Hobart will take on Sydney-T in the opening clash of the week in Australia T20 League 2020-21. Hobart would look for a victory after three straight losses.
Match Timings: Jan 18, 1:45 PM IST
Hobart’s campaign has been a roller coaster ride. The side who started the campaign with a clinical victory over defending champions are in deep trouble. The impressive start in December couldn’t sustain in 2021 and Hobart suffered three back-to-back defeats to find themselves at seventh in the table. From taking the spot in the top four, Hobart are now only ahead of Melbourne-R. Hobart won five matches from the first five, but the previous three defeats have questioned its team performance.
They will take on Sydney-T one more time and in the previous meeting, Sydney-T defeated them in Perth Stadium by 39 runs. In the last match, Perth edged past Hobart to deliver Handscomb-led side third loss in a row. Hobart managed just 139 runs while batting first and the batting unit couldn’t deliver. The hosts chased down the target in 16.2 overs with losing just one wicket. It was a pure disappointing show from Hobart. Hobart has also struggled against Spin in the last two fixtures and now they will travel to Canberra to hope for a better performance from the batsmen. In the last two matches, Hobart scored 98 runs off 93 balls against the spinners and lost six wickets.
Short showed some handy performance with the bowl but his numbers with the bat are not convincing. He scored a crucial 54 in the last game but he needs to be consistent. Dawid Malan has been a great signing, and Hobart would expect more runs from him. He has amassed 175 runs from 6 innings, including a half-century. Sandeep Lamichhane would also be vital in middle-overs. One more defeat will hurt badly in the pursuit of the playoffs qualifications.
Meanwhile, Sydney-T also have the same story but they are still in the top two. With 23 points, Sydney-T are in better control but they cannot avoid any last drama with four games remaining. Sydney-T suffered two defeats in a row. The previous defeat in Sydney derby hurt them more as the rain helped the defending champions to chase down the revised total in just 12.3 overs.
Khawaja and Hales gave a fluent start but middle-order collapse pushed them hard. Hales and Sams both scored quick half-centuries to get 166 on board. Josh Philippe’s 36-balls 64 helped Sydney-S to cross the line with eight balls spare. Ferguson is confident to crack the playoffs code but top-two positions would be a better finish for them. The batting unit is boosted with the inclusion of Sam Billings. Alex Hales got the form back and he is now the leading run-scorer for the side with 323 runs. Ferguson failed in the last couple of games but he is crucial in middle-order. Khawaja and Billings both are in good touch. Sydney-T are the favourites in Canberra with a balanced side.
Manuka Oval is a decent T20 surface and it offers a good amount of runs. Pacers can get the help with the new ball and spinners might control the runs in middle-overs. Any score above 160 will be an imposing total.
Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Jonathan Cook, Tanveer Sangha
D Arcy Short, Ben McDermott (wk), Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb (c), Colin Ingram, Tim David, Mitchell Owen, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith, Sandeep Lamichhane
Season so far – M: 8, Runs: 323, Avg: 32.30
Season so far – M: 10, Wickets: 16, Avg: 15.12
Season so far – M: 7, Runs: 299, Avg: 49.83
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 175, Avg: 35