Back of the thumping victory against defending champions, Sydney-T will face Adelaide in the Sunday night clash of the Australia T20 League. A win will assure both sides an easy playoff qualification.
Match Timings: Jan 24, 10:35 AM IST
Sydney-T finally ended its losing streak and they did in style with posting the highest score in the tournament history. Ferguson’s troops updated 2017's highest total and managed their third 200 plus total this season. Alex Hales smashed the 2nd century of the season and Ben Cutting’s quick 14-balls 33 posted 232 on board. The collective batting show gave them an important win against the leaders. Sydney-S looked solid in the middle-overs but it was a tough task in 2nd innings. The victory came after three consecutive defeats and Sydney-T are now one-point behind Perth.
The top two finish will be the main target for Callum Ferguson. The batting unit has been the biggest strength of Sydney-T. The top-order is in excellent form, starting with the openers Khawaja and Alex Hales. Hales is the top-scorer of the season with 462 runs at an average of 49.75 and a strike rate of 191.34. Ferguson has led from the front by scoring 312 runs and he has been crucial at the top-order. Khawaja looked better after Christmas but in the last couple of games, he couldn’t convert his start. The Bowling unit should also step up with the batting if Sydney looks for a balance. They are entering as the favourite and they will face Adelaide in the next two matches.
Meanwhile, Adelaide also saw a hundred and it came from its skipper Alex Carey. The wicket-keeper batsman was released by Delhi for the 2021 season in Indian T20 League and the next day, he scored his second hundred in Australia T20 League. Adelaide got huge 197 runs and it was enough to trouble Brisbane. They bowled out Chris Lynn’s unit on just 115 to secure an 82-runs victory. At one stage, Brisbane were one down on 62 and collapsed badly to lose the last nine wickets on 53. Adelaide is in a strong position to secure playoff qualification. With two more games to go, Adelaide requires one good win including a bash boost point.
Only Melbourne-R is not in the race and Adelaide’s points-table game will also be affected by other team’s results. Carey is in good form and has scored 381 runs so far at an average of 38.10. Weatherald has also batted very well with scoring 290 runs at an average of 29. Adelaide have to look for other option in batting and the more reliability on Carey will hurt in playoffs too. Wes Agar is now a key bowler for them picking 21 wickets at an average of 17.14. Peter Siddle has also provided experience with picking 16 wickets so far. Adelaide has the caliber but they have to play better cricket against Sydney. It will be a contest between Sydney’s batting and Adelaide’s bowling.
Adelaide Oval is a fine batting surface. It provides good assistance to batsmen. Spinners will be in command in middle-overs. Any score above 170 would be a tough total to chase.
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Oliver Davies, Ben Cutting, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green, Adam Milne, Brendan Doggett, Tanveer Sangha
Alex Carey (wk), Jake Weatherald, Philip Salt, Travis Head (c), Matt Renshaw, Ryan Gibson, Michael Neser, Danny Briggs, Wes Agar, Liam O Connor, Peter Siddle
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 462, Avg: 49.75
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 312, Avg: 28.36
Season so far – M: 10, Runs: 381, Avg: 38.10
Season so far – M: 12, Wickets: 21, Avg: 17.14