Deadline: December 17, 2019 at 1:40 PM IST
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
The average first and second innings scores in the previous season, at The Gabba, read 144 and 145 respectively. The team batting second won all 4 games.
Match prediction and preview
Heat’s batting line-up would surely instil fear in the hearts of the opposition, but it is their bowling that has been letting them down time and again. They will be a difficult team to beat if they learn to take wickets at regular intervals.
Meanwhile, Thunder’s batting looks promising but their bowling too looks thin on numbers. However, to negate that, they have powered up their team with all-rounders.
In the previous season, Heat won the only completed match against Thunder.
Players to watch out for
Callum Ferguson was at his absolute best in the last edition. He bludgeoned 442 runs including a terrific century against the Scorchers. He went all guns blazing and hammered runs at a strike rate of 213. It’s good to see him being promoted to the role of captaincy.
Ferguson will bat alongside Usman Khawaja – another top-quality cricketer. In fact, it was Khawaja who provided solid foundations during the championship they won. And given his recent form in domestic cricket, he is sure to score heaps of runs.
Among the overseas cricketers, Thunder have signed Alex Hales. Come to think of it, the Thunder’s batting line-up sounds more and more devastating. Hales is a veteran of 229 T20s and has blasted over 6,000 runs.
The other international signing is that of Chris Morris. He is one of the hardest hitters in contemporary cricket and will be handy down the order. But it is his bowling services that will be needed, as Thunder lack experience.
Heat will be captained by Chris Lynn who recently hit 91 runs off 30 balls in a T10 game. In the previous season he smashed 385 runs with a strike rate 126.2 including 4 half-centuries. He also holds the record for the most sixes in the Australian T20 League.
Heat have strengthened their bowling by adding Zahir Khan, the talented Chinaman from Afghanistan. He will bowl alongside his countryman Mujeeb Ur Rahman. It seems that the teams have understood the importance of having wrist-spinners at their disposal.
The player to watch out for will be Ben Cutting. He was promoted to the top order towards the end of the previous season, and he replied with a spectacular knock of 81 runs. He was as effective with the ball, managing to snipe up as many as 12 wickets.
NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.
Heat: Max Bryant, Ben Cutting, Chris Lynn (c), Tom Banton, Matthew Renshaw, Sam Heazlett, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Ben Laughlin, Michael Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Josh Lalor
Thunder: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Calum Ferguson (c), Alex Ross, Jason Sangha, Matthew Gilkes (wk), Chris Morris, Chris Green, Daniel Sams, Chris Tremain/Tanveer Sangha, G Sandhu