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The playoff phase of the Big Bash League gets underway with Sydney Thunder going head to head with Brisbane Heat. The winner will go on to play Melbourne Renegades in Sunday’s Knockout fixture and it is Sydney Thunder who are favourites to win this match with odds of 4/5 (1.80).
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
- Eliminator, BBL 2022-23
- Friday January 27th, from 08:15 AM GMT
- Sydney Showground Stadium
Pitch Report and Weather Conditions
This is the fifth game of the season at this venue and we are yet to see a first innings total of over 139. That said, teams batting in the second innings have won after 12.5, 16.2 and 11.4 overs, so there certainly are runs on offer! Quick bowlers have tended to outperform the spinners on this track.
There seems to be plenty of thunderstorms around these Big Bash League fixtures at the moment and this one could also be interrupted. It will be very humid throughout the match but we may just escape with the rain showers currently forecast for before and after the scheduled times.
Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat – Match Predictions
Sydney Thunder looked to be down and out of the tournament when they were thrashed by their city rivals, Sydney Sixers, by 125 runs last Friday. However, if there is one thing that Thunder have, it is an ability to bounce-back from horrific lows. In this one-off knockout game, we expect Sydney Thunder to do enough to get the win.
Thunder To Hit Most Sixes
Neser To Take Most Wickets
Sams to be Man of the Match
In their last games, the top order of both teams delivered very few runs at all, let alone any sixes! But Sydney Thunder’s middle order showed that there are some big hitters waiting in the wings. Thunder scored three sixes in their win over Melbourne Stars with Brisbane Heat clearing the ropes only once, via James Bazley at number eight, in their loss to Hobart Hurricanes. Josh Brown is the only real pinch hitter in the top order and his form has tailed off after a bright start.
Our prediction: Sydney Thunder to Hit Most Sixes 8/13 (1.62)
With 22 wickets at a striker rate of 12.2, it has been a very successful individual season for Brisbane Heat’s Michael Neser. The pace bowler comes into this match after registering his third 4-wicket haul of the tournament in the defeat to Hobart Hurricanes. Irrespective of the venue, the pitch, the opposition and even the result, Neser rarely fails to deliver!
Our prediction: Michael Neser to Be the Highest Wicket Taker for Brisbane Heat 5/2 (3.50)
Man of the Match
In a team like Sydney Thunder, who have given their fans quite the rollercoaster ride this season, having a player who can contribute with bat and ball is crucial. Daniel Sams has been their man for this and top scored in their narrow win over Melbourne Stars on Wednesday. When you add in that he took four wickets across both group stage games against Brisbane Heat, and hit 36 not out in the second, you can see that he can be the key man in this match.
Our prediction: Daniel Sams to Be the Man of the Match 10/1 (11.00)
Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat Preview
Neither team has any players unavailable or reported new injuries after their final group stage matches. Sydney Thunder are targeting their fifth successive victory over Brisbane Heat.
David Warner will be available for this game and the next playoff stage match if Sydney Thunder progress. His form has been very poor since coming off the South Africa Test series but his team could do with one big innings to see them through this clash.
Playing XI: Matthew Gilkes (wk), David Warner, Jason Sangha, Oliver Davies, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting, Chris Green (c), Nathan McAndrew, Gurinder Sandhu, Usman Qadir
With Australia’s Test squad preparing for their tour of India, Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Swepson will not be available if Heat reach the BBL final.
So, we expect the team management to make the most of their availability and to select all four ahead of this game.
Playing XI: Usman Khawaja (c), Josh Brown, Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw, Sam Hain, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Michael Neser, James Bazley, Matthew Kuhnemann, Spencer Johnson, Mitchell Swepson
How to Watch Big Bash in the UK: Live Streaming & Channel List
As with the group stage, all of the playoff fixtures of BBL12 will be available on the Sky Sports Cricket Channel. You will not want to miss a ball of this game, irrespective of where you are, and the Sky Go App will cover the entire match.
- Sky Sports Cricket (TV)
- SkyGo app (Streaming)