Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers
Sunday January 9th, 08:15 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
It's been a frustrating period for the Sydney Sixers who have played just once since December 29th. Postponements and a rain-ruined game against bottom side Melbourne Renegades has suddenly put their top two finish under threat.
Sixers' only action in the last ten days saw them lose the reverse fixture to Perth Scorchers by ten runs. James Vince has also departed for international duty and his loss, plus this period of inactivity could be an issue on Sunday.
Prior to the start of the New Year, Moises Henriques' side had built up some momentum and had to show the depth in their squad with a last ball victory over Brisbane Heat.
Scorchers move serenely
Perth Scorchers have taken advantage of the Sixers' issues to pull clear at the top of the table. Ashton Turner's side have lost just twice in ten games and, despite a defeat to the Thunder on Thursday, their place in the playoffs has looked assured for some time.
The Scorchers also have great depth to their batting. Colin Munro has been in good touch at the top of the order while a sixth-wicket partnership of 49 between Ashton Agar and Aaron Hardie ultimately made the difference in that win over Sydney Sixers on Tuesday.
Tymal Mills has been a brilliant addition with the ball and his fragile frame is holding up so far. There are few concerns; Perth may like to see more wickets from the spinners but seamers are largely dominating across BBL 11.
Coffs Harbour scheduled as host
Scheduling for the remainder of the tournament may be subject to change but, at the time of writing, the Coffs Harbour International Stadium is down to play host. Sydney Sixers were due to welcome the Renegades on New Year's Day and the forecast suggests that rain could play a part once again.
The last time that the Sixers played here was in BBL 9 where they successfully chased down a target of 176. If rain is in prospect, it will obviously be a day to win the bat flip and insert.
With their superior record and a win in the reverse fixture four days ago, it's no surprise that the Scorchers are down as favourites here. Perth can currently be backed at 1.824/5 with the Sydney Sixers out to 2.26/5.
There has been an extended period of downtime for the Sydney franchise but I'm more concerned about the absence of James Vince. BBL 11 wasn't his most productive tournament but the Sixers' top two aims may depend on how he's replaced.
The Scorchers did manage to lose to Sydney Thunder last time out and, once again, the top order largely failed. It's a close call but I'm edging towards the Sixers where the batting unit is in better touch right now.
If my match winner pick is to be proved correct, I may need a major individual contribution - something approaching three figures. The player most likely to deliver that is the Sixers' wicket keeper-batsman Josh Philippe who is currently third on the list of leading run scorers at BBL 11.
He's the favourite in Sydney's top batsman market at 2/1 and, having gone for the outsiders in the result betting, I'm comfortable with that. Other options include Moises Henriques at 16/5, Jack Edwards at 5/1 and Daniel Hughes at 11/2.
Perth Scorchers' Kurtis Patterson could potentially miss some BBL cricket if he was to be called up to Australia's squad for the fifth test. Having made a century in just two test innings, he could consider himself unlucky if he doesn't come in for the struggling Marcus Harris.
In the meantime, Patterson could be the one to watch if you want a third pick for Sunday's game. He's listed at 3/1 to be the Scorchers' top batsman or, in the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook, you can get 7/2 on Patterson and Josh Philippe to each make a minimum of 30 runs.