The last time these two teams met was earlier in the season where Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams starred for the Thunders in a rain-curtailed match. Glenn Maxwell and co will be hoping to continue their winning ways by avenging their earlier loss to the Thunders. With both teams aspiring to make it to the semi-finals, a win over the other would certainly propel them even more closer to the title.
Squads to pick from
Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Liam Plunkett, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa
Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Sam Rainbird, Joe Root, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Shane Watson
Playing XI updates
Melbourne Stars: Sandeep Lamichhane has left the Stars and has paved the way for England international, Liam Plunkett to debut in this year's Big Bash. Jonathan Merlo is also unavailable for this clash which might force the Stars to make a couple of changes to the side that won against the Renegades.
Michael Beer should come in for Sandeep Lamichhane but there's also Liam Bowe who could be a like-for-like replacement for the Nepalese spinner. With no front-line new-ball bowler in the side and being forced to use Adam Zampa in the first six overs, Liam Plunkett should be entrusted with bowling in the first six overs with Boland and Bravo allotted at the death overs.
Possible XI: Stoinis, Dunk, Larkin, Maxwell(C), Gotch(WK), Bravo, Gulbis, Zampa, Plunkett, Bowe, Boland.
Sydney Thunder: Shane Watson and co must be relieved after they seeing off Ashton Turner's blitzkrieg to steal a one-run victory. Buttler has been dominant for the Thunders while Ferguson's form of late has been pivotal as well.
Despite having arguably the weakest bowling attack on paper, the Thunders have managed well with quality performances throughout the tournament. No changes are expected from the team after performing well against the Scorchers.
Possible XI: Watson (C), Buttler (WK), Ferguson, Root, Sangha, Sams, Green, Cook, Rainbird, Fawad, Sandhu.
Fantasy Tips and Predictions
Wicket-keeper: Jos Buttler leads the run-scoring chart with 250 runs at a strike rate of 140.45 while Ben Dunk's good outing against the Stars could see him being picked as well. Buttler is one player you wouldn't want to miss out on.
Batsmen: Callum Ferguson and Glenn Maxwell have done well with the bat in the BBL so far with Maxwell chipping in with his off-spin as well. Both of them along with Nick Larkin are viable options to go for, considering the nature of the Cararra Oval wicket. Both Joe Root and Shane Watson are due for a big score and either of them can be slotted into your fantasy sides.
All-rounders: Marcus Stoinis came good with both bat and ball against the Renegades. It was the first time in the season that Maxwell got three overs out of Stoinis and he performed well with two key wickets. Opening the batting in the absence of Handscomb, Stoinis is finally being used to his potential by the Stars. Similarly, Daniel Sams has been a major contributer in all of Thunder's wins and they will be hoping for more of the same from him. Dwayne Bravo is also an alternative to both of the aforementioned.
Bowlers: Adam Zampa and Scott Boland have done well in the past couple of matches and on a pitch that should suit them, both of them are viable options to go for. Fawad Ahmed has been the most dangerous bowler for the Thunders in the middle overs and would be a great pick along with fellow spinner, Jono Cook. The debuting Liam Plunkett would be an interesting pick as well with his ability to extract bounce being key.
Captain: It's hard to go past Jos Buttler while selecting the captain for your fantasy sides although Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are also very good choices to look into, with both all-rounders being capable of changing matches in a jiffy.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Jos Buttler(WK), Callum Ferguson, Joe Root, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Liam Plunkett, Scott Boland, Jono Cook, Fawad Ahmed. Captain: Jos Buttler
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Ben Dunk(WK), Shane Watson, Callum Ferguson, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Dwayne Bravo, Gurinder Sandhu, Adam Zampa, Fawad Ahmed. Captain: Marcus Stoinis