After hitting huge totals last time, Thunder and Strikers meet twice in 48 hours. Paul Krishnamurty predicts another run-fest...
"Both of these sides stepped up to the challenge with thumping victories last time."
Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers
Sunday, 05:05 GMT
Live on BT Sport
We're into the penultimate round of group matches and seven of the eight teams are still in contention. Thunder are third and looking good for the play-offs but Strikers are out of the qualification zone in sixth.
Both come in off big wins
A great time to find form, then, and both of these sides stepped up to the challenge with thumping victories last time. Thunder by 46 runs over Sixers. Strikers by 82 runs over Heat. Both came at today's ground.
They now meet twice in 48 hours at the Adelaide Oval. Strikers therefore have a home advantage, where they've won four from six this season. Thunder, however, beat them in last year's Knockout here.
Hales is on fire
Thunder had previously lost three on the spin but couldn't have bounced back in more emphatic style. Put in to bat by the defending champions and table-toppers, they hit the highest ever Big Bash total.
232 was only the fourth score over 200 this season, of which Thunder hit the highest three. A superb 110 propelled Alex Hales to the top of the runscoring charts. His tally of 26 sixes is also five higher than the next best.
If that performance restored faith in Thunder's title credentials, Strikers' return to form was essential to stay in touch and to prove their star hasn't waned with Rashid Khan's exit to international duty.
Carey also a ton-maker last time
Alex Carey hit a ton and now averages 38.1 from his ten matches, only 0.4 behind Hales. Whereas their bowling is weaker without Rashid, Travis Head's return from international duty beefs up the batting.
We saw some huge scores late last season here. Three of the last nine first innings totals were over 190. Taking a bigger sample, 15 of the last 28 first innings bettered 170. 11 of those 15 proved to be winning totals.
Batting first is usually an advantage
That has long been the formula at the Adelaide Oval. Bat first, score 170 plus, defend it. The team batting first won 17 of those 28 matches. That represents a meaningful toss bias but, as always, check the overhead conditions before making that call.
With that in mind, 1.824/5 about Thunder makes no pre-match appeal. Even without the toss, I'd make this closer to an even match-up. Thunder have more batting depth and the best spinner in Tanveer Sangha. Strikers have better seamers and are at home.
Back a big first innings score
Rather than picking between them, runs may be the answer. Try 175 or more 1st Innings Runs at 2.47/5.
Following their tons, the two Alex's are understandably short for top bat honours. Hales is enhanced to 12/5 for Thunder. Carey to 13/5 for Strikers. Sangha and Wes Agar are boosted to 3/1 to be Top Clear Wicket Taker for their respective sides.
A cheap alternative to backing those two bowlers is Man of the Match at 14/1 and 17/1 respectively. Obviously there's a good chance that a batsman wins with a big total but these are big odds about the second and third highest wicket-takers in the tournament.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty
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