Sydney Sixers (1-1) @ Perth Scorchers (1-0) @ SCG
Preview - The Sixers will be looking to rebound from an embarrassing home display against the Hurricanes when they take on the Scorchers at the SCG on Tuesday night. After an opening night victory over the Thunder at Spotless Stadium, the Sixers were well off the mark in being thumped by the Hurricanes to make this a crucial early game in their BBL6 campaign. On the other hand, the Scorchers could hardly have been more impressive in beating the Strikers at the WACA by 47 runs. These teams have a history of big match showdowns behind them. In BBL qthe Sixers went to Perth and claimed the trophy, prevailing by 7 wickets in the Grand Final. However the Scorchers returned the favour in BBL4, winning a tense final by 4 wickets on the final ball of the match. Last season the Scorchers were dominant, winning their fixture against the Sixers by 9 wickets.
Sydney Sixers Scouting Report - The Sixes make a couple of changes to their squad with Will Somerville coming in for Nathan Lyon and Henry Thornton coming in for Harry Conway. Thornton is a tall fast bowler capable of bowling at high speed. With Dwarshish and Mennie being expensive in their first two games, the Sixers have conceded over 60 runs in both Power Plays so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see their most experienced bowlers in Bollinger, O’Keefe or Botha were employed for the majority of the Powerplay to try and stop the rot. The Sixers gave too much width to the Hurricanes bats on Friday, particular to D’Arcy Short who was savage on the short ball. In fact they have been sloppy in both of their games wit the ball and in the field and can ill afford another such display against Perth.
Jason Roy has made a promising start to his BBL campaign with scores of 29 and 40 coming in quick time. Roy has looked in pretty good nick and a big score looks just around the corner for a player of high talent. Fellow young English talent Sam Billings showed some promise in the middle order, however looked a little too preoccupied with some of the funky lap and sweep shots to really hurt the Hurricanes through the middle. I still think the Sixers rely a bit too much on Moises Henriques, as their batting fell apart when he was out first ball on Friday. They might need a key contribution from either Haddin, Silk, Billings or Abbott having to step up against a strong Perth bowling outfit.
Perth Scorchers Scouting Report - The Scorchers really hit the ground running in BBL 6 with their home win over Adelaide. Their score of 7/197 from their 20 overs was impressive on a wicket offering some pace and bounce for the bowlers. Ian Bell played a really classy knock of 61 from 42 balls. Bell is not the sort of player who is going to come out all guns blazing, but he showed on Friday he can still score quickly by playing classic cricket shots. With Michael Klinger and Sam Whiteman it’s more a steady Top 3, however if they can take the innings deep, Perth have more firepower then any other team in the middle order. Both Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Turner were explosive in Game 1, clearing the pickets with ease. Along with Mitchell Johnson and Ashton Agar right down the order, Perth bat really deep and no team will ever feel safe against their line up .
Mitchell Johnson returned to the scene with a bang, picking up 3/33 in his return to the fold. Englishman David Willey was right on point up front in the Power Play, picking up two early wickets and displaying good aggression and body language throughout. Alongside Andrew Tye, the Scorchers have seemingly put all their eggs in their pace attack this year without Brad Hogg to rely upon in the middle overs. Ashton Agar is a good one day bowler and at the SCG his role will be of much more importance as the ticket may be a little more suited to slow bowling.
Verdict - Put it this way - I don’t think the Sixers will be as bad as they were last outing and I don’t think Perth will be as good as they were against Adelaide. With this game being in Sydney, I think the Sixers will be determined to put in a much more competitive performance in front of their home fans. Whilst Perth probably have the stronger side on paper, they are not as dominant a team away from home as they are in the fast and bouncy conditions, and in front of a raucous crowd at the WACA. Their batsman might have to adapt to more spin friendly conditions on perhaps a used SCG wicket. Expect the Scorchers to target Dwarshish and Mennie hard and try and knock their confidence around early. Expect this game to not be one of the highest scoring game of the series, with 175 being enough for victory I feel. I reckon the bowler of both sides might have a fair bit of a say in this game with the Sixers much more disciplined in the field.
The Lurker - "The Lurker smells a bit of an upset tonight. I see the Sixers getting home in one of the closest games of BBL 6 to date. I'm taking a real stab in the dark here and backing Brad Haddin to top score for the Sixers tonight despite his poor recent form. Also back the Sixers to win by the margin of 1-20 runs of 1-4 wickets"