Cricket: Can Sixers stop the Strikers’ juggernaut as Big Bash reaches semi-final stage?

Sydney Sixers v Adelaide Strikers 

Big Bash League Challenger, January 26

Sydney Cricket Ground (8.25am UK)

We are down to the final three in the 11th edition of Australia’s Big Bash League. 

Perth Scorchers are already into Friday’s final, which they will host at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium due to all the Coronavirus issues which Australia is having.

On Wednesday, back-to-back defending champions Sydney Sixers look to maintain hopes of a historic ‘threepeat’ when they host the competition’s form team Adelaide Strikers in an effective semi-final.

Outsiders Adelaide now favourites to advance to the final

After losing seven of their opening eight group games, the Strikers were on the brink of elimination.

But, as all the chaos with Covid weakened the teams around them, they had minimal disruption and made the absolute most of it to win five of their next six group games to qualify for the finals.

Since then, Jason Gillespie’s side have won the Eliminator and Knockout ties to give themselves one heck of a chance of a second title.

In all, they have won five games on the spin to leave every other team feeling Dizzy! 

It is amazing to think they are now marginal favourites (10/11) with many sites, including betfred, to knock off the champions.

It really is difficult to go against the Strikers when you consider that the Sixers have a number of injury concerns. 

Key batter Daniel Hughes is a major doubt with an ankle injury, while the Edwards brothers – Jack and Mickey – have both been ruled out of the rest of the competition with Covid.

The Sixers can dip into the local player replacement pool, effectively dragging someone out of club cricket, if they so wish. 

But they can’t call upon the services of Steve Smith, who was controversially prevented from playing by Cricket Australia after making himself available following the cancellation of the ODI series against New Zealand.

Strikers favoured, but value could be in what the Aussies call a same game multi

Instinct suggests the Strikers should win this game given the momentum they have created and the issues the Sixers have in their camp following their 48-run Qualifier defeat to Perth on Saturday.

However, the straight win odds just don’t offer enough value.

Instead, it may be worth going for a top batter/team to win double on offer with William Hill.

They are offering odds of 6/1  on Alex Carey to be the Strikers’ top batter and for them to win.

Now, since returning from Australian Test duty, Carey has looked in good order in the two games he has played, opening the batting and posting scores of 67 in a win over Hobart and 23 in a win over Sydney Thunder.

The 6/1 on offer for that double is certainly tempting.

Hayden Kerr looks value at fours to be top bowler for Sixers

Hayden Kerr, Sydney’s left-arm seamer, has had a breakthrough campaign, taking 24 wickets – the second best haul in the entire competition.

Prior to this season, he had played five games without taking a wicket.

Now, he heads into the semi-final on the back of two three-wicket hauls, a four-for and a series of two-wicket returns.

Kerr has been bowling at the death and picking up regular wickets, yet Betway have priced him up as 4/1 fifth favourite to be Sydney’s top bowler tomorrow behind Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Jackson Bird and Stephen O’Keefe.

It is definitely worth siding with 25-year-old Kerr at those odds given his form across his 15 appearances.

Craig Jones

Craig Jones

US Sports lover and watcher of the EFL, Craig will guide you through the NFL, NHL and English football