Back the outsider in even looking contest

Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers
Tuesday, 08:15 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Perth Scorchers started the season as second favourites for the title and, despite failing to win yet, they remain third best at 5.95/1. They’re available to back at 1.784/5 to open their account here.

Balanced Thunder remain under-rated

Is that indication of supremacy fair? These opponents finished one place higher in last year’s points table, finishing third in the competition and had the highest wicket taker by far in Daniel Sams.

Plus, Thunder produced a remarkable comeback at this ground last time against Brisbane. All-rounder Sams was once again the hero, this time with bat, hitting 65 off 25. 180 was by far the highest chase among the last nine Big Bash or T20 internationals at the Manuka Oval.

Thunder boast formidable batting depth

It came after struggling at 22-3 and 80-5, highlighting Thunder’s batting depth. Cuttings, Sams and Chris Green from six to eight is formidable. Granted the top order is yet to fire but expect Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja to improve.

In slight contrast, although Scorchers best XI will be strong enough, their batting is weakened until Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone become available after Christmas.

Scorchers impressed in abandoned game

Having been skittled in their opener, Scorchers shared the points in a no result last time against Stars but there were plenty of positives. 158 off 17 overs was a very decent total at Launceston. Ashton Turner’s 39 off 17 most caught the eye.

All considered, I reckon the betting should be closer, perhaps even. Thunder often seem under-rated, probably due to lack of star names, but they are a well balanced outfit. That they’ve played two matches here already is a further positive, especially for their spinners Jono Cook and Tanveer Sangha.

Par seems around 165

Toss bias isn’t conclusive - chasers trail 4-5 in those last nine matches. I reckon 170 will generally prove hard to chase.

No bet appeals on 1st Innings Runs because this seems like a ‘par ground’ where extreme totals are rare. Six of the nine first innings totals here were between 161 and 176.

Sixes line to be beaten again

For the Sixes Line, I prefer ‘Overs’ at 10.5. That was easily passed with 19 in the last match, whereas six of the previous seven had yielded between 9 and 11.

As argued above, there is plenty of batting depth for Thunder, while for Scorchers, Mitch Marsh and Ashton Turner are exactly the sort of finishers one would want onside for slogging at the death.

That pair are a fair 5/1 and 6/1 to topscore for Scorchers, for whom Colin Munro’s odds are boosted to 10/3.

The top Thunder runscorer is very competitive. Hales is the #OddsBoost at 3/1, compared to 5/2 for Khawaja and 10/3 for Sam Billings. Daniel Sams is 16/1 to repeat.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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