The Big Bash League continues on Tuesday morning as the struggling Sydney Thunder take on the Brisbane Heat at the Sydney Showground Stadium.
The Thunder opened the season with a one-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars, but since then they have suffered three defeats on the spin, two against the Adelaide Strikers and one when facing the Melbourne Renegades, to slip to the bottom of the standings.
Things have not gone much better for the Heat, who opened their campaign with back-to-back losses to the Renegades before finally getting a win on the board last time out against the Strikers.
That pre-Christmas win might just have shifted some momentum in the Heat’s favour and they could now pile further festive misery on the Thunder.
Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat Betting Tips
Afghanistan bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi has had his contract terminated by the Thunder and will therefore not feature, while Joel Davies has been added to the squad to bolster their batting options.
Pakistan spinner Usman Qadir is expected to make his debut for the Sydney outfit as an injury replacement for Tanveer Sangha, who is continuing his recovery from a stress fracture in his back.
The Heat will be without all-rounder James Bazley due to a hamstring problem, while bowler Spencer Johnson has been added to the matchday squad.
Brisbane Heat to win @ EVS
Brisbane underlined their credentials in this season’s BBL by inflicting the first defeat of the season on the table-topping Strikers, with England wicket-keeper batter Sam Billings top scoring with 79 from 48 deliveries.
In contrast, the Thunder are trending in the wrong direction, as not only have they lost three on the bounce, but the first of those defeats against the Strikers saw them bowled out for just 15 – the lowest score in men’s Twenty20 history.
It is not just with the bat that the Thunder are struggling, as they have failed to defend more impressive scores of 174 and 150 in their last two matches.
History in this fixture also goes against the team from Sydney, as the Heat have won 10 of the previous 15 meetings between the two sides, a record they look primed to extend on Tuesday.
Michael Neser to be the Heat’s leading wicket taker @ 9/4
The experienced Michael Neser has only featured in two matches for the Heat in this season’s BBL, but he has taken six wickets across those games, including figures of 4-32 against the Renegades.
Neser has been particularly effective during the powerplay, with his four wickets in that match with the Renegades coming inside the first three overs, while he also claimed the ninth hattrick in BBL history during that game.
The 32-year-old is certainly a player in form after also claiming five wickets during Australia’s recent 419-run Test victory over the West Indies and he looks more than capable to be the pick of the Heat’s bowlers once again.
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