Inside Sixers’ plan to bring down batting sensation
The Sydney Sixers are preparing to give English batting sensation Tom Banton a night he'd rather forget when he makes his SCG Big Bash debut.
One of England's most exciting young batsmen, Banton has set the competition alight after his electrifying start for the Brisbane Heat where he smashed four sixes in an explosive 36-ball 64 against the Melbourne Stars.
In form spinner Ben Manenti is of the few Sixers players who has already played against the 21-year-old Banton so he has given his teammates an insight into what they can expect when the teams lock horns at the SCG.
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"I've seen a fair bit of Tom Banton because I've spent the last four winters in England so I've seen him and played against him a little bit," Manenti said.
"He's definitely a dangerous player because of the fact he hits it so powerfully 360 degrees so we're going to have to find a way to counter that but the performances from our bowling group so far this season have been superb."
The Sixers are still licking their wounds after a disastrous batting collapse saw them crash to a 25-run loss against Hobart in Alice Springs after they had restricted the Hurricanes to 9-129.
The loss leaves the Sixers at 1-1 this season after they thrashed the Perth Scorchers by eight wickets at home after bowling them out for just 131 but Manenti, who has taken two wickets in each match this season to continue his impressive rise since making his BBL debut last year, said the Sixers would be a more formidable all round side at the SCG.
"We like putting on a show and a performance for our own crowd. We'd like to think it's a bit of a fortress and a tough place for teams to come and win," he said.
"We started the season with a bang so it was a bit disappointing obviously (to lose against Hobart) so we'd love to get another win at home and get on a bit of a roll."
Manenti, 22, provided one of the few bright moments from the Sixers' collapse when he clubbed a career-best 22 after coming in at number 10.
The Sixers were in total disarray at 8-61 in the 10th over after Afghan spinner Qais Ahmad removed Tom Curran, Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis in four balls but Manenti gave the men in magenta a glimmer of hope with a 41-run partnership with Jordan Silk that featured a pulled six off Simon Milenko.
"I love my batting, I've always claimed to be a decent batter but the nine blokes in front of me are all good batters so I don't get many chances but it was nice to get a little bit of time in the middle," he said.
"I did start out as a batsman but I made my first grade debut as a spinner when I was still in school so my batting sort of took a bit of a back seat from there but it was good to get out there and slog a few although it was unfortunate Silky and I couldn't get us over the line.
"I've still only played about 10 games so I'm trying to learn and grow so I'm still just bouncing things off the coaches and the players to help get me heading in the right direction."