In the last group stage match of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, Melbourne Stars will look horn with Sydney Sixers on January 26 (Tuesday). This will be the 56th match of the 10th season of the league.
Melbourne Stars are currently lying at the seventh position in the points table after consecutively losing their last two matches. Their chances to qualify for the playoffs have become narrower. But they will look to win against Sydney Sixers which is their last chance to enter the top five in the points table.
Here, let’s take a look at Melbourne Stars playing XI:
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. In 12 matches, he has amassed 384 runs at the strike rate of 142.75.
Seb Gotch (wk):
After Andre Fletcher could not give a strong base to the side, Seb Gotch was promoted to openers position in the last match. However, he also could not give a good base to the side. He scored 18 runs off 20 balls. But Melbourne Stars will retain him to the opener’s position and back him to set the field for them.
Nick Larkin, who had an impressive season last year, returned in the playing XI after Nic Maddison got injured. He is currently one of the leading scorers for Melbourne Stars. In ten matches, he has scored 264 runs at the strike rate of 132.00. After scoring maiden fifty of the season, he amassed another top-notch 70 in the last match but it ended up in the losing cause.
Glenn Maxwell (c):
Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell is scoring a large chunk of runs but all have come under pressure after the early departure of the top-order. But in the last five matches, he has been out for duck three times which has costed the team. He will look to play a captain’s knock in the last group stage match.
Nic Maddinson has returned to the playing XI after recovering from injury. In the first meeting against Adelaide Strikers, he scored unbeaten 48 runs off 34 balls in which he struck two fours and three sixes to push the total past 140 after the early fall of middle-order. Melbourne Stars will hope that the Aussie such more knocks.
Hilton Cartwright has been a consistent scorer for Melbourne Stars in the middle-order. Against Adelaide Strikers, he smashed 30 runs off 17 balls, which includes two fours and as many sixes. His fiery knock contributed to taking the team’s total past 170.
Nathan Coulter-Nile has gone expensive with the ball in the last two matches, leaking over 10 runs per over. Talking about his batting performance, he has neither been effective. Melbourne Stars will hope that he gives an overall contribution in the last match.
After having a disappointing start of the season, Adam Zampa has bounced back stronger. Against Adelaide Strikers, he ran through the opposition batting line up while defending 180 runs target. He notched a five-wicket haul while gave away only 17 runs in his 3.2 overs. And as a result, Strikers were bundled out for just 68 runs. The spinner was the main architect of Melbourne Stars’ thumping win.
Liam Hatcher has got the knack of picking wickets at crucial junctures. Against Sydney Sixers, he got the wicket of Carlos Braithwaite who was snatching the game away from Melbourne Stars. 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, the right-arm pacer, is among the leading wicket-takers of the Melbourne Stars. In 11 matches, he has picked up 12 wickets but at the poor economy rate of 8.8. Against Melbourne Renegades in the first meeting, he notched the important wicket of Shaun Marsh and Sam Harper.
The Afghan spinner Zahir Khan registered the most economical figure against Adelaide Strikers. In his four overs, he conceded only 19 runs while picked two wickets. This was only his fourth match of this season for Melbourne Stars.