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Where: ANZ Stadium
When: 08.15 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
The penultimate regular season match of BBL|03 sees the fifth staging of the ‘Sydney Smash’ local derby, and with still plenty to play for, for both teams.
Though they will yet again miss the Big Finals, a win over their arch-rivals would see the Sydney Thunder finish with a better Net Run Rate than Adelaide, and maybe even the Melbourne Renegades.
For the Sydney Sixers, the motivation is obvious: lose, and they have to travel across the country to face the Perth Scorchers in Big Semi Final 2 on Wednesday February 5 in front of the loudest, most intimidating bunch of BBL fans in Australia.
Win this local derby, and hope the undefeated Melbourne Stars remain that way against the Scorchers on Monday, and they can sit back and let Perth come to them for the semi.
The Sixers have been in very good form over their last three starts: two wins and the devastating super over loss to the Scorchers in Sydney on January 10.
Their batting has been very good in those last few matches, but they will be without be without their skipper Steven Smith, who has been called into the Australian ODI squad.
Even if he was released from the squad when Michael Clarke rejoins it in Adelaide, with an important tour of South Africa just around the corner, it’s highly unlikely Smith will be making the mercy dash back from Perth in time for this match.
The Thunder will be without their most economical bowler, Ajantha Mendis, after he was recalled to Sri Lanka for a national training camp, a la Lasith Malinga for the Stars.
Mendis has been replaced by local allrounder, Ahilen Beadle, who was an Australian Under-19 rep alongside sometime Sixers skipper Moises Henriques, and Hobart captain Tim Paine.
Luke Doran is also back in the Thunder squad, with Blake Dean dropping out and heading back to club cricket in the ACT.