December 26: Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers in Perth
Our XI: Josh Inglis, Josh Philippe, Liam Livingstone, Daniel Hughes, James Vince, Cameron Bancroft, Mitchell Marsh, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Fawad Ahmed, Sean Abbott
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant) updates
Captain: Mitchell Marsh
The Scorchers captain scored a sluggish 33-ball 32 against Sydney Sixers in their match earlier this season. It was in difficult circumstances, but he will look to make amends, put on a show like the 22-ball 56* against the Melbourne Renegades. He can, and might earn points with the ball too.
Vice-captain: Liam Livingstone
Livingstone’s 29 against the Renegades showed streaks of brilliance, but it was his 26-ball 69 against the Adelaide Strikers that showed why he’s so valuable in a fantasy team. He hits more sixes than fours and has a strike rate of over 200 when he gets going.
Perth’s always been kinder to bowlers than the other BBL grounds, and Jordan’s variations and two overs at the death make for a potent combination. He can swing the bat too if his team collapses. He also fields in the catching hotspots of the ground.
Opens the batting for the Scorchers and enters the game having scored a 27-ball 50 against the Strikers in his last game. Inglis is also a good wicketkeeper who gives you the opportunity to earn bonus points for catches and stumpings.
Fresh off an IPL contract with Royal Challengers Bangalore, the youngster has had a couple of brisk starts in the BBL that haven’t been built on. But his 44-ball 81 against the same opponents in their earlier game cannot be ignored. We’ll back him for a repeat.
Sean Abbott: Bowls at the death, so although he can be expensive on days, he can also get you cheap wickets. With the bat, he’s more than useful and often comes in six down.
Fawad Ahmed: The 37-year-old legspinning T20 specialist can stifle the run-scoring in the middle overs. Perth’s just the surface for a wristspinner like him and his captain will likely use him as a wicket-taking option here.
Daniel Hughes: A string of three low scores doesn’t do justice to Hughes’ skills in T20 cricket. He’s been unlucky, dismissed by part-timer Matt Renshaw in one game and run-out by Qais Ahmed in another, but Hughes has the ability to anchor the Sixers line-up if Philippe, from the other end, brings out the fireworks.
Point to note
Both teams have more losses than wins so far and are in the bottom half of the table. The last time they met, Philippe’s 81-ball 44 helped the Sixers beat the Scorchers in Sydney.