S. The comeback of Henriques boosted its middle-order and they are a more balanced unit. Steve Smith is not available this time but still, the batting unit is pretty compact.
Meanwhile, Hobart made things better for the playoff qualification but recent form hurt their chances. In the last game, Perth edged past them to offer Hobart a fourth defeat in the last five games. The sudden downfall has now pushed this side to the bottom three. Perth posted 179 on board despite some early blows. In the last 6 overs, Hobart conceded 71 runs. Nathan Ellis bowled a fine spell by picking 4 wickets for 34. Short looked better in the last game and scored 43 but Wade got out 6. Hobart lost its in-form batsmen Malan and McDermott in single digits. The top-order failure haunted them throughout the chase and Perth clinched the victory by 22 runs. Hobart desperately needs a victory here to avoid any elimination. They are pretty close to the qualification. Short got runs and Hobart would expect fire from Wade. Malan and McDermott are the big strength of their batting lineup. Middle-order hasn’t delivered much so they rely more on the top-order. Ellis has been consistent with the new ball and Lamichhane has also delivered in crucial middle-overs.
MCG’s track is good for batting. On a used surface, batting would be pretty easier. Pacers can take advantage with the new ball. Pitch offers little bit of help to spinners.
Josh Philippe (wk), James Vince, Daniel Hughes (c), Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Ben Dwarshuis, Steve OKeefe, Jackson Bird, Lloyd Pope
D Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Ben McDermott (wk), Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb, Tim David, Will Jacks, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith, Sandeep Lamichhane
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 203, Wickets: 12
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 441, Avg: 36.75
Season so far – M: 10, Runs: 397, Avg: 44.11
Season so far – M: 12, Wickets: 17, Avg: 21.35