Sydney Sixers take on Melbourne Renegades in match 18 of the 2022/23 Big Bash, the 12th edition of the tournament.
When is it taking place?
The game is scheduled to start at 7.15pm local time (8.15am GMT) on Wednesday, December 28.
Where is the match being played?
The game will be played in Sydney at the SCG.
Who's got the form?
Sydney Sixers sit sixth in table, having won half of their four games to date in BBL12. After losing each of their opening two games - against Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers, they have won consecutive fixtures. Hobart Hurricanes were narrowly seen off by six runs, prior to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Melbourne Stars.
Melbourne Renegades won their first three matches, before coming unstuck in their most recent game - against Hobart on Christmas Eve, when they failed to chase down a modest 123 for victory.
Nic Maddison and Aaron Finch are the form batsmen for the Renegades. Maddison, the team captain, has 128 from four innings, and is striking at 154. Finch has his team's highest individual score of the tournament (70 not out) and tops the tournament averages (59). He is, however, striking a relatively slovenly 106.
Sydney Sixers have been relatively sedate with the bat in the competition to date, with no batsman striking above 136. Their succesful chase of 151 against the Stars on Boxing Day was the first time this term they have returned a team total above 133.
With the ball, Akeal Hosein of Melbourne Renegades has the second most wickets in the BBL this year (10 at little more than 9 apiece). Even more impressively, he has been going at little more than a run a ball, with a tournament economy rate of 6.13 to date.
Veteran Steve O'Keefe's 10 overs of left-arm spin in BBL12 have only gone for 50 runs, and no one to have bowled 10 or more overs has a better economy rate in this year's competition.
Melbourne Renegades have won three out of four [Getty Images]
What's the key match-up?
This will be a stern test of the Sixers' batting resources. They have been far from free-scoring in 2022/23 so far and face a Renegades attack which features three bowlers going at less than seven runs per over across the tournament (Hosein, Kane Richardson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman).
Spin will be a major factor, with O'Keefe for the Sixers needing to replicate the impact of Hosein and Mujeeb. O'Keefe is struggling with a hamstring problem and may not make the match.
What's the weather forecast?
Dry and warm in Sydney, with temperatures expected to touch 25 degrees Celsius at the start of play.
What is the team news?
There are no changes to the Sydney Sixers squad, which means Chris Jordan continues to be absent. The club say they his availability continues to be "monitored".
Steve O'Keefe is an injury concern and faces a late fitness test. If he is fit, there is no reason for the Sixers to make changes.
Melbourne Renegades can call on Martin Guptill following the departure of Andre Russell, while Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh both come into the squad. Kane Richardson is back, having missed the game against Hobart Hurricanes, to bolster the seam department.
Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper and Jack Prestwidge have been dropped from the Renegades' squad for their previous outing.
What are the squads?
Sydney Sixers: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Izharulhaq Naveed, Chris Jordan, Steve O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, James Vince, Todd Murphy, Mickey Edwards, Jack Edwards, Steve Smith, Josh Kann (local replacement player), Naveen-ul-Haq (partial replacement for Chris Jordan)
Melbourne Renegades: Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Akeal Hosein, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Nic Maddinson (c), Shaun Marsh, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Kane Richardson, Tom Rogers, Will Sutherland, Jon Wells, Jack Prestwidge, Ruwantha Kellapotha, Marcus Harris, Martin Guptill, Corey Rocchiccioli, Peter Handscomb
*Squads are for the whole BBL and not specific to this match
What are the possible starting XIs?
Sydney Sixers: Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, James Vince, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Dan Christian, Hayden Kerr, Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Steve O'Keefe, Izharulhaq Naveed
Melbourne Renegades: Nic Maddison, Martin Guptill, Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Jon Wells, Akeal Hosein, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, David Moody
Sydney Sixers have won each of their last two matches [Getty Images]
What are the odds?
Sydney Sixers are the bookies' favourites, with a best price available of 10/13. Melbourne Renegades look good value at 6/5.
What's the prediction?
This feels like a low-scoring encounter in waiting. If Melbourne's experience top order can fire, they have the form with the ball to restrict a low-impact Sixers batting lineup. If two or three can get set, a Renegades win is in the offing.
Are tickets available?
Tickets are available via Ticketek, with adult tickets starting from $25 for adults and $5 for children.
Where can I watch the game?
Sky Sports hold the UK rights for the BBL, with coverage split between Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix. This game is available on Sky Sports Mix.
Ball-by-ball radio commentary will also be available via BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Sounds for selected matches.
Fox Sports and Seven Network both have television rights in Australia while coverage will also be available via streaming service Kayo. Fox will show every game while 45 matches, including the knockout stages, will be shown free-to-air on Channel Seven.
Units 7-8, 35-37 High St, Barrow upon Soar, Loughborough, LE128PY
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