Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers Big Bash Tips: Can someone get to 100 again?

Alex Hales
Alex Hales has struggled so far but could come good here.

There's an in-form Thunder batsman at a big price to top score and decent odds on another BBL century being scored here, says Jamie Pacheco.

"At a very high-scoring ground, which both Hobart and the SCG both are, a century is always on. And even more so when you have four prolific openers with high strike rates in the game."

Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers
Sunday, 7:05, Live on Sky Sports

Thunder going well

The Thunder are two from four on nine points, having picked up just the one bonus point so far.

Sam Billings and Alex Ross have been good with the bat, Billings perhaps reminding us all how unlucky he's been that he hasn't featured for England over the years.

Alex Hales on the other hand has been pretty disappointing for a player who was the BBL's top scorer last season.

With the ball, Tanveer Sangha has taken eight wickets in four games and is going at less than 7 an over. It won't be long till he breaks into the Australian white-ball sides.

And they now have Saqib Mahmood to call upon. He took 4-22 in his first game to walk away with the man-of-the-match award on BBL debut and will be a big asset to the side with his extra pace.

If they can get the two all-rounders Ben Cutting and Daniel Sams going, they might be very dangerous.

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Usman Khawaja has been listed in the top batsman market which suggests he's been released by Australia to play here. But news is thin on the ground regarding whether he's due to play, or not.

Thunder Likely XI:

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

No Plan B for Strikers

Another game, another win. Last time out they chased the Strikers' sub-par score pretty comfortably with Jordan Silk top-scoring with 36.

There were also decent contributions from Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques and James Vince at the top of the order, while Sean Abbott hit 19 to go with his three earlier wickets.

It tells you all you need to know about their strength in depth that they were without three bowers last time out. Ben Manenti and Tom Curran are out for the whole thing but Steven O'Keefe may return for this one.

It would be no surprise if they went all the away again this year.

>Likely XI: Philippe, Vince, Henriques, Hughes, Silk, Christian, Abbott, Jordan, Dwarshius, Kerr, O'Keefe.

Venue and conditions

The last two games at the SCG saw the teams batting first post around the 150 mark.

But those sides were the struggling Strikers and the Thunder, who just had a bad day with the bat on that occasion. On both occasions those scores were pretty easily chased.

A better indication of how good a wicket this is would be the 195 the Scorchers got against the Strikers and the 212 the Hurricanes scored against the Sixers.

So, 180 would probably be viewed as a minimum first up but even then, it might not be enough.

'The price is right' on the match winner market

19 games between the two have seen the Sixers win 12 of them. No surprises, they're the joint most-successful side in the competition so have a strong record against just about everyone.

As has mostly been the case this BBL, the prices look right. It's 1.824/5 on the Sixers which may look a decent price but they weren't at their best against the Strikers last time out and may take a couple of games to find their best team after those injuries.

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There's no real toss bias here so if you could put your pre-match money on the Sixers who are the better side and are a fair price at those odds. Or go for a back-to-lay of the Thunder, leaving most of your profit on the Sixers if Chris Green's side trade at around 1.75/7.

But there are better bets away from the match market anyway.

In-form Ross looks a big price

Billings (10/3) with 160 runs is the top scorer for the Thunder this season. But at almost exactly twice the price, you can back the man who is just one run behind him.

Alex Ross (7/1) has plenty of Big Bash innings under his belt over the years but is certainly not what you'd consider a 'star'. Known mostly for being a compulsive sweeper against all spin bowling and a handy accumulator against the pacemen, he's a 'steady eddie' rather than a basher, or touch player.

But he's got two fifties in two matches and is clearly in fine form.

If he does play, Khawaja (12/5) looks a bit short for a man playing his first BBL game of the season after being on Test duty while Hales just hasn't looked his usual self this year.

Maybe his 'involvement' in the mess at Yorkshire Cricket Clubb is affecting him more than some would have thought.

Ross should probably come in at 4 or 5 so you always run the risk he may not get enough of a bat.

But all things considered, he's got a good chance here at a big price.

We might get another century

My biggest biggest winner was a bet at 9.517/2 that a century would be scored between the Hurricanes and the Scorchers at Hobart.

We had the brilliant Mitch Marsh to thank for getting to 100 off the penultimate ball of the first innings.

The rationale was pretty simple.

At a very high-scoring ground, which both Hobart and the SCG both are, a century is always on. And even more so when you have four prolific openers with high strike rates in the game.

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There are four of those in Khawaja (if he plays), Alex Hales (he's out of form, but very capable and has six T20 tonnes to his name), James Vince and Josh Philippe.

As it happens, Marsh actually got his century from number three after opener Colin Munro got out for a two-ball duck so you've got a very outside chance of a non-opener getting to 100 as well.

Either way, it might be worth going to the well one more time at the same price of 9.517/2.

JAMIE'S 2021-22 BIG BASH P/L

Points wagered: 7pts
Points returned: 9.5
P/L: +2.5

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