Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat
Friday 27 January, 08:15
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Thunder held on to beat Stars to finish fourth and nail a home tie. But it was hardly an impressive effort. They made desperately hard work of chasing 120.
David Warner failed again and his form has to be a concern with the batting shaky. Jason Sanghana and Gurinder Sandhu, both fit again, are major boosts.
Probable XI: Gilkes, Warner, Sangha, O Davies, Ross, Sams, Cutting, McAndrew, Green, Sandhu, Qadir
How on earth have Heat ended up here? They looked assured of a third-place finish and an easier route to the final when chasing just 121. They were 103 for four in the 17th.
Their challenge is to put that behind them and remember how they went on a four-game winning streak. A lack of runs from Usman Khawaja, Josh Brown and Marnus Labuschagne suddenly looks an issue.
Probable XI: Khawaja, Brown, Labuschagne, Renshaw, Hain, Peirson, Neser, Bazley, Kuhnemann, Johnson, Swepson
In four games at the Showground the highest first-innings score is 139. Thunder's batting has been dreadful in the last six games. They've not made more than 133 batting first. Their run rate over the tournament is just 6.9 and with Heat's bowling irresistible with Michael Neser in extraordinary form, going under 165 as a lay at 2.111/10 is a good option.
How to play
Thunder are 1.8810/11 with Heat 2.0811/10. The only justification for such odds - given the recent form of the two - is that market reckons that Heat are shot following their implosion against Hurricanes.
We will bet here that they are made of sterner stuff. There are plenty of flaws in the Thunder batting for Heat to exploit. Thudner won the two earlier meetings but Heat are vastly improved since.
Warner and Khawaja are due runs but whether they get them is a different matter. The temptation is to swerve both at around the 11/4 mark and look at bigger prices with neither team pulling up trees. Keep an eye on prices for Ben Cutting and Sam Hain respectibely for Thunder and Heat.