Ed Hawkins previews the Big Bash contest from the SCG on Wednesday and expects batters to dominate...
"This would certainly suit the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. Sixers are not exactly miserly, not even in last year’s title win"
Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat
Wednesday 29 December, 07:05
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sixers have fine wins from six and are cosy in second place behind runaway leaders the Perth Scorchers.
Their only defeat came against Hobart Hurricanes when they were curiously awful with ball and bat. A rare Sixers combination. Last time out they swotted aside cross-town rivals Thunder, defending 169.
Such is their confidence that Sixers pick only one overseas player and include only two in their 16-man squad. James Vince is certain to play, new signing Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan is not.
Shadab would bolster their XI considerably. He would offer greater batting depth and more bowling skill than fellow spinner Lloyd Pope for example.
Possible XI: Philippe, Vince, Hughes, Henriques, Silk, Christian, Shadab, Abbott, Kerr, Dwarshius, Edwards
Heat are really struggling. They are down in sixth place and have only two wins from six. It's a disappointing return from a squad which had decent balance but they miss Mitch Swepson badly.
The issue has been with the ball. They conceded 207 against Stars and 197 against Thunder. The Thunder also made light work of a moderate chase. Against weak batting sides like Melbourne and Adelaide this weakness was papered over.
Giant pace bowler Cameron Gannon and all-rounder Jack Wildermuth may be tried to stem the flow but there's little evidence from either's career that they'll be able wrest control of the in-field economy rate.
What Brisbane can do is hit. There's nothing wrong with their ability or, importantly, intent.
Possible XI: Bryant, Lynn, Cooper, Duckett, Heazlett, Peirson, Bazley, Steketee, Mujeeb, Kuhnemann, Gannon.
This will be the fourth match played at the SCG this tournament. And it has been a belter for batting. Sixers took 213 off Stars in game one and Hurricanes then followed that with the same score. Adelaide's poor batting could manage only 147.
For all-time we're looking at an average score in the first dig of 163 so the first bet that jumps out is the 13/10 that both sides score 160. This would certainly suit the strengths and weaknesses of both teams (Sixers are not exactly miserly, not even in last year's title win). There is also value in taking the 7/2 that both teams notch 170.
There's a small toss bias to be aware in favour of the side batting second. The weather forecast is good with rain in the morning making way for clear skies.
Batters to shorten
Sixers are 1.664/6 with Heat 2.466/4. Is that a good price about the Sixers, who look to be such a stronger unit? Not for us.
We're not hugely enamoured with Sixers in the field and the Heat, reckless and dangerous with the bat, could well put them under significant pressure of they were to bat first. They could make it a choice affair by the break.
However, this is a toss game. If Heat have to bowl first then Sixers could be 1.351/3 at the break. We would be surprised if their batters weren't able to post upwards of 180. Still, there's a trade strategy right there. Both sides to shorten significantly batting first.
There's a decent wager on top Heat bat. Xavier Bartlett may come back into the XI and he is not 40/1 shot with Sportsbook. He already has one win and a tie this season. He is usually a No 8.
There's also a rick on top Brisbane bowler. James Bazley is having a decent season and is their second-best bowler in terms of strike rate for those who have played more than once. He should be shorter than 5/1.
For Sixers, Daniel Hughes is an absolute standout at a whopping 7/1. He top scored from No 3 in their last outing so the pricing makes little sense. The 7/2 about opener Vince topping is also chunky. Bet Sportsbook markets here.
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l