Thunder Search For Drought Breaking Win

Image courtesy of news.com.au
The emergence of Adam Zampa has been one positive for the Thunder. Image courtesy of news.com.au
Sydney Thunder  will be hoping to break a nine match losing streak stretching back over a year when it faces Brisbane Heat  at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Four losses from as many matches in the current campaign has all but condemned the Thunder to missing the finals for the second time in as many seasons, while Brisbane will have to win all of its remaining matches to be sure of a place in the final four.

Chris Gayle  is yet to fire for Sydney this season and it could be fair to say that the men in lime green will continue to struggle. Their most recent win came on the back of an unbeaten century by the big Jamaican and his form with the bat has mirrored the fortune of his side in the current campaign, having scored just 33 runs from his three visits to the crease. He will be partnered at the top of the order by South African born England wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior , who replaces Pakistan allrounder Azhar Mahmood as the side’s second overseas player. While batting has been a big problem for the Thunder, there have been some positives with the ball. Veteran paceman Dirk Nannes has bowled well, while 20 year-old leg spinner Adam Zampa has also made a big impression in his two matches, taking 3/26 against Hobart on the weekend.

Three defeats from its opening four matches has left Brisbane in desperate need of the two points from this match, but an improved showing will be needed to collect them. Front and centre in the firing line is skipper James Hopes , who has scored just 20 runs in the first four matches while looking horribly out of form at the top of order. A lack of batting options could ensure that he retains his place in the side however. Promising number three Joe Burns  has got a start in every match but is yet to post a big score and coach Darren Lehmann will be hoping that he can go on with the job to post a match winning total. Brisbane’s bowling in the final overs cost it the match against the Renegades at Etihad Stadium and Alister McDermott – one of the best ‘death bowlers on the domestic scene - may be squeezed in to the side to remedy that problem.

In the only previous meeting between these sides, at the Gabba on January 17 this year, the Heat ran out easy 91 run victors following a brutal innings of 75* from Dan Christian . Six Big Bash matches at ANZ Stadium have seen an average score of 134 by the team batting first, but the Strikers scored a record 177 in the most recent match at the ground and it may be that the wicket will again be a good one for batting on.

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