- Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat
- KFC Big Bash League 12, Eliminator
- Friday January 27, 2023 (8.15am UK)
- Sydney Showground Stadium
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The best way to describe this fixture is one between the movable force and the resistible object. Combined, these two sides have won 13 matches and lost 14 through this competition.
Thunder only just snook through courtesy of a nervy chase in yesterday’s final group game against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG when they reeled in 120 to win by three wickets.
Thunder are marginal favourites at 10/11 to win, no doubt owing much to being on home turf. But I would be taking the 1/1 shot with a host of firms, including BetUK, on a Heat victory here.
The fallible Heat have just shown more consistency and quality of late, winning four on the bounce to seal a top five berth before failing to chase 121 versus Hobart yesterday.
Thunder, meanwhile, have only won two out of their last six games.
The winner advances to an effective quarter-final against Melbourne Renegades on Sunday.
For regular readers, you will know that I tipped the Thunder for the title in my pre-tournament preview at 13/2. But they just haven’t shown what I expected.
And, right at this moment, I just can’t stay on board with them.
That may change going into the weekend with a strong showing here, but for now I can’t justify advising you to back them, especially given they may be without a key seamer in Gurinder Sandhu, who is an injury doubt.
King Khawaja can shine on Thunder return
After playing 59 matches across 11 years with the Thunder, Usman Khawaja - a Queensland player in Australian state cricket - moved home to play for Brisbane at the start of this season.
It hasn’t worked out in terms of personal success, despite captaining the side into the finals. In six matches, he has only scored 96 runs with a top score of 28 at the top of the order.
But what a time this would be to come good for the classy left-hander.
Ladbrokes are offering a price boosted 9/2 on Khawaja to score a fifty in this fixture. I would be very interested in that for a player whose quality far outweighs his recent performance.
In a Heat win, I could also see him being named player of the match. Bet365 are also offering that as a price boosted 8/1.
Johnson jamboree could help Heat
I have really liked the look of Brisbane pacer Spencer Johnson in his early appearances.
The tall left-arm quick, 27, is somewhat of a late bloomer, playing his first six career T20s through this campaign. He’s bowls with good pace and a line and length that hardly gives batters breathing space.
He has taken five wickets, striking in four of his matches, including 2-20 against the Hurricanes yesterday.
I would be interested in the 5/1 bet365 are offering on him to be Brisbane’s top bowler against Thunder. He is joint fifth on their list for this market.
While I was by no means expecting him to be favourite, I was expecting him to be a bit higher.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
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