Australia T20 League will witness the first Sydney derby of the season on Wednesday night when two in-form sides, Sydney-T and Sydney-S, lock horns in Canberra.
Match Timings: Jan 13, 1:45 PM IST
The top two sides of the season, Sydney-S and Sydney-T, face off each other in the first Sydney derby clash. Both sides are in impressive form and are the top contenders to seal the top two spots. Sydney-T suffered a defeat in the previous game, which was the third defeat out of nine matches. Sydney-T are just two points behind the league leaders, Sydney-S, but they have a fine chance to take the top spot. This season’s Sydney derby would be more interesting considering the current form of both sides.
Sydney-T fell short of 18 runs in Perth despite a fabulous knock from Sam Billings. The poor bowling in death-overs allowed Perth to get 185. At the halfway mark, Perth were scoring with 6 runs overs and lost three wickets, but in the last ten, they got runs with almost 12 runs per over. Brendan Doggett picked a four-wicket haul for just 22 runs. His one good spell wasn’t enough for Sydney-T. Billings fought hard with 48-balls 83, but he didn’t get the support from another end. Sydney-T would not be distracted by this loss. Billings has also offered relief in the middle-order. The top-order is already in good touch. Both Hales and Khawaja have been consistent since Christmas. Alex Hales is the leading run-getter, and Ferguson led the side from the front. Green and Sangha’s spin duo is working for Sydney-T. They were clinically good against Hobart.
Meanwhile, the defending champions haven’t missed the captain Henriques this season. The stand-in captain Hughes has taken Sydney-S to the top spot, and the journey to the title defense is getting stronger. They also have the same number of wins, and with just three defeats out of nine matches, they have topped the table. Sydney-S also grabbed seven Big Bash Point, the most by any team this season. It means, Sydney-S dominated over the opponents. After a humiliating defeat to Perth, Sydney-S bounced back with a dominant display against Brisbane. Bowlers restricted Chris Lynn’s side on just 148. Carlos Brathwaite shined with the bowl and picked a 4-wickets haul. Jack ball also bagged a 3-wickets haul.
Brathwaite’s improvement in bowling provided a big balance in this unit. Hughes is using six bowlers in every game and using all according to the pitch. Sydney-S looked in trouble against Brisbane while chasing 149. The top-order struggled against the pace and the run-rate pressure haunted Sydney-S till the end. Daniel Christian scored 61 off 38 balls to seal the game with a last-ball boundary. It was the third win which came in the final over, and Hughes has to accept this fact. They held the nerves in the end and snatched the victory in the end. The struggle in the last two games will test their batting unit, and Sydney-T have the big edge in the derby clash.
Manuka Oval is a fine batting track, and it will be a surface where batsmen can enjoy getting runs. Spin might take a little bit of help from the pitch. Chasing is slightly a tricky call in the score of 160-170.
Josh Philippe (wk), Jack Edwards, James Vince, Daniel Hughes (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Steve OKeefe, Jackson Bird, Jake Ball, Lloyd Pope
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green, Adam Milne, Brendan Doggett, Tanveer Sangha
Season so far – M: 9, Runs: 273, Avg: 30.33
Season so far – M: 9, Runs: 160, Wickets: 10
Season so far – M: 8, Runs: 269, SR: 161.07
Season so far – M: 9, Wickets: 15, SR: 15.20