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Preview: BBL Game 5 v Sixers

09 January 2017

The Renegades look to bounce back after Saturday’s loss to the Stars

Saturday’s match at Etihad Stadium marked the start of a hectic schedule for the Renegades, and it continues with a trip to Sydney to face the Sixers on Monday night.

The clash at the SCG is the middle leg of a three-games-in-five-nights stretch, and it comes against a Sydney side which has been significantly strengthened thanks to the end of Australia’s Test series against Pakistan.

Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades
Monday January 9, SCG
7:40pm EDT, live on Channel 10


Sydney Sixers

Moises Henriques (C), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Doug Bollinger, Johan Botha, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Daniel Hughes, Michael Lumb, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Stephen O’Keefe, Will Somerville

In: Stephen O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Michael Lumb
Out: Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Jordan Silk, Henry Thornton

Melbourne Renegades

Aaron Finch (C), Tom Beaton, Tom Cooper, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine, Peter Nevill, Thisara Perera, Chris Tremain, Matt Short, James Pattinson, Cameron White

In: Thisara Perera, Tom Beaton, Xavier Doherty
Out: Trent Lawford, Marcus Harris, Nathan Rimmington

RELATED: Three changes for Sixers clash

The Sixers welcome back Stephen O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird, all part of Australia’s Test squad for the New Year’s test, a development which poses dilemmas on how they will structure the bowling attack.

Assuming both O’Keefe and Lyon make the final XI, the Sixers will have to determine whether they go into the clash with three spinners – including Johan Botha – and only two quicks.

Meanwhile the Renegades have made three changes of their own after the disappointing loss to the Stars at Etihad Stadium.

Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera is now ready to play after a hold up with his travel paperwork, while Tom Beaton and Xavier Doherty are also in the squad and could make their first appearances of BBL|06.

Beaton is the player to replace Marcus Harris; the latter having made starts in each of the first four matches – facing double-figure deliveries in each – without capitalising.

Beaton excelled against the Sixers in last season’s matchup. In that game, played in Melbourne, the 26-year-old belted an unbeaten 41 off only 23 deliveries. His ability to strike at a high rate has the potential to add a different dimension to the Renegades’ middle order and continue the momentum which has been gained through the powerplays.

The Renegades have struggled against the Sixers in recent seasons, losing each of the last three matches.

Moises Henriques has been the batsman to cause the most trouble in the results. His last three innings against the Renegades have yielded 55 off 39 (BBL|04), 36 off 32 (BBL|05) and 62 off 38 (BBL|06), while Nic Maddinson and Michael Lumb have also been critical components of previous wins.

Coincidentally, Lumb comes back into the Sixers’ outfit for Monday night as a replacement for fellow Englishman Jason Roy, off to play with his national side in India.

The clash is a crucial one for both sides’ finals aspirations.

A Renegades victory would see them draw level with the Sixers on points, with the added benefit of an extra game in hand and a far superior net run rate.

Such a buffer in the net run rate, only a handful of games from the end of the regular season, would essentially guarantee the Renegades finishing ahead of Sydney if the sides finish level on points after eight matches.

However, a fourth consecutive loss to the Sixers draws the Renegades back into the chasing pack of teams battling for a finals berth, undoing much of the good work earned from a 2-1 start to the tournament.