The second leg of Sunday’s BBL09 double header sees the Sydney Sixers host the Brisbane Heat at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Last year the Sixers won this same matchup by a whopping 79 runs, after also defeating the Heat at Metricon earlier in the season.

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Both teams have made one change to their squad for this match. Bird is the word for the Sixers as Jackson comes in at the expense of Lloyd Pope – an interesting decision given Pope replaced the veteran Stephen O’Keefe in the XI for the game against the Hurricanes. 

Left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann replaces Cameron Gannon in the 13 for the Heat, although this is doubtful to have any effect on the final XI given Gannon hasn’t played in the opening two games. UPDATE - Tom Banton has been ruled out with illness. However, the spin-friendly pitch for the SCG does provide the option for the Heat to play three spinners if they look to shake things up after their disastrous 0-2 start.

As mentioned, the SCG is traditionally known as a paradise for spinners in comparison to the rest of the country. But it’s not just the spinners who have a good time of it here – the SCG pitch has been particularly bowler friendly in the past few seasons and Perth could only manage 131 against the Sixers here on Wednesday night. Last season we recommended playing extra bowling in your lineups where possible and am happy to continue that approach.

The Sydney Sixers have been quite impressive with the ball so far this season, restricting Perth and Hobart to an average of 130 runs per inning. Dwarshuis, Curran, Abbott and Manenti have all taken 4+ wickets across the first two games and they present a tough challenge on their home deck for an out of sorts Heat top order. The batting has been highlighted by devastating keeper-batsman Josh Philippe who has top scored in both outings, but the alarming collapse against the Hurricanes showed there are a few cracks which can be magnified by good bowling.

The Brisbane Heat were fancied to bounce back against the Melbourne Stars but lost their second straight match despite a hitting masterclass from exciting Englishman Tom Banton. While the firepower at the top of their lineup is impressive, the depth in their batting has been found wanting and the top order haven’t been able to cover this deficiency. Their bowling has been consistent without being extraordinary although the SCG should suit their general attack of spin and crafty medium pacers. The Heat will be desperate for a big knock from one of their stars or they could be 0-3 and already at risk of another fruitless season.

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Love It – Josh Philippe ($15,600 Draftstars)

Philippe scored a blistering 81* off 44 balls here in game 1 and can be forgiven for his 24 (albeit top score) last time on a tough deck in Alice Springs. The Heat don’t possess a strike bowler to strike fear into the opposition so there is no reason Philippe can’t be the top scorer in the match again. He’s going to be popular but he deserves top billing.

Don’t Love It – Chris Lynn ($18,000 Draftstars) 

Lynn has been ordinary in his first two outings and while you are usually well served by backing the class players to turn things around, I’m not sure this is the matchup for him to do so. Last year he scored just 2 runs from 7 balls here and he again showed his brittleness against spin on Friday by losing his wicket to Zampa. If he gets going he can make me look silly but I’ll back the craft of the Sixers bowlers on their home deck to keep him in check.

Who Knows – Matt Renshaw ($15,500 Draftstars)

Renshaw is hardly your prototypical T20 batsmen but he always seems to be involved in the play. His offies can be a source of cheap points, whether it is with a cheap over early in the innings or a sneaky wicket, and if they stick with Pearson in the XI over another bowler it gives Renshaw an opportunity to roll the arm over. His steady batting at 4 is also a reasonable selection should you look to fade the Heat big guns. He is usually low owned but can be a valuable piece to include if you are building around a dominant Sixers performance.



Love It – Tom Curran ($18,400 Draftstars)

I really think you can target any of the Sixers bowlers strongly here but I’m going to lean with Tom Curran. He showed a very high ceiling last season with a number of scores in excess of 100 and is in excellent form again this season with 5 wickets already. Throw in the chance he can contribute with the bat if the Sixers get into trouble and he presents as a leading choice for your bowling lineup.

Don’t Love It – Hayden Kerr ($9,500 Draftstars)

A tricky match to be strongly against any of the bowlers. As mentioned the Sixers attack has been very balanced and consistent, and the Heat have been similar albeit at a slightly lower standard. Hayden Kerr is a bit of an easy target given he is yet to do anything of note in his young career, but the reality is his opportunities are limited in the team at this stage with only 3 overs in 2 outings and batting at 6.

Who Knows? – Stephen O’Keefe ($15,300 Draftstars)

I really don’t know why Stephen O’Keefe was dropped for the match against the Hurricanes but I expect him to return to the side here. O’Keefe has been a prolific fantasy scorer in recent seasons and has a particularly good record at the SCG. He took 1/17 off his 4 overs against the Heat here last season and is always a chance to score with either wickets or his tidy economy rate. Seemingly out of favour but I fancy he will reward the selectors if they put him back in here.





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