In the 19th match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Stars will be all set to take on Sydney Thunder on Tuesday (December 29) in Canberra.
Stationed, currently, at number four position in the points table, Melbourne Stars faced the first defeat of the BBL against Sydney Sixers, which was their last match. They were likely to be the winners but were unfortunate to beat lucky Sixers.
Meanwhile, Stars have comfortably defeated Thunder in their first meeting, which was the season opener for both teams. They will look to maintain their winning streak against Thunder.
Here, let’s take a look at how Melbourne Stars can shape in for the fixture:
The West Indies player has not been able to set the stage on fire for Melbourne Stars in the last three matches. He has amassed 12, 12, 6* and 4 runs respectively. The 33-year-old, who has represented Windies in 45 T20Is and 25 ODIs, will have to give a good start to the team to release the pressure from Glenn Maxwell’s shoulder.
After being out for a duck in the first match, Marcus Stoinis scored 61 and four runs respectively in his last two matches. He missed the last match of Melbourne Stars against Sydney Sixers.
Australia’s national team’s star allrounder is being only used as a pure batsman. He had sustained a side strain injury during India’s limited-over leg series. After which, he has been not bowling. Maybe in the latter half, he will be used in the bowling option when he regains full fitness.
In his last three innings, Hilton Cartwright has overall scored 69 runs. He hasn’t played his role at number three successfully. In the last match against Sydney Sixers, after the early fall of openers, he should have taken the command of the innings instead he gave away his wicket cheaply. Apart from batting, he is also a useful bowler. He will have to set the base for Melbourne Stars.
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell played a fiery unbeaten knock of 71 runs. In his innings, he smacked five four and as many sixes to take the game total to 193 runs. Although the bowlers could not defend the target. Maxwell will look to bounce back stronger against Sydney Thunder, who are currently at the number two position in the points table.
Continuing his good form of IPL, Nicholas Pooran has left everyone in awe with his power-hitting against Syndey Sixers. He struck eight giant sixes and two fours. The flamboyant scored 65 runs off 26 balls to push the total of Stars above 180 after the early fall of top-order. If he plays another knock like this, Melbourne Stars will be no doubt in a good position.
Maddinson missed the last match against Sydney Sixers, which Melbourne Stars ended up losing. The part-time spinner was the game-changer for the stars against Perth Scorchers. He picked up two wickets in two overs while gave away eight runs. Stars will hope for him to come out good with the bat against Thunder.
In the season opener match of Melbourne Stars against Brisbane Heat, Nathan Coulter-Nile notched a four-wicket haul and guided the side to a comfortable victory. Against Perth Scorchers, he went wicketless in his three overs. He bounced back stronger in the last match, picking two wickets in three matches.
The right-hand fast bowler will want to replicate his performance of the first match in Canberra.
Australia’s premier spinner Adam Zampa was badly beaten although he picked two crucial wickets of Joshu Phillipe and Jason Holders. In his four-over quota, he was smacked for 47 runs. The leg-spinner will look to get on the nerves of Sydney Thunders.
Liam Hatcher has got the knack of picking wickets at the crucial junctures. Against Sydney Sixer, he got the wicket of Carlos Braithwaite who was snatching the game away from them. The pacer also sent Jordan Silk early. He was the most economical bowler for Melbourne Stars among the ones, who bowled four overs.
Billy Stanlake, who has lost his place from the national side, impressive figures in the first three matches were disturbed in the last match against Sydney Sixers. He leaked 41 runs in his four overs and picked the only wicket of Jack Edwards.
The right-hand pacer has come out in great form this season and will be looking to prove his case after being sidelined from the Australian team.
Tom O’Connell, who is playing the second season of BBL, will be playing only his sixth T20 match for Melbourne Stars against Sydney Sixers. Being inexperienced, he went expensive in his last match. He bowled only one over but was hit for two sixes and overall, gave away 15 runs.