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Sydney Thunder squares off against Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. 

Both the teams lost to Melbourne Stars in their first match of the BBL 2020. Sydney came short by 22 runs. Though Alex Hales and Callum Ferguson hit 46 and 54 runs respectively, Ben Cutting and Daniel Sams got out early in their bid to finish the match.

Brisbane could muster just 125 in their last game. It was a shoddy performance as the batsmen who got starts could not convert it into big knocks. Ben Laughlin could not make any breakthroughs in his four-over spell.

Team News 

Sydney depends heavily on their top three of Usman Khawaja, Hales, and skipper, Ferguson. Alex Ross and Cutting need to take more responsibility. Though Chris Green took two wickets, he was too expensive. Cutting can bowl more overs. 

Chris Lynn is the backbone of Brisbane's batting line-up. He can stitch partnerships with Daniel Lawrence and Tom Cooper in the middle order. Jack Wood was impressive as he got two wickets but needs more support from the rest of the pack.

Pitch and Conditions

Both the teams lost in Canberra in the previous match that they played. A par score of 170 is needed to defend successfully. If the bowlers get their act together, they can take wickets regularly. The batsmen need to play a long innings to create a big impact.

Probable Playing XI

Sydney Thunder (SYT): Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson, Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Baxter Holt (wk), Jonathan Cook, Tanveer Sangha

Brisbane Heat (BRH): Max Bryant,  Sam Heazlett, Chris Lynn, Daniel Lawrence, Tom Cooper, Jimmy Pierson, Simon Milenko, Jack Wood, Xavier Bartlett, Matthew Kuhnemann, Ben Laughlin

Key Battles

Alex Hales vs Matthew Kuhnemann

Alex Hales vs Matthew Kuhnemann  BBL
Alex Hales vs Matthew Kuhnemann

Hales hit 46 in the last game. He is an aggressive top-order batsman who plays with a dash of adventurism. He is popular throughout the world for his excellence in T20 cricket. His technique outside the off-stump is a bit dodgy. 

Kuhnemann bowled a tidy spell in the previous game conceding 23 runs and picking up a wicket of the dangerous Andre Fletcher. The left-arm spinner can keep Hales quit by bowling a tight line and length. He never allows the batsmen to settle down with his clever variations. 

Daniel Sams vs Tom Cooper 

Daniel Sams vs Tom Cooper   BBL
Daniel Sams vs Tom Cooper 

Cooper hit 26 runs in the last game. The talented right-hander is a vital cog in Brisbane's line-up. He has the strong ability to chase down big scores by playing quickfire knocks. He can be unstoppable when he gets his eye in. 

Sams took two wickets for 24 runs in the previous match. The left-armer is a handy medium-pacer who has proved his worth by playing in the recently-concluded IPL for Delhi Capitals. He is a brilliant bowler at the death who can take wickets to restrict the run flow. 

Prediction 

With both the teams suffering defeats in their opening matches, they will go all out to win this encounter. Sydney has more depth in their batting. Brisbane have a couple of bowlers who can change the outcome of the match within a span of a few overs.

Cricwizz predicts Brisbane Heat to win the match.