Two of the BBL's in-form teams collide on Saturday as the Perth Scorchers host the Sydney Thunder at the Perth Stadium.
With three wins from their last last three BBL fixtures, the Perth Scorchers are in excellent form. Their batsmen are firing and bowlers are roaring. And their thrashing of defending champions Sydney Sixers on Wednesday will have certainly given them a big confidence boost heading into their upcoming matches. The Western Australia outfit is still second from bottom in the BBL points table, but a win on Saturday could lift them to fourth.
The unfancied Sydney Thunder have been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far. They may not have any T20 superstars in their ranks, but the Thunder find themselves top of the BBL standings with six wins and just two defeats from their opening eight games.
Their charge has been led by their excellent spin-bowling attack, with the likes of Tanveer Sangha and Chris Green leading the way. Rookie Sangha is the BBL leading wicket taker so far, with 15 scalps to his name. While Green is not too far behind, having picked up 12 wickets so far.
Alex Hales has also impressed with his consistent performances, and is currently third in BBL most runs list. He has scored 264 runs from just eight innings at a stellar strike rate of 168.
On Saturday, Hales and team will go up against one of the BBL's best bowling units which features the likes of Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and Mitchell Marsh. Richardson has been one of the players of the tournament so far, having picked up 13 wickets at an economy rate of just 6.50.
The Scorchers' batting order also features a lot of big names, including Jason Roy, Mitchell Marsh, Colin Munro and Liam Livingstone. And we could be in for an intriguing battle between bat and ball at the usually spicy Perth Stadium.
BBL 2020-21, Scorchers vs Thunder: Match prediction
The Scorchers and Thunder faced off last in December when the Thunder enjoyed a comfortable win.
The Scorchers have built momentum since then with the arrivals of Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone. The two Englishmen have made a great impression despite failing to score big runs so far. Their presence at the top of the order has allowed Colin Munro and Josh Ingles to play with a lot more freedom, and the duo have enjoyed a lot of success with the bat in recent games.
The Sydney Thunder have won six of their last seven games and will also be full of confidence after going top with their vital win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Thursday.
This should be a cracking BBL contest between two quality T20 units. Both teams have great balance to them, and there isn't much to choose from between them going into the game. The home advantage could give the Scorchers the edge in this one as they look to climb into the top four.
Prediction: The Perth Scorchers to win