The second part of the double header of action on New Year’s Day comes from The Gabba as the league leading Brisbane Heat take on a Sydney Sixers who always seem to come good in the latter part of a campaign.
Along with the Perth Scorchers, these two do look the standout sides in the competition and they have a chance to lay a bit of a marker down for what might be to come over the remainder of the season into the playoffs.
It has to be said that before a ball was bowled in this competition the Brisbane Heat looked very strong when you looked down their squad on paper and they have taken that daunting look out onto the grass with them. The Heat have played five matches, had to sit and watch the rain fall in Adelaide but they have won their other four outings and are one of two teams who are undefeated in the competition. They also have the best net run rate in it as well which highlights how well they are going.
The Heat have five matches left in their regular campaign and four of them are against the Sixers and the Scorchers so if they are going to make the top two this season then they are going to need to play well from here on in. If there is a concern over them then it would simply be that they haven’t been tested in the competition and it will be interesting to see what they have got when they are, which with their fixtures you imagine they will be at some point.
The Sydney Sixers are notoriously one of the best teams in this competition and they sit in third spot in the table at the halfway mark. They will be looking to move up to second between now and the end of the regular stage of the competition to get two cracks at making the final should they need it. A win here would be big for their chances of that because they would move level on points with the Heat, who they then host on Wednesday.
The Sixers haven’t really fired on all cylinders yet this season but they were in a good position to pick up a fourth win of the season on Saturday in the Sydney Smash only for the rain to come an over short of a contest being declared. Their bowling is starting to look like the attack that we have become accustomed to seeing and it is only a matter of time before their batting clicks into gear such is the strength of their line up.
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Colin Munro has led the way for his team so far in this tournament and the Kiwi overseas player will be one of the men the Brisbane Heat look at to take them to a total that they feel can win them the match.
Jackson Bird is usually very tight with the new ball and if he can break up the opening partnership earlier than the Heat would like then it could well send the Sixers on their way to what would be a meaningful victory.
It remains to be seen whether we can get a game in here because there have been flood warnings in this part of the world over the weekend and some pretty heavy storms which are set to continue into Monday. Hopefully they disappear and we get a full game in but if we do it is hard to believe the batters are going to have things their own way. It is going to have been hard to prepare a wicket where flood warnings have been in place.
The batters might well have struggled in this match anyway because the bowling units on show here are full of international quality, both home players and overseas ones. The Sixers batting hasn’t really got firing this season yet either and while the Heat are going better with the bat, were a couple of players to fail then they might struggle to score. The run line for this match is up at 334.5 and that feels high given the potential conditions.
Back Under 334.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365