The 6 day run in to Christmas continues tonight with the Sixers (3-1) hosting the Strikers (1-2) at the SCG. The Sixers had a strong win over the Stars in their last match, while the Strikers copped a hiding at the hands of the Scorchers. That loss was 9 days ago, enough time to regroup and make sure they don’t get on the back foot this early in the season. The forecast is for perfect weather.


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The Sixers are $1.49 favourites, which is about as strong as it gets in the BBL. That is justified after two straight championships and a strong start to this season. While there is a bit of Dad’s Army about their side, it is so well balanced with canny operators and a few key guns in their prime. Phillipe is obviously the burgeoning star at the top of the order who has gone to a new level this season, while the bowling can lean on Abbott & Dwarshuis as players at the peak of their powers. All of Jordan, Christian, Henriques & Silk have the experience to chip in no matter the situation, but also win games if they have a day out. If I had to point out one weakness, I think Dan Hughes has played about 3 meaningful innings in the last 3 seasons. O’Keefe is out with an injury, Tom Curran will miss the rest of the season, and I expect Abbott to come back in along with Kerr.


The Strikers have a few more holes in their lineup, particularly their batting. Jake Weatherald offers plenty at the top, and Matt Short has been at his best so far this season. After that, things look pretty ordinary, with no one that is likely to provide consistently big innings. One boost is the likely return of Matt Renshaw who was on Australia A duty to start the season. The bowling is much stronger, led by Rashid Khan and ably backed up by the likes of Siddle, Agar, Worrall & now Garton. They’ll need to take care of Phillipe & co quickly at the top of the order if they want to have a chance in this one.


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Love It - Chris Jordan $13,600


With Curran & O’Keefe out, Abbott and Dwarshuis will lead the attack. There is still plenty of room for Jordan to step into a slightly bigger role with his death bowling. It’s been a steady start to the season for the English veteran, but the price is still good and I doubt he lets us down too badly in a game his team is heavily favoured to win.


Love It - Dan Christian $14,700


An even older player that could benefit from some extra bowling responsibility and even more chance to bat with the team changes. Christian was enormous last season but is yet to find any success in this edition of the BBL. The price is dipped enough to have me interested in buying low despite him being 38, and the ownership could follow suit.


Don’t Love It - Josh Philippe $20,300


If we’re looking for a brave fade that can make or break the slate, Philippe is the obvious choice with the biggest price tag and most irresistible recent form. 3/4 100+ scores this season shows what kind of touch he’s in, but the Strikers do have a strong bowling unit and I’m happy to take a chance on them eliminating the young gun early tonight.


Don’t Love It - Peter Siddle $16,700


Another ageing gun, Siddle is on the wrong team tonight for me to be looking to invest. Although he’s stayed in great shape and is bowling as well as ever in this format, I think the Sixers will be a little too much talent for him to rack up a winning score at this price. He’s still in play, I just prefer other options.


Who Knows - Matt Renshaw $13,100


Renshaw has been in good touch this season in other formats, but his scoring history in the BBL is spotty at best. Last season was his worst yet, but we have seen some big scores in the past when he gets going. The chance of a cheap over or two and a decent price means he has to be considered, my main concern is whether he’s had the chance to get himself ready for the T20 format. Very much a gut call whether we invest tonight or not.


Suggested Draftstars Lineup  

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