BBL 10 | Match Preview: Heat look to bounce back against Thunder

Two teams with slightly similar losses in their first game at the hands of the same opponent would look to bounce back from that in the second match where they are up against each other. While Brisbane Heat lost its plot in the middle of the first innings and couldn’t really get going, Thunder lost too many wickets early on in their chase and couldn’t catch up with the asking rate later on. 

Heat searching for stability in the middle

Brisbane were not at all stable in their innings against the Stars with wickets falling at regular intervals and not even a single batsman going on to finish the innings. The likes of skipper Chris Lynn, foreign import Dan Lawrence and senior pros Tom Cooper and Jimmy Pierson need to take responsibility and provide stability to the batting lineup in the middle. 

The Heat bowlers more or less tried their best and accurate to an extent. Thus it is the batting that has to stand up and punch at least to its weight if not above it, making sure that the bowlers are well backed up. 

Thunder lower order must fire

In their previous encounter against the stars, the Sydney team had done well to restrict a fiery brigade like the one led by Glenn Maxwell to under 170. Their top-order also rose to the occasion and even after Usman Khawaja failing as an opener, the foreign recruit Alex Hales and skipper Callum Ferguson were able to resurrect the innings and were knocking on the doors of victory at one point in time with 56 runs required from 32 balls and eight wickets in hands. 

However, just as both Ferguson and Hales were removed, the lower middle order couldn’t just rally behind to close in on the win, losing the plot from there on and eventually falling behind by 22 runs. 

It is here that the likes of Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, and Daniel Sams have to pull-up their socks and put in the efforts required from their side and take the team to victory. 

Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat: Match Details

Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra

Date and Time: December 14, 1:45 PM IST, 7:15 PM Local,  8:15 AM IST

Broadcaster: Sony Sports Network, Sony LIV

Pitch Report

These two teams would have the best knowledge of the pitch in the capital as they have both been part of the two matches that have taken place there so far. The pitch has looked like a wicket with something for everyone if the people applied their skills well. It is not a flat deck as has been the case in T20s, but it’s not even a burial ground for batters. This is actually the kind of wicket that teams look forward to. 

Weather and Toss

Throughout the summer, Canberra has really been an ideal place for cricket and it would be similar tomorrow as well. The cloud cover in the evening is supposed to be around 60% helping the faster bowlers with the swing early on. There are no chances of rain, however, it would be chilly in the evening as the forecasted temperature is to be around 13 degrees celsius. 

The toss, therefore, becomes as the team winning the toss would look to bowl first and chase the target. 

Team News

Brisbane Heat

The Heat for sure are missing their foreign recruits in the form of Tom Banton and Mujeeb-Ur- Rahman along with the locals in Mitchell Swepson and Marnus Labuschagne. But it’s not them alone, therefore they would have to make do with the resources that they have. In such a scenario, it is likely that they would go in with the same xi as the last time. 

Predicted XI

Chris Lynn (c), Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Daniel Lawrence, Tom Cooper, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Simon Milenko, Jack Wood, Xavier Bartlett, Ben Laughlin, Matthew Kuhnemann

Sydney Thunder

Thunder looked good with both the bat and the ball and hence changing the tried and tested XI would have no logical explanation, in that case, until all the players are available, we can see them going in with the same XI as in the last game.  

Predicted XI

Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Baxter Holt (wk), Alex Ross, Ben Cutting, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Jonathan Cook, Tanveer Sangha

SYT vs BRH: Dream11 Predictions

Alex Hales (c), Chris Lynn (vc),  Callum Ferguson, Daniel Lawrence, Jimmy Peirson, Daniel Sams, Simon Milenko, Chris Green, Jack Wood, Tanveer Sangha, Ben Laughlin

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BCCI ethics officer serves conflict of interest notice to N Srinivasan's daughter Rupa Gurunath

An ethics officer of the Board for Cricket Control in India, Justice DK Jain has issued a conflict of interest notice to the President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), Rupa Gurunath for violating the norms set by the BCCI’s constitution. The notice was issued on December 08 and Justice Jain had said in that notice that he was responding to the complaints filed against Ms Gurunath. "Since a prima facie case is made out in the complaint, Gurunath should file her response by December 24. On your failure to respond to the present notice, the Ethics Officer shall be constrained to proceed in your absence, without giving any further opportunity of filing a response to the Complaint, to you," Justice Jain said in the notice. The notice was issued to Ms Gurunath, who is a daughter of former BCCI president N Srinivasan, after a complaint filed by a former life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, Sanjeev Gupta, who alleged that she is overseeing two roles simultaneously--one as the president of TNCA while the other being the whole-time director of the India Cements Ltd., the parent company that owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the Indian Premier League(IPL). Additionally, Gupta claims that all directors of the CSK franchise are invariably directors of the subsidiaries of India Cements Ltd. and give rise to an inevitable conflict of interest. The ethics officer Jain has asked Ms Gurunath to submit her response to these claims made by the complainant by December 24, 2020. Notably, the top brass of the board is set to meet for the Annual General Meeting where some of the key discussions on issues such as the addition of two more franchises in the IPL have to take place.


