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ST vs AS, BBL 2021-22: Fantasy Preview, Predictions and MPL Top Picks

Match: Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, Big Bash League 2021 (ST vs AS)

Date: January 2, Sunday, 1:45 PM IST

Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney, Australia

The 32nd match of the Big Bash League 2021 will be played between the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers on Sunday, January 2 at the Sydney Showground Stadium. This is the second consecutive fixture between the two sides after the first one was held only a few days back on December 31.

In the first fixture between the two teams this season, the Thunder won by 22 runs. Four wickets by Daniel Sams and another two by Saqib Mahmood restricted the Strikers to 165 in the second innings.

The Thunder are currently placed fourth in the points table with four wins in seven games and 16 points. Alex Hales, Alex Ross, Tanveer Sangha and Sam Whiteman from the Thunders’ squad have tested positive for Covid19 and will be out of action till they test negative. Offspinner Arjun Nair and batter Lachlan Hearne have been drafted into the squad.

The Strikers, on the other hand, are placed seventh after managing just one win in seven games. Rashid Khan, who was expected to be their star performer, has not been too consistent this season and that has added to their woes.

Ahead of match 32, let’s look at the head to head total of Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, the pitch report, top picks for your MPL fantasy team and more.

Weather update and pitch report for ST vs AS

The pitch at the Sydney Showground Stadium is generally a balanced one. While the pacers usually benefit more than the spinners, the slow bowlers also come to play once the match progresses. Of the 27 BBL matches played at the iconic venue, 13 have been won by the team batting first. The average first innings score here is 151. The highest score chased is 173, while the lowest total defended is 142.

As for the weather update, the temperature is likely to range from 18 to 24 degree Celsius. However, it is going to be cloudy and stormy and the match could be affected by rain.

Sydney Thunder team news and predicted XI

Team news: The last game between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers played went ahead despite a Covid scare in the Thunder camp. The New Year’s Eve match was played in strict biosecure conditions after Alex Hales, Alex Ross, Tanveer Sangha and Sam Whiteman tested positive for the virus. The entire Thunder squad, including staff, underwent PCR tests and those whose reports turned negative were allowed to play the match.

Predicted XI: Matthew Gilkes, Ben Cutting, Jason Sangha, Sam Billings (wk), Oliver Davies, Daniel Sams, Arjun Nair, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Green (c), Brendan Doggett, Saqib Mahmood

Adelaide Strikers team news and predicted XI

Team news: With six defeats in seven games, Strikers’ chances of making it to the playoffs appear slim. Their bowling unit was disappointing in the previous game in which they picked up only three wickets. While Fawad Ahmed and Rashid Khan have been economical, they have not been able to pick up regular wickets.

Predicted XI: Jake Weatherald, Matthew Short, Matt Renshaw, Jonathan Wells, Thomas Kelly, George Garton, Harry Nielsen (wk), Rashid Khan, Daniel Worrall, Peter Siddle (c), Fawad Ahmed

Head to head record

Sydney Thunder and the Adelaide Strikers have played 17 BBL matches between them, of which Strikers have won 7 and Thunder 8.

Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for the Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers (ST vs AS) match.

Jason Sangha – Batter, Sydney Thunder

Jason Sangha was the Player of the Match in the previous game against the Thunder for his 91* off 55 balls at a strike rate of 165.54. He also impressed with the ball, picking up one wicket in his one over while conceding only three runs. Sangha has been in terrific form from this season and has racked up 233 runs in four innings, which includes two unbeaten knocks. The 22-year-old has played only 17 T20s, but from the kind of form he has shown in the ongoing BBL, he could prove to be a valuable player for your MPL Fantasy XI.

Sam Billings – Wicketkeeper batter, Sydney Thunder

Sam Billings has been impressive with the bat for the Thunder, scoring 254 runs in seven innings, which includes two half-centuries. Against the Strikers in the previous game, Billings scored only 18 runs, and will be looking to make amends for it in the return fixture. The T20 globetrotter brings with him the experience of playing 209 T20s, from which he has 4061 runs at an average and strike rate of 24.31 and 131.38.

Ben Cutting – All-rounder, Sydney Thunder

After scoring only 40 runs in five innings, a valuable knock from Ben Cutting was due. But he showed signs of improvement in the previous fixture, where he scored a slow paced 37 at a strike rate of 115. He has been disappointing with the ball too, having picked just one wicket in six innings. However, the 34-year-old has an impressive T20 CV – a batting strike rate of 147.73 from 149 innings. With the ball, he has 129 wickets at an average of 32.12. Those numbers make him a good pick for your fantasy team.

Jonathan Wells – Batter, Adelaide Strikers

Jonathan Wells scored 46 off 26 in the first fixture against the Thunder and will be looking to replicate the same in the return fixture. The right-hander has produced some impressive knocks this season, including a half-century against the Heat. Wells has a decent average of 33.43 in his T20 career and could help you win a few points in your fantasy team.

Rashid Khan – Bowler, Adelaide Strikers

Rashid Khan has been a disappointment this season so far, but it is always risky to leave him out of any T20 fantasy team. The spin sensation has 10 wickets in 8 games, but a lot more has been expected out of him. He has not been able to get going with the bat too but has finished quite a few games in his T20 career.

ST vs AS: MPL fantasy XI

ST vs AS – where and what time to watch the match live in India 

Sony Sports Network and its digital wing Sony Liv will broadcast the BBL 11 matches in India. The Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers game will begin at 1:45 PM IST on January 2.

Also read: Top 10 Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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