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Sixers Match Preview

16 December 2012

They were the standout teams of BBL|01 and tonight the Scorchers and Sixers meet at the SCG in a rematch of last summer's BIG FINAL.

They were the standout teams of BBL|01 and tonight the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers meet at the SCG in a rematch of last summer's BIG FINAL.

The Sixers won that match by seven wickets, breaking the hearts of the sell-out crowd at The Furnace, and have since gone on to conquer the world by claiming the Champions League Twenty20 title in October.

The Sydney side has won their past 12 games - the last defeat in any competition coming on January 2 this year when they lost to the Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium.

They can join English county Surrey (13 wins) in second position with victory tonight. The domestic T20 record is held by Pakistan team Sialkot, who won 25 straight matches.

The Sixers won the Sydney derby last Saturday in their only BBL|02 encounter thus far, defeating the Sydney Thunder by seven wickets.

On the flipside, the Scorchers dropped their opening two fixtures at The Furnace, going down in the final over against the Adelaide Strikers before they were thrashed in the rain by the Melbourne Stars.

The visitors welcome back gun opening batsman Shaun Marsh, who missed the Stars match due to a minor hamstring strain he suffered in the Strikers clash. Despite the injury he managed to notch up 57 from 45 deliveries to underline his immense value to the team.

Overseas recruit Alfonso Thomas is also set to play his first match for the Scorchers. The South African-born UK-based recruit is a hugely experienced fast bowler in the T20 format, known for his tight spells and ability to keep batsmen in check at the death. He will be a huge addition for the visitors.

The Scorchers will look for improvement from their attack, having failed to defend a total of 162 in the Strikers encounter and being whacked for 29 in 2.1 overs against the Stars.

Vice Captain Adam Voges has been one of the success stories to date for the Scorchers, top-scoring against the Strikers with 58 from 41 balls and providing a steadying hand around the carnage in the Stars clash.

All-rounder Hilton Cartwrigh made his debut against the Stars, capping an amazing rise from club cricket to the KFC T20 Big Bash League in a matter of weeks. He held his own by top-scoring against the quality Stars attack that was packed with international talent.

While the Scorchers gain the services of Thomas, the Sixers also unveil one of their overseas recruits with star West Indian spinner Sunil Narine making his first appearance for the Sydney team.

Narine, who renews the successful partnership he enjoyed with Sixers coach Trevor Bayliss at the Kolkata Knight Riders, missed the Sydney derby as he was on duty with the Windies in Bangladesh.

Skipper Brad Haddin has been in outstanding form over the course of the 2012-13 summer and that continued against the Thunder last weekend when he belted a six off the first ball he faced and went on to score a match-winning 59.

The Sixers lose paceman Mitchell Starc, who is on duty with the Australian Test team, and fellow left-arm quick Josh Lalor could be in line to replace him. Lalor spent BBL|01 with the Scorchers, playing one match, ironically against the Sixers at the SCG.

Brett Lee continues to lead the Sixers attack, while Queenslander Luke Feldman was a surprise packed against the Thunder, taking 2-19 from his four overs.

Narine combines with Sri Lankan Jeevan Mendis to complete a very experienced spin duo, and that's without mentioning Stephen O'Keefe and Steve Smith.

The Scorchers and Sixers met twice in BBL|01, with the Sydneysiders winning both encounters. The first match at the SCG went down to the wire, with the hosts claiming a one-run triumph in one of the games of the tournament, while the Sixers triumphed in the BIG FINAL.

There will be no revenge for the Scorchers if they can claim a win at the SCG tonight, just satisfaction that their BBL|02 campaign would be back on track. It is a crucial game for the visitors and one that fans of the orange should be racing to catch on Fox Sports or ABC Grandstand, or down at our 'away match home', the Grosvenor Hotel in East Perth.

KFC T20 Big Bash League, Sunday 16 December, 4pm (WST), SCG
Sydney Sixers

Brad Haddin (Captain), Luke Feldman, Moises Henriques, Josh Lalor, Brett Lee, Nic Maddinson, Jeevan Mendis, Ian Moran, Sunil Narine, Stephen O’Keefe, Dan Smith, Steve Smith, Dominic Thornely.
Perth Scorchers
Simon Katich (Captain), Michael Beer, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Herschelle Gibbs, Brad Hogg, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Marcus North, Marcus Stoinis, Alfonso Thomas, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges.