Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat will eye their first win of the Big Bash League 2020 (BBL 2020) season when they face each other at Canberra on Monday. Both Thunder and Heat lost their opening matches and that too against Melbourne Stars.
In their clash against Stars, Brisbane Heat was bowled out for 125, with Nathan Coulter-Nile doing the bulk of the damage with 4/10. It was an easy to chase thereafter for Stars, with captain Glenn Maxwell joint top-scoring with 26-ball 46.
Thunder, however, showed better performance against Stars, restricting them to 169/8, with Stars opener Marcus Stoinis slamming a 37-ball 61. However, Thunder's batsmen could not match up to their bowlers and were restricted for 147/9 to lose the match by 22 runs. Thunder captain Callum Ferguson top-scored with 54 in a losing cause.
The two teams will now look to move on from their opening loss and give a better performance to notch their first win of the season.
Match Toss Time: 18:45 Local (13:15 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:15 Local (13:45 IST)
Match Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra
It is going to be partly cloudy in Canberra, with temperatures hovering around 13 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius. The good news is that no rain is forecasted for Monday, and hence, full 40 overs is guaranteed.
It has not been high-scoring games in the Manuka Oval in the 2 matches played so far here in the ongoing BBL season, with the highest being 169. Even in the two T20Is played at this venue, the highest has been 161. Hence, a total of 165-175 is a winning score on this pitch which favors both bat and ball, especially medium-pace bowling.
Thunder skipper Ferguson led from the front in the loss against Stars - making 54, with Hales contributing 46. All the other batsmen failed to fire. Thunder need their top-order comprising Usman Khawaja and Hales to provide a brisk start, while Ferguson and other all-rounders in Ben Cutting, Chris Green, and Daniel Sams capitalized on it.
However, their bowling did well to restrict Stars to 169 after a total of near 200 was possible. They need their batting and bowling to complement each other to thwart the Heat challenge.
Heat have their task cut out as they would miss their star players in Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Swepson, and Joe Burns for the large part of the tournament, and have to make do with the available resources. They are highly dependent on their skipper Chirs Lynn to fire at the top as the batting revolves around him.
The heat will have to move on quickly from the loss against Melbourne Stars when they were bowled out for 125, and come up with a better batting show. Their bowling too lacked the penetration, and hence, an all-round improvement is needed from the Heat to get the better of Thunder.
Probable Playing XI
Brisbane Heat: Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Chris Lynn (C), Tom Cooper, Jimmy Pierson, Dan Lawrence, Jack Wood, Xavier Bartlett, Matt Kuhnemann, Ben Laughlin, and Simon Milenko.
Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (C), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Baxter Holt, Jono Cook, and Tanveer Sangha.
BH vs ST Fantasy Team
Chris Lynn (BH), Callum Ferguson (ST), Alex Hales (ST), Usman Khawaja (ST), Jimmy Pierson (BH), Daniel Sams (ST), Chris Green (ST), Dan Lawrence (BH), Ben Laughlin (BH), Tanveer Sangha (ST), Jack Wood (BH)
Captain picks: Callum Ferguson (ST), Usman Khawaja (ST)
Vice-captain picks: Chris Lynn (BH), Alex Hales (ST)
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