There is one match in the Big Bash League on Wednesday and it comes from the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the Melbourne Stars look to continue their recent revival when they go up against the Perth Scorchers.
The Scorchers are having a shocking campaign at the minute and head to Melbourne in desperate need of a victory, while a win for the Stars will move them up to second in the table and within two points of the leaders.
It took them a couple of matches to settle in and find their roles but the Melbourne Stars look to be getting better with each and every game that they play. They have won their last three outings, all in impressive fashion, and with matches in hand of all the other sides around them in the table, they will be looking to push on and claim a playoff berth.
Both facets of the game are working well for the Stars. They are bowling nicely, and even the exit of Sandeep Lamichhane never stopped their bowling last time out. It is now three matches in a row that they have not conceded 150 and that is easing any pressure on their batting completely. Their three wins have all come chasing so it will be interesting to see if anything changes were they to bat first.
The Perth Scorchers have gone from being one of the best outfits in the competition to the worst, and their defeat to the Brisbane Heat last time out send them to the bottom of the table. They have played six matches and only have one win to their name so realistically they are going to need to win at least six of their last eight and even that might not be enough to make the finals.
As we’ve been saying throughout the competition so far, the Scorchers do not need to search very far to see where they have been going wrong. Their batting has just not got going at any stage in this tournament. They have still not made 150 in any of their matches and you are swimming against the tide when you score so few runs. To be fair their bowlers aren’t going around the park but it doesn’t make any difference when they bat so poorly.
The Melbourne Stars will be without their international trio of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa for a while as they are off on Australia duty. Nic Maddinson returns from injury at a good time while Nick Larkin and Jonathan Merlo are in the squad.
Perth Scorchers are also missing an international trio. Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Mitch Marsh are away with Australia so Sam Whiteman, Usman Qadir and Aaron Hardie come into the squad. Shaun Marsh is another who is absent.
The Perth Scorchers’ batting has been so bad this season that they have not hit more than 12 boundaries in any innings at any stage and you would think there is no reason why that trend will automatically change with no significant addition to the batting line up so with that in mind a 31.5 boundaries line looks quite high.
The Stars are without a significant portion of their batting line up in this match with Maxwell and Stoinis off with Australia and to be fair not many teams have much joy when it comes to hitting this Scorchers attack around the park. Throw in the size of the boundaries and the fact that the ball is likely to dominate the bat and I’m happy to take the under on that line.
Dwayne Bravo hasn’t seen much time in the middle with the bat in this tournament but natural logic would suggest he is going to see more here with the amount of batting that the Stars are missing. We know he is a quality T20 operator and we only have to think back to the CPL in the summer to remember some eye catching performances with the bat. Given all the absences in the Stars’ batting line up Bravo isn’t the worst 17/2 shot in the world to be the top Stars batsman.
WON – Back Under 31.5 boundaries for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
Back it here:
Back D.Bravo Top Melbourne Stars Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 with Betfred
Back him here: