13-player squad named for New Year’s Eve clash in Adelaide
Sydney Thunder’s Head Coach Shane Bond said he and his players would welcome it if this Tuesday’s New Year’s Eve match against the Adelaide Strikers was as pressure-packed as their last-start, one-run loss to the Sydney Sixers in a Super Over.
Thunder suffered the first loss of its KFC Big Bash League season to arch rivals – the Sixers – after both teams finished tied on 149 runs after their regulation 20 overs. The match, played in front of 35,296 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, went down to the wire as Thunder belted 15 runs off it’s one Super Over in reply to the Sixers’ 2/16.
Despite the loss, Bond said it was the type of contest he and his players sought.
“We’ve spoken since the start of our campaign about wanting to play in tight games,” he said. “And while we’re getting ourselves in those positions, we’re proving to be a side that’s hard to beat – and that’s all you can ask of the boys.
“We’ve been in pressure situations during our pre-season trial and each of our [BBL] games. I like that we seem to be clear and calm in what we do. We haven’t been perfect in some situations, but we’ve been calm and clear.”
Bond said he and his squad took plenty of positives from their loss to the Sixers, describing the tight contest as a ‘hell of a game’.
“We know we’re doing stuff right,” he said. “We have a very good side, but [the match against the Sixers] showed we need to be better if we want to win games.
“Over the course of a season you have to expect some lulls, but [against the Sixers] we were far from our best and took the game into a Super Over.”
Bond said ahead of the New Year’s Eve match against the competition-leading Strikers, that his squad drew a lot from their recent match against Adelaide in Canberra which was abandoned due to thick smoke from the bushfires.
“A 185 [run] wicket was kept to 160, and we put ourselves in a strong position to win – so we found a lot of the stuff we talked about works. There’s just a few things we need to tidy up.
“Adelaide is a very good – and tough – team to play. We’re going into their territory this time; it’s New Year’s Eve and they have a strong supporter base. However, after the Sixers, the boys are all looking forward to playing in another awesome place.”
BBL Squad vs Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday 31 December
Callum Ferguson (C) (12)
Jonathan Cook (50)
Brendan Doggett (35)
Matthew Gilkes (22)
Chris Green (93)
Alex Hales (6)
Usman Khawaja (18)
Nathan McAndrew (44)
Chris Morris (24)
Arjun Nair (7)
Alex Ross (49)
Daniel Sams (60)
Chris Tremain (20)