Brad Haddin scored 59 against the Thunder. Picture: Mark Evans/perthnow.com.au
The Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers meet at the SCG on Sunday night in a replay of last season’s Big Bash final, but the fortunes of the sides since that match could hardly be more different. While the Sixers have won the Champions League Twenty20 and extended their unbeaten run to twelve matches, Perth has just one victory from its past six outings and suffered a humiliating 10 wicket defeat to the Melbourne Stars on Wednesday.
With David Warner and Mitchell Starc on Test duty in Hobart, the Sixers will be forced to make at least two changes from the side that scored a soft seven wicket win in the Sydney derby last weekend. Brad Haddin is likely to partner Nic Maddinson at the top of the order after scoring 59 against the Thunder in the opening match, with Dan Smith a chance to come into the XI. The arrival of West Indies spinner Sunil Narine – who was the player of the tournament in the Indian Premier League earlier this year with 24 wickets and an economy rate of 5.47 in 15 matches – could mean that Dominic Thornley is also squeezed out to bolster the attack with another quick. After just missing out on selection in the first match, that would mean a recall for Josh Lalor.
The Scorchers will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat to the Melbourne Stars in Sydney, after being bundled out for just 69 at the WACA during the week. Injured opening batsman Shaun Marsh could return from a hamstring injury to reinforce a batting order that was decimated by Lasith Malinga, while South African import Alfonso Thomas will make his Scorchers debut. The 35 year old has a tremendous Twenty20 record and has collected 173 wickets from 153 matches in the shortest form of the game.
The Sixers celebrated victory on both of the occasions that these sides met last season, with their 1 run win against the Scorchers one of the best finishes of the season. They also won the Big Bash decider in Perth by 7 wickets. All four of the matches that the Sydney based team played at the SCG last year resulted in a win, while the corresponding fixture last year was the only away match that the Scorchers lost.
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