7:40pm local time on Thursday, January 7, 2015 at Spotless Stadium, Sydney
$2 at CrownBet.com
Table position: 3rd
BBL form: W W W L L
$1.90 at Sportsbet.com
Table position: 2nd
BBL form: L W W W L
Second plays third in Thursday night’s Big Bash League blockbuster at Spotless Stadium, with both sides looking to get back on the winner’s list.
Perth Scorchers suffered their second loss of the season on Tuesday as the in-form Adelaide Strikers completed a double over the defending champions to move top of the table.
Justin Langer’s men had gone unbeaten since falling to the Strikers in their first match of BBL05, but they came up 36 runs short of the required 175 at Adelaide Oval as Adil Rashid (3/23), Kane Richardson (2/21) and Billy Stanlake (2/28) continued their superb form with the ball.
Conversely, the normally dangerous Scorchers attack managed only two wickets and failed to contain the likes of Mahela Jayawardena (57 off 37 balls), Travis Head (51 off 31 balls) and Brad Hodge (30 off 15 balls).
Sydney Thunder have also stumbled after enjoying their best-ever start to a Big Bash season, following three straight wins with two consecutive defeats.
After losing by 11 runs to Hobart Hurricanes, the Sydneysiders were left helpless against the brute force of Chris Lynn (75 off 32 balls) as Brisbane Heat chased down 186 in the rain on Sunday to claim their first win of the season.
The Thunder were hampered by the absence of Jacques Kallis, who was unable to bowl at the Gabba after injuring his back and remains a doubt for the Scorchers’ visit.
Result – Perth Scorchers to win ($1.90 at Sportsbet.com)
Highest first six overs – Perth Scorchers ($1.90 at WilliamHill.com)
The Thunder’s hopes could hinge on the fitness of Kallis, whose vast experience and all-round quality would be sorely missed.
Their batting lineup looks a lot lighter without the veteran South African and Usman Khawaja, who is currently away on Test duty with Australia.
And while Perth were well beaten at Adelaide, they are a notoriously resilient mob and will be eager to bounce back at Spotless.
Andre Russell betting markets
Human highlight reels don’t come much more spectacular than Andre Russell.
The Thunder’s West Indian allrounder was one of the standout performers in the 2015 Indian Premier League season, and he has brought that form Down Under for his maiden BBL tournament.
His lethal fast bowling – which has already clocked 150kph this summer – has garnered nine wickets at 15.22, while his 71 hard-hit runs have come at a strike rate of over 169.
The experienced Clint McKay is also in fine fettle with the ball, but it’s ‘Dre Russ’ who poses the biggest threat to Shaun Marsh and Michael Klinger at the top of the Scorchers batting lineup.
And while we’ve only seen glimpses of his hitting prowess thus far, the likely absence of Kallis could give the big Jamaican an opportunity to unleash his brutal ball-striking further up the order.
Top Thunder wicket-taker
$3.75 at Bet365
Top Thunder runscorer
$9 at Luxbet
Top match bowler
$3.75 at Bet365
Top match batsman
$17 at Luxbet
Man of the match
$9 at William Hill
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