After looking almost invincible during their six-match winning streak around the turn of the year, Sydney Thunder have looked quite vulnerable in their last three games.
They lost the first two of those and even though they won the third to cease winning momentum ahead of the playoffs, that victory was by a single run. That one run saved them from the ignominy of a defeat to three-time wooden spoon winners Melbourne Renegades. During this slide, their fielding has been exceptionally poor.
According to Thunder allrounder Daniel Sams, the team is burnt out due to a long and arduous season, made even more difficult due to Covid.
“The boys have felt a little bit tired, a little bit flat just with the environment and the situation that we’ve been in with Covid; not quite sure where we’re going to be and what we can do,” Sams was quoted as saying by News Corp.
“It does get really draining, this current lifestyle.”
Adelaide Strikers are the form team of the tournament right now, having won all of their last five games, which can also be extended to six wins in the last seven outings.
Their ongoing five-match winning streak was sparked by their spin ace Rashid Khan’s six-for against Brisbane Heat. He isn’t with them anymore but deserves a mention now that his team has made it this far.
The Strikers’ poor early season form means that despite their superb form of late, they only finished four and now have to take the longest possible route to the final.
They made it to the knockout game by downing Hobart Hurricanes in the Eliminator match. Their openers Alex Carey and Matthew Short were the architects of that win. Their 145-run partnership for the first wicket put the Strikers in such a strong position that they were ahead for the remainder of the game.