BBL: Hurricanes clinch tight win despite Strikers' record 10th wicket partnership

Hobart Hurricanes continued their winning momentum completing a yet another professional defence against the Adelaide Strikers by 11 runs on Sunday, 13 December. While the last game saw them pick up wickets throughout the middle overs to choke the defending champions of momentum, Hobart picked early wickets today to kill the chase before it began. Defending 175, that look below par in an amazing batting track at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart bowled as a unit to remove the entire batting strength of Adelaide Strikers, picking up 6 wickets within 9 overs. James Faulkner was the pick among the bowlers notching up 3 wickets for just 21 runs in his four overs. Faulkner with his slightly adjusted seam position moved the ball early in the innings to dismiss Phil Salt through the gates and later returned to remove Matt Renshaw and Peter Siddle in the 12th and 14th over respectively. Back to usual for D’Arcy Short When the moment arrives, D’Arcy Short will retire as a bonafide legend of the Big Bash League. The fifth highest run-getter in tournament history returned to his usual after scoring a golden duck in the first game. Starting cautiously against Strikers, Short along with Will Jacks (34 off 25) compiled 63 runs in the first 9 overs. Once the aggressor departed, Short effortlessly switched roles to pile on the misery on the bowling team who had just managed to break a big partnership. Scoring his first 50 runs in 42 balls, Short unleashed his arsenal in the 14th over and destroyed Rashid Khan’s hard-earned reputation by scoring 25 runs off the Afghan’s over, the highest he has conceded so far in BBL. Short was dismissed by Wes Agar trying to cut a slower bouncer in the 15th over (final Power Surge over), but he was done with the Strikers by then, scoring 72 off 58 balls. Hobart strike back after losing momentum When Short was dismissed in the 15th, Hurricanes looked well on their way to pile on close to 200 runs in the first innings. Some good work at the end by Peter Siddle and Wes Agar halted hurricanes momentum and kept them at 174 runs for 5 wickets, similar to what they had defended last time against Sydney Sixers. Coming into defend, Hurricanes struck early and removed the first six of the seven batters for single digits. Barring Matt Renshaw’s 33 off 27 balls, none of the other batters survived more than eight balls. Riley Meredith proved his credentials two games in a row making it uncomfortable for the batsmen with fierce pace and accuracy. Apart from picking up two wickets, he demonstrated fantastic footwork to run Ryan Gibson out of his own bowling. Cricket’s romance with comeback continues…well, almost Down and out at 109-9 in the 15th over, number 8 Daniel Worrall and number 11 Danny Briggs scripted one of BBL’s best fightbacks. Requiring 69 off 30 balls with one wicket in hand, Worrall and Briggs went berserk. Not one of them were proper cricketing shots, but were they? Considering T20 cricket. Switch-hit hating Ian Chappel might have cringed on most balls in the last five overs with Briggs forcing out boundaries at will facilitated by his reverse and slog sweeps. The shots were effective and Strikers managed to creep into the game till the point where 26 remained from the last two overs. Both batsmen did exceedingly well to narrow down the margin and deliver a note of caution that nobody should relax even if they are just a wicket away from clinching the game. Strikers fell short by 11 runs at the end but Worrall’s 62 off 39 and Briggs 35 off 18 will have provided them with immense confidence in a losing encounter. The unbroken 61-run stand for the tenth wicket was highest in BBL's history and the second-highest in the history of the T20 format. Barring the death bowling, Hobart will be happy with what they did on the pitch and find themselves sitting on the second spot in the league table.


NZ vs WI | 2nd Test, Day 3: Defiant Jason Holder, John Campbell halt Kiwis' surge

