Five takes from Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder

Eddie Otto Roar Pro

By Eddie Otto, Eddie Otto is a Roar Pro

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    The Sydney Sixers won at the seventh time of asking last night in a final-ball thriller against derby rivals Sydney Thunder at the SCG. Here are my five main takeaways.

    1. Sixers break through for first win
    The Sydney Sixers can finally celebrate after a tense final ball victory over rivals the Thunder in the Sydney Smash at the SCG last night.

    Though they were set a tricky target of 157 for victory, the Sixers looked in control for much of the run chase, losing only two wickets. However, some tight bowling in the last five overs set up a thrilling finale.

    The Sixers required nine runs from Chris Green’s final over, and it came down to the last ball, with the returning Moises Henriques scampering through for the two runs required for victory.

    Daniel Hughes carried his bat to remain unbeaten on 66, while overseas import Joe Denly impressed on debut making 43.

    Earlier in the night the Thunder relied heavily on a late cameo from Chris Green, who smashed 49 from 27 to get his team to a competitive score.

    2. Braithwaite brings energy
    Carlos Brathwaite, like Joe Denly, was really good first up for the Sixers last night. While there was nothing eye-popping about Brathwaite’s figures of 1/31 from four overs, he took the crucial wicket of Usman Khawaja to really put the clamps on the Thunder’s innings.

    Brathwaite also bowled well at the death, and his exuberant body language and celebration is exactly the injection of energy the Sixer’s side needed. At times this year the Sixers have looked like a side going through the motions and devoid of any real impetus, and Brathwaite brings enormous enthusiasm and passion for the contest.

    He might not be the most skilful bowler or batsman, but he is a competitor and he makes this Sixers side stronger. If he does well over the final couple of games, they might consider bringing him back full-time next season.

    3. Denly impresses on debut
    A penny for Jason Roy’s thoughts last night as Joe Denly, his countryman, replaced him at the top of the order and impressed at the first time of asking as an overseas import after Roy had fallen flat in six straight games for the Sixers.

    Roy managed a miserly 62 runs through six matches at an average of 10.33, while Denly scored two-thirds of that in 29 balls against the Thunder and looked right at home.

    Denly is in a good spot – he can have an almost nothing-to-lose mentality. He is a 31-year-old who wouldn’t have expected to be playing BBL cricket, and that can sometimes free up the mind, and he played accordingly.

    Roy as a fully-fledged England international came with huge expectations, and that brings enormous pressure because batting is as much mental as technical at that level.

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    4. Green promotion works
    Perhaps Michael Hussey should consider a more hands-on role with the game day tactics after his advice to promote Chris Green to number five paid off handsomely.

    The Thunder have bumbled and fumbled their way through the first seven games with a middle order with little power or threat, but Green, despite a moderate record, is a batsman capable of making things happen.

    Green can hit a long ball and, as an opposition, you would rather not deal with players who can clear the pickets. While Green rode his luck, he provided enormous momentum for his side and put pressure on the bowlers. It’s amazing that if you show that sort of intent, luck can sometimes fall your way.

    5. Thunder a struggling franchise
    The Thunder’s season all but ended last night as they dropped to 3-5 with just two games remaining. Only a miracle can sneak them into the finals now, with them having to rely on several other results going their way.

    Missing the finals would represent the sixth time in seven seasons the Thunder have missed the post-season and, despite a stunning title victory in 2015-16, they remain a franchise that has problems assembling a strong and balanced roster.

    While their spinners, Chris Green and Farad Ahmed, have been excellent once again, the Thunder really need to try and bolster their middle order batting and pace bowling stocks which have not been strong enough for several years now.

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • January 16th 2018 @ 7:53am
      BA Sports said | January 16th 2018 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Shane Watson showed himself to be a monumental dope and useless captain.
      Last ball of the match, you have a spinner bowling, the opposition needs two to win.
      You are not going to stop the non-striker running two – he is going to get a head start on the running, so you have to focus on running out (or limiting) the striker. The plan should surely be to force the batsman back (he has shown no desire to come down the pitch). Something short of a good length and into the left-handers body.
      So leave your behind the wicket fielders back and bring up your long-on/off (he isn’t going to be able to run out the non striker anyway from the fence).
      Watson does the opposite bringing up third man inside the circle and keeping a long on/off and sweepers on the fences. I can see it from the back of the O’Rielly Stand.. and surprise, surprise the ball is tossed up (with no behind the wicket protection) and played through the huge gap straight-on, rolling safely into the outfield and the batsmen cruise through for two and win.

      He has played hundreds of T20 games, I have played none, and it was obvious to me, but apparently not to him. The Thunder will go no where with this guy as captain. He has to be the most over rated player in the country still..

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