28/02/2024

The Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers have had a rivalry since the first edition of the Big Bash League. (Photo: Cricket Australia)

The biggest rivalry in the Big Bash League will write a new chapter on Sunday night when Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon, representing the Sydney Sixers will go up against Australian teammates Ashton Agar and Lance Morris, representing the Perth Scorchers.

The Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers will go up against each other on Sunday night at the SCG in a rematch of last year’s Big Bash League Grand Final. The top two franchises’ rivalry began in the first edition of the BBL, where the Sixers beat the Scorchers to take home the silverware in the final.

Since then, the two teams have competed in four BBL Grand Finals against each other with Perth racking up three wins in BBL|04, BBL|06 and BBL|11 compared to Sydney’s one in BBL|10.

Tonight’s game is bound to deliver another classic match with the return of Australia Test stars Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon. Last playing in the BBL three seasons ago (BBL|09), Smith’s return is equally special for him and the Sixers faithful.

“I’m absolutely pumped. The boys are playing some really good cricket lately and obviously coming up against the pick of the competition at the moment in the Scorchers. I’m absolutely thrilled to be back and it’s a great vibe in amongst the change room at the moment,” Lyon said.

“Smithy [Steve Smith] and I are pretty keen to get out there.”

Just like the Sixers, the Perth Scorchers have re-gained the services of Australian Test squad members. Ashton Agar and Lance Morris who were a part of the Test squad against South Africa returned to the team last Wednesday night against the Brisbane Heat.

Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith will return to the Big Bash League tonight at the SCG. (Photo: Joshua Davis)

Nathon Lyon was asked about the rivalry between the two teams in the lead-up to the game.

“You look at the way that Perth Scorchers have been playing their cricket over the last number of years and they’ve been absolutely the pick of the competition and there’s a fair reason for that,” he said.

“They’ve got some absolute superstars in their side, so we’ve gotta make sure that we come planned and just go out there and play some cricket.”

As Perth and Sydney sit in first and second position, a win will keep each side firmly at the top of the table. With the BBL picking up and entering its finals stages, a victory on Sunday night will not only grant bragging rights but confidence heading into the finals.

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Coming off a good knock against the Sydney Thunder where he scored 40 runs, opening batter Stephen Eskinazi has stood up for the Scorchers, this comes after the departure of Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth.

Eskinazi will be hoping for a similar performance on Sunday against the Sixers.

“Really pleasing to make a contribution (against the Thunder),” Eskinazi said.

“Obviously having a nice lead-in for a couple of weeks while Faf (du Plessis) and ‘Lythy’ [Adam Lyth] were doing a good job at the top of the order and the boys are playing some really good cricket.”

Stephen Eskinazi in action against the Sydney Thunder. (Photo: Joshua Davis)

Ahead of the clash, Ezkinazi praised former Australian opening batter and batting partner Cameron Bancroft. Bancroft has averaged 61.67 runs this season with a top score of 76 not out.

“His consistency at the top of the order’s been awesome and he has made some match-winning contributions in the field too,” Eskinazi said.

“He’s flying high from a confidence perspective and looking to go again tomorrow.”

The Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers will go head-to-head at 19:15 AEDT at the Sydney Cricket Ground tonight.

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