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After a long bout of exciting cricket that had various obstacles, we are finally into the last two matches in the Big Bash League 2021. Against all odds, Adelaide Strikers have made it into the final three and will now be looking to go all the way. They will first be meeting Sydney Sixers in the first Challenger match, the winner of which will qualify for the final to take on Perth Scorchers.
This match between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers is to be played on Wednesday, 26th January 2021 at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Both sides have had terrific runs respectively in the tournament up until now and will be raring to go here. A cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards and this is definitely not the one to miss out.
Sydney Sixers may have been the second-best side in the competition based on the final standings on the points table, they would certainly be disappointed with the way they did in their last few matches. They were in contention of finishing at the top of the ladder at one stage but eventually had to settle for the second spot. Also, with some poor results in the middle of the tournament, they dropped down to the third spot before bouncing back to the second.
Sydney Sixers are coming off a disastrous last match and have a bit of work to do in this upcoming match. Although their batting has done well in totality, it has also crashed more than any other side in the competition. In the last match as well, they looked to be getting knocked down for a total of less than a hundred before Ben Dwarshius slammed an unanticipated fifty, scoring 66 off 28, to take them to a total of 141.
On paper, Sydney Sixers have a pretty good side on paper, but the absence of Jack Edwards is big. Also, Daniel Hughes is still uncertain to be a part of this upcoming game and if he does not, it will leave the Sixers' middle-order a bit fragile. With Phillipe, Avendano, Henriques, and Silk being the primary batsmen in their order, they do have a huge reliance on their all-rounders in Dan Christain, Sean Abbott, and Hayden Kerr. Failure in getting off to a good start can very easily backfire and that has happened so often with them. On the bowling front, however, they have a pretty good unit with specialists available for the job along with ample variety in the form of all-rounders.
All in all, Sydney Sixers have a decent side, but their inconsistency of late casts a doubt on how they are going to do in this upcoming match. They would need Josh Phillipe to get back to his dangerous best. He would need support from the rest of the batsmen and if that happens, Sydney Sixers will be a very difficult side to get past.
J Avendano, Hayden Kerr, Jordan Silk, Moises Henriques, DT Christian, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Michael Lyon, Steve O'Keefe, Jake Carder, Jay Lenton.
If the Strikers are able to win the title this year, it would be safe to say it to be the most extraordinary turn of events. If even they don't, they would head out of the tournament with their heads held high, especially given the way they have done in their recent matches. They looked down and out at one stage with many of their first-choice players unavailable, but they have made a fantastic comeback and all seems to be falling back in place now.
At one stage, their batting looked completely over-reliant on Matthew Short and Jonathan Wells, but in the back-end of the league stage, Ian Cockbain proved to be a wonderful addition to their playing eleven. On the bowling front, the absence of Wes Agar and Rashid Khan was huge on paper, but the way Peter Siddle delivered the good for them, it was certainly a commendable effort.
Adelaide Strikers come into this upcoming match with seven consecutive wins behind them. Besides, they have almost a full-strength side available, minus Rashid Khan and Wes Agar of course. On paper as well, they seem to be an immaculately balanced side with their all-rounders contributing. Ian Cockbain, Matthew Short, Alex Carey, Peter Siddle, and Jonathan Wells have all been brilliant in the recent matches and will be itching to go.
All in all, Adelaide Strikers are not only an immaculately balanced side now, they also have momentum backing them. They are coming off a close win over Sydney Thunder, a win that would have given them an immense amount of confidence. If they are able to repeat what they have done in their recent matches, getting past them could be incredibly difficult.
Alex Carey, Matt Short, IA Cockbain, Travis Head, Jonathan Wells, Matt Renshaw, Thomas Kelly, Henry Thornton, Harry Conway, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed.
With the stakes involved, this match is certainly expected to be a cracker of a contest. The winner will get into a game's distance of a title and no team would want to lose that opportunity, given that they have played for so long and endured so much difficulty just for that title. Both sides had contrasting runs in the league stage wherein Sydney Sixers look far ahead of Adelaide Strikers. Considering how the two sides have done in the recent past and their overall team combinations respectively, betting on an Adelaide Strikers win seem to be the way to go.
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