In the opening match of the 10th season of the Australian T20 League, Hobart H take on the defending champions Sydney S at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Thursday evening.
Hobart lost in the eliminator last season and will be looking to make a positive start this season and eyeing their first title win. D Short will lead the side in the absence of M Wade, who is not available for selection. D Short has a very strong side and will expect a good start to the season from his bowlers as they take on a team against whom they have enjoyed a good record in the past.
For the defending champions Sydney S, it will be all about making a positive start to the season in a bid to defend their title. They have retained the core group of players from the last season and will be looking for a good show from them here. The team doesn’t have the best of records against Hobart and the captain will be looking to change that in this game.
In the twelve head-to-head games between the two teams, Hobart has a slight advantage with six wins as compared to the five wins of Sydney S. One game was washed out. Hobart have won three of the last four games between the two teams, with Sydney only winning two matches in their history at this venue.
It is the first game of the tournament and we expect to see both teams producing good fireworks at Blundstone Arena.
- Match: Hobart H vs. Sydney S, Match 1
- Venue: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
- Date & Time: Dec. 10, 2020, at 1.45 PM IST
Probable Playing XI
D Short (C), W Jakes, C Ingram, M Wright, B McDermott (WK), P Handscomb, J Faulkner, N Ellis, S Boland, R Meredith, J Botha
J Philippe (WK), J Avendano, D Hughes (C), J Vince, J Silk, D Christian, C Brathwaite, B Dwarshuis, S O’Keefe, J Bird, B Manenti
Weather and Pitch Report
The skies will be mostly cloudy over Hobart, with the sun peeking in at times. The temperature will be around 15 degrees at the start of the game and will get a little chilly as the evening progresses.
Blundstone Arena is a small venue compared to the other big stadiums in the country. The pitch here is generally a flat one and the batsmen aren’t likely to see many surprises from the surface. It will be a fresh wicket and the fast bowlers will get the bounce and carry on this surface. The average score in the four T20 games played here last season has been 179.
Last season, the team batting first went on to win three out of the four games. As it’s a small ground, there are plenty of scoring opportunities and chasing big totals creates pressure on the chasing side. So it is likely that the captain winning the toss will opt to bat first.
- D Short had an average of 44.62 in the Big Bash last season and is a proven performer in this format. He scored a hundred and three fifties last season. With the scores of 72 and 37 in his last two innings in the league, expect him to post another solid score in the opening match.
- B McDermott is a clean hitter of the ball and a key player in the middle order for Hobart. He scored 265 runs last season at a strike rate of 122.68. He will be the designated wicketkeeper too.
- R Meredith impressed everyone with his pace and accuracy last season, where he played only six games but picked up 10 wickets at an average of 13.7 He will be a key bowler for Hobart this season.
- J Philippe is the main batsman for Sydney this season. He was their best player in 2019/20, scoring 487 runs, including five half centuries, at an average of 37.46 and a strike rate of 129.86. He scored a match-winning 52 in the last season’s final.
- D Christian is a veteran of T20 cricket playing all over the globe. He recently won the English T20 League, putting in a match winning performance in the final. He will be facing his former side and has scored 241 runs at a strike rate of 161.74 and an average of 40.17 against Hobart in his career.
- B Dwarshuis was impressive with the ball last season. He was the second-highest wicket taker for Sydney, behind T Curran. He took 16 wickets at an average of 26.18. He was handy with the bat too, scoring at a strike rate of over 140.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeeper: J Philippe
- Batsmen: B McDermott, M Wright, M Henriques, J Vince
- All-rounders: D Christian, J Faulker, D Short
- Bowlers: R Meredith, N Ellis, B Dwarshuis
- Captain: D Short/J Philippe
- Vice Captain: M Henriques/B McDermott
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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