Defiant half-centuries from the captain Jason Holder and John Campbell saved the West Indies from an embarrassing defeat on the day of the second and final Test of the series in Wellington. Jason Holder was not out on 60 at the end of the day’s play and with the wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva stitched an unbeaten partnership of 74 runs to halt Blackcaps’ rally against the men in maroon. The tourists resumed their first innings at 124/8 at the start of Day 3 and Tim Southee was quick to mop up the last two wickets in only the third over of the day when Da Silva feathered one through to BJ Watling while trying to leave Southee's away going delivery. Next man in, Shannon Southee took his 10th fifer in Tests when he bowled Shannon Gabriel to finish off the West Indies’ first innings at 131. Blackcaps’ stand-in skipper Tom Latham enforced follow-on as the bowlers were fairly fresh after bowling out tourists comprehensively inside 60 overs. His decision was vindicated by the bowlers yet against as Trent Boult, who, in one of the most surprising events of the series so far, went wicketless in the first innings started taking stern examination of Windies’s openers John Campbell and Kraigg Braithwaite. Boult troubled Campbell big time and he survived numerous close calls of LBW and misses outside the off stump but the first to fall was Brathwaite who was snaffled brilliantly by Will Young at the leg gully position when the right-hander tried to glance Boult towards fine leg. Darren Bravo has had a nightmare on this tour and the last innings was not different as a searing bouncer from Boult caught him napping. He looked short of confidence for his brief stay at the crease and the Kiwi bowlers have left him with a lot to ponder about his batting in Tests. Shamarh Brooks was the next man in who is yet another member of a 'highly-promising but failing to deliver' bunch of West Indies batsmen and he started to show his quality with classical shots with supreme flair. A six over square leg with a mere flick of the wrist when Southee erred in his line and bowled a leg-stump half volley was one of the signs of his calibre as a batsman. He was equally efficient on the off side and used the full deliveries Kiwis bowled in pursuit of outside edge to his advantage as he and Campbell stitched an enterprising 89 runs stands for the third wicket. On the other hand, Campbell was doing justice to the number of chances he has been provided with by the team management and was batting supreme confidence and freedom. He was severe on anything short against him and took on the short-pitched bowling to keep the boundaries flowing for him. Neil Wagner, who jumped to the number two position on the ICC Rankings for Bowlers in Tests, was working through a decent spell but was bowling too full for both Brooks and Campbell in search of their outside or inside edges as the duo kept on driving him between point to cover region. Wagner showed maturity and pulled his length back and the move paid dividend immediately as Brooks was lured into poking a ball he should have left on the angle and the length, but his impressive innings was cut short yet again without a significant contribution. Kyle Jamieson who bowled superbly in the first innings to claim a five-wicket haul, almost got the better of Campbell in the very next over with a delivery that bounced more than the left-hander had expected but the ball landed in a no man’s zone. Jamieson was not to miss out for long though as he took two wickets in his next two overs. First, the vice-captain Roston Chase found himself against a delivery he could not afford to leave while a slight movement accompanied with bounce took the outside edge of the bat to really hurt the West Indies after a solid partnership between Campbell and Brooks. Jamieson bettered his last over by dismissing Campbell in his very next over as West Indies looked to start another defeat inside three days in a Test match. Next man in, Jermaine Blackwood batted in his usual ‘go down slogging’ style of batting and earned boundaries albeit with the help of outside edges that flew over the slip cordon. Ultimately, Trent Boult was too accurate for his batting and his ‘dirty slog’ as Cregg McMillan said at that time while commentating cost him his wicket. Captain Jason Holder survived a few close calls off Jamieson who was working great rhythm but was particularly severe against short balls bowled by Kiwis bowlers. In the end part of the day’s play, New Zealand bowlers decided to dig the ball short in order to test the backfoot game of both Holder and Joshua Da Silva and the duo showed good technique and they pulled and hooked their ways out of trouble and carried their team to the fourth day of the game. Still, West Indies are trailing by 85 runs from a mountainous score of 460 scored by the hosts and would need both Holder and Da Silva to go on and score big runs if they have to avert a big defeat, leave alone salvaging some pride on the tour.


NZ vs PAK: Babar Azam ruled out of T20 series; Shadab Khan doubtful for 1st T20

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been ruled out of the T20 series against New Zealand starting December 18 in a fresh setback to the already batting squad on the tour of New Zealand. Azam was struck on his right hand during a practice session on Sunday, December 13 and the subsequent X-Ray showed a fracture in his right thumb, ruling him out from the T20 series, the Pakistan Cricket Board said in its release. As a result of the fracture, Azam will be away from notes for a period of 12 days and the doctors will be monitoring his recovery before taking a decision on his participation in the Test series that will start on December 26 following the T20 series, PCB added. Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said that Babar Azam’s qualities as a batsman will be missed in the T20 series but at the same time it opens windows of opportunity for other promising youngsters in the touring group to make names for themselves. “Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport and while it is hugely disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s calibre for the T20Is, this opens up opportunities for the other highly talented and exciting players to step-up, understand their responsibilities and try to prove that the Pakistan side is a complete package. I have spoken with Babar and he is sad to miss the T20I series as he was fully focused and keenly looking forward to the T20Is. We have a long season of cricket ahead and we now hope that he regains complete fitness as early as possible so that he can return to competitive cricket,” Misbah said in the PCB release. Babar Azam is not the only injury concerns for the tourist in New Zealand as the opener Imam-ul-Haq too has injured his left hand in a throwdown session and will be out of action for 12 days and like in the case of Babar Azam, doctors will monitor his progress before taking a decision on his availability for the Test series. Along with these two batsmen, Vice-captain of the Pakistan T20 team, Shadab Khan, has faced niggles in his groin and may miss out of the first T20 match. However, a decision will be taken on him just in the event of the match. “The medical team is monitoring Shadab Khan’s groin niggle and we remain optimistic that he will be available for the T20Is, but we will neither risk him nor the team’s chances if we think he needs a few more days to be back to his complete fitness,” Misbah said on Shadab Khan’s injury. New Zealand have selected a very formidable squad to take on the touring Pakistan side and the absence of Babar Azam will hurt the tourists' chances going into the three-match series.