Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers Big Bash Tips: Thunder's English duo are real MOM contenders

Sam Billings
Sam Billings has been in fine touch this season.

Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood are very decent prices for the man-of-the-match award while the Thunder can hit the most sixes, says Jamie Pacheco...

"That’s in stark contrast to the big-hitting Thunder. They’ve hit 48 with Sam Billings smashing 12 of them and Jasion Sangha eight. That is almost double the number of ‘maximums’."

Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers
Sunday, 08:15, Live on Sky Sports

Strikers in a world of trouble

I previewed the first edition of this match in the 2021-22 BBL season a couple of days ago and warned Betting.betfair readers that things weren't going to get any easier for the Strikers.

And so it proved. This time round even their bowling- generally their strong suit- let them down.

They conceded 187/3 and this after the Thunder lost two key batsmen in Alex Hales and Alex Ross to a positive Covid Test just before the match.

Rashid Khan was economical but went wicketless, while their other spinner Fawad Ahmed took an extremely respectable 1-22 off his four. Everyone else was extremely expensive.

In reply, it was the usual story. This side is simply not set up to set or chase big totals because they lack power. Ironically, it was only Jonno Wells, all 5ft 6 of him, who managed to strike at a good rate with an excellent 46 off 26.

Enough to land us a winner at 5.5, not enough to win them the game.


Adelaide Strikers Jono Wells.jpg

They could do with bringing back Wes Agar. Yes, he's been expensive but he's a proper wicket-taker.

George Garton has had a mare so far, going at 10.4 for an over and not getting any runs.

Strikers Likely XI: Weatherald, Short, Renshaw, Wells, Kelly, Garton, Nielsen, Khan, Agar, Siddle, Ahmed.

Thunder won despite big absences

Credit to he Thunder. They lost Hales, Ross and Tanver Sangha, all extremely important members of the team to positive Covid results, but went out and got on with it.

Leading the way was Jason Sangha with a superb 91 off 55. He's really impressed, the youngster. After sitting out a few games at the start he's scored 39, 47, 56 and 91 since coming into the side, those last two being not outs. Had he played all the games so far and he would have been right up there with the top runscorers of the tournament.

For good measure, he came on for a bowl and took his first-ever Big Bash wicket.

Those absences meant young Oliver Davies got a game at last, scoring 26 off 12. The man they call 'Rambo' is a real prospect and may have a big part to play for them for the remainder of the tournament.

That trio will miss out again here so they're likely to field the same team.

Thunder Likely XI: Gilkes, Cutting, Sangha, Billings, Davies, Sams, Nair, McAndrew, Green, Mahmood, Sangha

Venue and conditions

The SCG is traditionally a decent wicket but things have been a bit tougher for batsmen over the last couple of matches there.

The Sixers made hard work of a chase of 148 against the Strikers (but won in the end) just before Christmas and then in a somewhat bizarre game, the Heat posted just 105 against the Sixers.

Nothing too surprising about a Heat collapse but that the Sixers crawled to that total off the last ball of the match with just two wickets to spare tells its own story.

And for much of that innings they looked like they'd never get anywhere near that paltry total.

So, it may be a slightly low-scoring game here once again.

Thunder not a bad price at all

The odds are exactly the same as they were ahead of this fixture the other day with the Thunder 1.758/11. Why are they the same despite a comprehensive win last time out?

Because of those three key absences for Chris Green's side.

But they coped pretty well without them on Friday and it says a lot about the gulf in quality between the two sides that the Strikers came here with a full strength team (bar those on Ashes duty, of course) and were still outplayed.

Siddle.jpg

With that in mind the 1.758/11 on the Thunder is a very decent price but we'll try and find a couple of even better bets.

Thunder to out-muscle Strikers

Remember what I said about the Strikers lacking power with the bat?

The stats back that up. They've hit just 25 sixes in seven games, Matt Short accounting for 11 of them.

That's in stark contrast to the big-hitting Thunder. They've hit 48 with Sam Billings smashing 12 of them and Jason Sangha eight. That is almost double the number of 'maximums'.

Of course you could look in great depth at what grounds they played at and so on but those are pretty damning numbers.

And whereas it's true that Alex Hales is normally good for a few sixes and that Ross has hit six of them (both will be absent), it's also true that 'Rambo' likes to clear the boundary and that Ben Cutting, who opened in place of Hales, is one of the biggest hitters in the game.

A quote of 1.738/11 on the Thunder will do us just fine.

English duo to contend for MOM

My man Daniel Sams (tipped for MOM at 10/1 last time out) took 4-33 and on just about any other day would have walked away with the match gong. Not this time though because Sangha's 91 was (probably rightly) deemed a better effort. Fair enough.

Sydney Thunder bowler Daniel Sams.jpg

He's 9/1 this time but at almost twice the price (17/1) you can go with Saqib Mahmood, who has already won one MOM award this season. He's taken nine wickets in just four games and has the best strike rate of anyone in the side by a country mile.

And I also think Sam Billings is worth a punt at 8/1. He missed out last time but has been in good touch all season and assuming Sangha doesn't play another gem yet again, could be their main man with the bat.

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JAMIE'S 2021-22 BIG BASH P/L

JAMIE'S 2021-22 BIG BASH P/L
Points wagered: 13pts
Points returned: 15.0
P/L: +2.0

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