Perth Scorchers v Sydney Thunder

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Herschelle Gibbs has been out for a duck twice this season. Image courtesy of
The Perth Scorchers  will be out to boost their finals prospects when they face the winless Sydney Thunder  in Perth on Friday night. Three wins from six matches has last year’s runner-up precariously placed just outside the top four, but a win would move them into third and give them a strong chance of making the playoffs. If they could choose any side to face with their season potentially on the line, it would be the Thunder, who have lost all six matches during the current campaign to stretch their winless run to eleven matches.

Justin Langer has named the same squad which suffered a 6 wicket defeat to the Hurricanes in Hobart on New Year Day, although there must be a question mark over the fitness of opening batsman Shaun Marsh . Marsh didn’t field against Hobart after being struck on the thumb by Doug Bollinger during the Scorchers innings. Herschelle Gibbs  will be looking to regain his form after an inconsistent summer which has seen him dismissed for less than fifteen in four of his six innings in the tournament, while Simon Katich  may remain in the top four after shepherding his side to a respectable total with his 66 at Blundstone Arena.

Sydney Thunder has made two changes to the squad which lost the second Sydney derby over the season, with paceman Gurinder Sandhu and Cameron Borgas  coming into the squad in place of Luke Doran and Sean Abbott. Underperforming West Indies star Chris Gayle  heaped further pressure on himself with a much published verbal stoush with Sixers skipper Brad Haddin and will be looking to add to the 70 runs that he has scored in the competition. He will have fond memories of Perth having enjoyed a successful stint with the Western Warriors in the domestic Twenty20 tournament two years ago when he scored 182 runs at an average of 36. Usman Khawaja  finally converted a start into a good score against the Sixers and will be looking to improve on the 66 that he scored in that match.

Perth scored a soft nine wicket win against Sydney when these sides met at ANZ Stadium last season after the hosts were skittled for less than a hundred. Thunder’s best chance of breaking their duck against the Scorchers could be to put them in if they win the toss. Perth has tasted victory just once in the four matches it has batting first this season, but has won on both occasions that it has chased.

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