After an exciting double header day of action in the Big Bash League on Monday we are down to just the single match on Tuesday with two sides at the opposite ends of the table in action as the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Stars at the Adelaide Oval.
The Strikers can join the Perth Scorchers at the head of the table if they win the match but having played four and lost the lot the last orders bell at the last chance saloon is ready to be rung for the Melbourne Stars.
The Adelaide Strikers have picked up four wins from their five matches to date in the tournament with their sole defeat to an in form Hobart Hurricanes side. They have the best net run rate in the competition so a win here will take them top of the pile and within a win or two of the semi-finals with so much of the season rest to run.
The bowling attack of the Adelaide outfit has been in good form for much of the season and they are showing no signs of slowing down but the big thing as far as the Strikers are concerned is the improvement in their batting from their first few matches. Colin Ingram finding his feet has been a key factor in that.
Not for the first time in Big Bash League history the Melbourne Stars have begun a season slowly. In campaigns past they have bounced back and made it through to the semi-finals but I detected a blasé kind of outlook to their slow start earlier on in the season when Kevin Pietersen was on commentary duty and in truth they’ve got worse since then.
Sometimes the Stars’ form can be put down to their international players but they have only had Peter Handscomb away so far and he isn’t exactly pulling up trees form wise. The simple truth is that they have been found wanting with the bat and the ball and I’m not sure they have realised quite how many issues they have.
The Adelaide Strikers will go into this match with the same squad that they used for their win over the Sydney Thunder last time out. Captain Travis Head will be playing his final match before disappearing on international duty.
Melbourne Stars have made one change to their squad. Michael Beer has been replaced by Dan Worrall. Marcus Stoinis plays his final match before he heads off to join up with the Australia ODI squad.
I like two bets in this match. I have to take the home side to win the game. There is a misconception around that batsmen win these matches but they don’t it is the bowling attack that does. I believe the Adelaide Strikers have the better bowling attack of the two here and I’m not sure it is close. They have seamers who are hard to score off and who take wickets while their spinners are as good as there is in the competition. The Stars have to win this match but we’ve seen that pressure weigh them down in recent matches and against a confident side like Adelaide that may be a bad thing. Adelaide are a good side and they can pile more misery onto the Stars here.
Glenn Maxwell has suddenly found form with the bat again and another big performance here could be perfectly timed as there is a place in the Australia ODI set up ready and waiting for someone after Chris Lynn was forced to pull out. Maxwell has a performance line of just 24.5 which he has covered with the bat in his last two innings but when you think of the effect he has in the field and the outside chance that he might bowl I think there is every chance he will cover that however many facets he needs to use.
WON – Back Adelaide Strikers to beat Melbourne Stars for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365
WON – Back G.Maxwell’s Performance – Over 24.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Paddy Power
Back him here: