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News

Sangha unfazed by pitch talk ahead of Canberra BBL game

A storm damaged the surface ahead of the final day of last week's Prime Minister's XI match

AAP
11-Dec-2023
Spin bowler Tanveer Sangha has dismissed concerns about the recently rain-soaked Manuka Oval pitch ahead of Sydney Thunder's BBL opener.
Last week's Prime Minister's XI match against Pakistan came to an abrupt end after 55kph winds blew the covers off the Manuka Oval pitch overnight Friday, when torrential rain fell in Canberra.
On Saturday morning, play was deemed unsafe to continue on the drenched wicket and the game ended in a draw.
Less than four days on from the downpour, Thunder are facing Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval, which traditionally hosts the western Sydney team's first home game of the BBL summer.
Canberra has enjoyed mostly dry conditions since the downpour on Friday night and more of the same is forecast for game day on Tuesday.
Thunder have trained at Manuka Oval in the lead-up to Tuesday's match, which will be played on one of the wickets adjacent to that used for the ill-fated PM's XI match. As of Monday afternoon, final preparations on the pitch were still being completed.
Thunder will lean on intel from Cameron Bancroft and Nathan McAndrew, their team-mates who played for the PM's XI last week, and have had the chance to inspect the wicket that will be used.
"It didn't look too bad. It looked fine," Sangha said. "We expect a pretty true surface, a pretty nice wicket, but I think all the boys said it's a nice batting wicket.
"Red ball's a completely different game from T20 Big Bash but I think it'll turn out pretty good, Manuka's usually a good ground, has really good crowds. I'm really looking forward to playing there."
The pitch discussion comes as Sunday's clash between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers was called off after the Geelong pitch was also saturated by rain in the lead-up.
Sangha looked forward to welcoming English top-order batter Alex Hales back for his fifth tournament at the Thunder.
"He's huge for us," Sangha said. "The batting he brings, how dominating he is, how scared our opponents are to bowl to him, I think that brings a lot of fear and brings us a lot of confidence."