Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers Big Bash Tips: A tale of two Sanghas

Tanveer Sangha
Tanveer Sangha was the fifth-highest wicket-taker last season in the BBL.

There's a big toss bias here so the best bets are Jason and Tanveer Sangha to star for the Thunder with bat and ball respectively, says Jamie Pacheco.

"Jason Sangha looks a good price at 4/1 to top score for the Thunder. He’s only played two matches this season but has scored 39 and 37, top-scoring in the second and only being beaten by Sam Billings’ 64 in the first."

Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers
Tuesday, 8:15, Live on Sky Sports

Thunder need to get going

The Thunder were second best against the Sixers on Boxing Day in a rain-affected match.

They did most of the hard work in getting the two dangerous openers out for not that many before the two Dans, Hughes and Christian, got going.

Chasing 169 off 16 overs they were never really in the game. There were quickfire knocks from Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams but there wasn't much support from the rest and they ended up being bowled out. No disgrace in losing to that lot but as I've said before, they're going to need more from Alex Hales going forward.

Sydney Thunder batsman Alex Hales.jpg

They're a decent looking team and an even better now with Saqib Mahmood but obvious as it sounds, they need to start winning some games.

Thunder Likely XI:

Hales, Khawaja, J Sangha, Billings, Ross, Sams, Cutting, Green, T Sangha, McAndrew, Mahmood.

Can the Scorchers do the seemingly impossible?

Another game, another comprehensive win fort the Scorchers, albeit against the hapless Renegades.

Chasing just 152, they got there with overt three overs to spare.

All of Ashton Agar, Tymal Mills and Jason Behrendoff took two wickets. The first two were admittedly pretty expensive, the latter wasn't, going for just 18 off his four overs to go with his two scalps.

There was an excellent knock from Colin Munro at number four (58 off 32) but the star of the show (once again) was Mitch Marsh, scoring 42 off 33 to go with a good performance with the ball.

He's now picked up the man of the match award in three of his four matches played so far, which is pretty obscene for any cricketer at any level.

And let's not forget he was MOM in the World Cup final the match before that.

Likely XI: Inglis, Bancroft, Marsh, Munro, Evans, Turner, Agar, Tye, Behrendoff, Hatzoglou, Mills

Venue and conditions

There's only been one match at Canberra this season, the Heat posting just 141 against the Thunder, with the latter chasing that with ease.

As for last year, first innings scores here were pretty varied.

A poor Heat side posted just 125 against the Stars, while the Thunder twice got past the 200 mark, against the two Melbournes, Renegades and Stars.

Not only that but they had a strong record there in terms of wins in the Group Stages. It was however, also the venue for their loss to the Heat in the Playoffs.

It's a wicket where first innings scores are hard to predict. But it's also one where the last six games in the BBL were all won by the chaser, so that won't be lost on the skipper winning the toss.

Toss bias crucial in Canberra

The Scorchers are 1.824/5 to win this one. Looks a bit big. This is the team who threatens to do what no side in the Big Bash has ever, unsurprisingly, done. Win every single one of their Group Games.

They've won their first six and whereas it's virtually impossible to win the lot, they could well secure a record number of wins in the Group stage. The Thunder are just two from five.


So why aren't they any shorter? Well, the head-to-head is closer than one might think with the Scorchers just 7-6 up over the years.
But the bigger reason is certainly that toss bias.

A pre-toss punt at 1.824/5 may not seem quite as clever if the Scorchers have to bat first on a wicket where, as explained already, the chaser has won the last six.

Big-priced Jason Sangha in good nick

Jason Sangha looks a good price at 4/1 to top score for the Thunder.

He's only played two matches this season but has scored 49 and 37, top-scoring in the second and only being beaten by Sam Billings' 64 in the first.

Batting at three against an excellent bowing attack, he should get plenty of deliveries to get to a decent score and a strike rate of 149 (albeit from a small sample) for the season suggests he'll get his runs quickly.

Hales is badly out of form. And while I respect Billings a lot, a player I've said is extremely unlucky to not get a game for England more often, the Kent man is a point shorter and bats a place lower than Sangha.

I'm sure Daniel Sams (12/1) will win one of these heats one of these days at a big price.

Sydney Thunder bowler Daniel Sams.jpg

But this time round it's Sangha for me, at a good-looking price for an in-form man batting at a nice position.

The 'other' Sangha

There will be another Sangha on show at Canberra, no relation.

Tanveer Sangha may just be the successor to the great Brad Hogg as Australia's next great left-arm leg-break bowler.

In five games this season he's taken eight wickets with a brilliant strike rate of 12.3.

Last time out was the first match he went wicktless after claiming one, two, two and three wickets respectively in the four games before that.

And this is no flash in the pan. Last season he claimed 21 wickets in 15 games to be the fifth highest wicket-taker in the competition.

Remarkably, he's not the bowler in the side with the best strike rate.

That honour falls to Saqib Mahmood (same price at 11/4) but Mahmood claimed 4/22 in his first ever BBL match (his second best figures ever in T20 matches) so that skews the figures somewhat.

Go with the spinner to come good again.


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