Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades

Image courtesy of sportinglife.com
Michael Lumb was the match winner against Brisbane. Image courtesy of sportinglife.com
The Sydney Sixers  will be hoping for a big win against the Melbourne Renegades  on Wednesday night to keep their slim hopes of reaching the Big Bash finals alive. The defending Big Bash and Champions League Twenty20 Champions had a twelve game unbeaten run broken earlier in the season and went on to lose four matches in a row but back-to-back wins against the Thunder and Heat means they can still finish in the top four if other results go their way. The Renegades on the other hand, have already secured a home semi-final having won six of their opening seven fixtures.

Brad Haddin and Steve Smith will be both missing from the Sydney Sixers side that scored a 5 wicket win over the Heat in Brisbane on Tuesday and are likely to be replaced by Dan Smith  and Kurtis Patterson . Daniel Hughes  is likely to be promoted up the order after coming in at 6 at the Gabba, but the key batsman for the hosts will undoubtedly be Michael Lumb . After getting a start in both of his previous innings, the World Twenty20 winner shepherded his side to victory with an unbeaten 61 against Brisbane and will have added responsibility in the absence of his team’s Australian representatives. Josh Hazelwood will continue his comeback from injury after taking three wickets on Monday, while unknown Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake was also impressive against the Heat.

The Renegades will be without two of their biggest names, with skipper Aaron Finch on international duty and Marlon Samuels ruled out of the tournament with a suspected eye socket fracture after being struck by a Lasith Malinga bouncer in the heated Melbourne derby on Sunday. Englishman Alex Hales  has replaced Samuels for the rest of the campaign and is a more than handy substitute. He averages 34.83 in Twenty20 Internationals and scored 42 and 56 in the two matches against India last month. Ben Rohrer  and Alex Doolan  have both been named in the squad despite battling injury, while experienced opener Daniel Harris  could be in line for a recall after missing the past two matches.

When these sides met at Etihad Stadium last season, the Renegades ran out 8 wicket victors after easily chasing down the Sixers total of 6/161. Chasing has been the order of the day in the current Big Bash campaign with 20 of the 28 matches won by the team batting second. That has been the trend at the SCG as well, with all three matches at the ground this season won by the team that won the toss and bowled.

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