Saturday, May 21

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades: Back Vince to make it miserable for Melbourne

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades
Saturday, January 1st 08:30 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Sixers dig deep

T20 cricket isn’t always about 200-plus scores and marginalising the bowlers. Sometimes, the lowest scoring matches can be the most exciting as the Sydney Sixers proved against Brisbane last time out. Just 211 runs were scored in the game while 18 wickets fell as Sixers scraped home from the very last ball.

That win came in stark contrast to the side’s previous victories but it underlines the depth in the squad. With four wickets and an undefeated 37 at the death, Sean Abbott was an easy selection for Player of the Match but he was aided by an unlikely 23 from number ten Ben Dwarshius.

The top order experienced rare failures but Josh Philippe, James Vince, Daniel Hughes and the skipper Moises Henriques have a perfect opportunity to rediscover their form against the bottom side.

Renegades routed

I’d tipped Melbourne Renegades to lose against Hobart on Wednesday and I rarely felt the prediction was in doubt. Even the current England coach would have struggled to find positives in the 85-run defeat although Reece Topley’s opening burst reduced the Hurricanes to 17/2 and helped Melbourne to claim their second bonus point of the tournament.

The Renegades were even up with the run rate at the end of the first six overs but, at that stage, they’d lost three wickets and the result rarely looked in doubt.

I’m making it sound like this was a prediction of some brilliance but the loss merely highlighted all the issues within this Melbourne squad. There are exceptional T20 players with bat and ball but there is no depth and the Renegades will continue to be picked off as BBL 11 progresses.

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Sydney switch to the harbour

The stunning, if unfamiliar surroundings of the Coffs Harbour International Stadium provide the location for this New Year’s Day contest. The Sixers last played here two seasons ago and were due to return at BBL 10 but were forced to reschedule.

There are few stats to consider but it will be encouraging for Sixers fans to recall that their solitary game at BBL 9 saw them successfully chase down a Strikers’ total of 176.

There could be some issues with rain, according to the forecast, so it will be a day to win the bat flip and insert. Hopefully Messrs Duckworth, Lewis and Stern will not appear as unwanted X-Factor subs.

It’s top versus bottom so the match result market doesn’t hold any surprises. Sydney Sixers are in the clear at 1.538/15 while the Melbourne Renegades are the rank outsiders at 2.89/5. The recent games which I’ve briefly described perfectly highlight the issues within the two squads. Sixers have depth in all departments and never know when they are beaten. With the Renegades, there are star players but the game is over if the top four are dismissed cheaply.

T20 ties can still cause upsets and one big performance can turn any market. Without Ben McDermott’s second hundred in two games, Melbourne would have most likely claimed the win on Wednesday. However, that contrast in quality and depth suggests we should be putting at least two points on a Sixers victory.

Sydney’s James Vince may have been wary of earning an emergency Ashes call up but he hasn’t been as prolific for the Sixers as he was last season. Opening partner Josh Philippe has taken over to dominate the side’s top batsman returns and will start as favourite in this market at 13/5.

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Vince has drifted as a result to a generous 16/5 and, based on the theory of form being temporary and class being permanent, he’s my recommended bet. Other options in this market include Moises Henriques at 3/1. Jack Edwards at 5/1 and Dan Hughes at 11/2.

Mackenzie Harvey was my pick to top score for the Renegades on Wednesday and, while he delivered a rare failure, he’s earned a second look. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a consistent season and is worth considering at a generous 4/1 to provide Melbourne’s biggest contribution with the bat in this game.

Alternatively, the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook has an interesting price of 21/10 on Harvey and the Sixers’ Moises Henriques to hit at least one six.

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