The finalists of the last editions, Sydney-S and Melbourne-S, will face each other in Saturday night clash of Australia T20 League 2020-21.
Match Timings: Dec 26, 3:50 PM IST
After a rain-affected final last season, Melbourne-R and Sydney-S will meet for the first time in Australia T20 League. Both sides had a promising start to the season with two wins. Sydney-S added two successive wins after a loss in the season-opener against Hobart, while, Melbourne-S shared points with Perth in a washed-out affair last week.
Melbourne-R started the new season in a similar fashion as they did in the last two seasons. In its both wins, David Hussey’s side has got Bash Boost point, and they have earned 10 points from the first three matches. Melbourne’s bowling has been terrific, and they will soon get the service of last season’s top wicket-taker, Haris Rauf, who is now available for the selection after completing the T20I series for Pakistan. In the first match, Maxwell and Cartwright easily crossed the line for them after bowling Brisbane out on 125, riding on Coulter-Nile’s 4-wickets haul. In the second match, Stoinis scored a cracking 61, and bowlers survived the day for Melbourne, following its late batting collapse.
Liam Hatcher has been a great inclusion in the last two matches. He picked three against Sydney-T and two against Perth. Rauf might be unavailable due to the quarantine rule, and in the absence of Dilbar Hussain, Hatcher has been a key pacer. In the previous game, Melbourne restricted Perth on 158, and when the rain hit the game, they required 66 off 29 balls in the revised target. Melbourne-R are a compact side, and Maxwell’s troops would aim to top the table on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Sydney-S are back on the winning track, and they got its team combination right. Daniel Hughes led his side to a second successive victory. Daniel Christian smashed one of the fastest half-centuries in the tournament history. He took 16 balls to score 50 and put 177 runs on board. The captain also scored gritty 46 when the team was struggling in middle-overs. Adelaide made a blistering start, but Sydney held them with some tight spells in the middle. Manenti and Brathwaite both conceded 23 each in their spell and picked four wickets together. With the inclusion of Holder, Sydney has boosted both the batting and bowling departments. He went for 26 in just two overs and batted late in his first game. Ben Dwarshuis has scalped seven wickets in the first three matches, and his performance is key for Sydney-S. Defending champions now have a strong lineup, and with bowling coming to the rescue, they are again the top contenders to lift the trophy this year. This contest would be a cracking one as both sides are strong on paper.
Carrara Oval will host the first match of the season. It’s a pure batting track, and the surface offers plenty of help to pacers in the first half. Chasing would be a great call after winning the toss.
Josh Philippe (wk), Jack Edwards, James Vince, Daniel Hughes (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Ben Dwarshuis, Ben Manenti, Steve OKeefe
Marcus Stoinis, Andre Fletcher, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Nic Maddinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Liam Hatcher, Billy Stanlake, Ben Dunk
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 16, Wickets: 16, Avg: 26.19
This season – 38/3, 15/4, 30/0
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 16, Runs: 487, Avg: 37.46
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 17, Runs: 705, Avg: 54.23
Previous outing (vs. Sydney-T) – 61 (37)
White-ball series vs. India – M: 6, Runs: 245, Avg: 49
Season so far – 46 (26), 39 (29)