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Thunder has crucial depth ahead of derby

Thunder coach Shane Bond has lauded the depth of his squad as he deals with some pleasant selection headaches ahead of Wednesday night’s Sydney derby against the Sixers at Manuka Oval.The Sixers moved back ahead of the Thunder at the top of the BBL ladder with a last-ball win over Brisbane Heat at Metricon Stadium…

Thunder coach Shane Bond has lauded the depth of his squad as he deals with some pleasant selection headaches ahead of Wednesday night’s Sydney derby against the Sixers at Manuka Oval.

The Sixers moved back ahead of the Thunder at the top of the BBL ladder with a last-ball win over Brisbane Heat at Metricon Stadium on Sunday night.

But with both teams having six wins from nine matches, and only two points separating them, the Thunder are confident of claiming bragging rights on Wednesday.

“We’ve played well so far,” Bond said.

“I’m really looking forward to the game. The games are always close against the Sixers. It should be a belter.”

Bond said one of his toughest tasks this season had been trying to reward form players with constant selection.

“It’s been probably the biggest challenge this year, trying to marry up the guys who are performing with perhaps someone who may fit the conditions,” he said.

“Those guys who have come in and been given the opportunity have played brilliantly.

“We know we’ve got a really deep squad, we know we’ve got all our bases covered … it certainly gives me a headache, especially leading into this game.

“The way Brendan Doggett bowled particularly in the last game was sensational, so it’s a good place to be in, particularly when we’re coming up to three games in four days right at the back end of the season and the playoffs after that.

“We knew that the depth of this squad was going to be important, so I’d expect to see a number of players play across those games.”

Paceman Doggett had waited patiently for an opportunity and it finally came on Saturday night against the Scorchers in Perth,

Despite the Thunder losing the game, Doggett made the most of his chance, finishing with bowling figures of 4-22 in his first appearance of the season.

“Not playing you still feel like you’re part of the team, you still feel like you have a role to play, so if I am to be out of the 11 again that’s OK as long as we’re winning and moving forward towards winning the tournament – that’s the main thing,” Doggett said.

“Everything that happens off the field and the way Sydney Thunder as a whole work, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s one of the best teams I’ve been a part of in the way it’s run. Everyone here’s on the same page, and everyone has the same drive and same passion for what we want to achieve.”

Doggett would be unlucky to miss selection for the derby after his brilliant performance in Perth, but with Australian representative Daniel Sams again available for selection after recovering from concussion, the 26-year-old Queenslander is no certainty to retain his spot.

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