We have another double header of action in the Big Bash League on Tuesday and it begins with the rearranged match between the leaders Perth Scorchers and the Melbourne Stars at the Marvel Stadium in Geelong.
The Scorchers have already secured their playoff spot and a win here would put them on the edge of guaranteeing a top two place. The Stars kept their season alive with a win on Monday evening and will be looking to move into the top five with victory here.
The Perth Scorchers reminded everyone of their credentials for the title in their last match on Sunday when they took care of the defending champions Sydney Sixers and despite all the disadvantages that have come their way the Scorchers continue to look the team to beat. They have had matches come thick and fast but it remains the case that the Sydney Thunder are still the only team to have got the better of them this term.
The key thing for the Scorchers from here on in is making sure that they maintain their intensity. The finals do not begin for two weeks and Perth are away from home throughout so that might be easier said than done. There are certainly no concerns on the field apart from injuries starting to catch up with them. They are batting well and as is always the case they are bowling well too. At this stage they look like the team to beat.
The Melbourne Stars returned to action on Monday evening and they did so with a victory but such has been the impact that Covid had on their side, they are now having to move across Melbourne to play again well less than 24 hours later. It is never the easiest thing in the world to back up the next day, especially in this format which is so intense. That is usually difficult when everyone is fully fit and there are 24 hours between matches. The Stars will have barely 18 hours between the two.
The Stars delivered a solid enough performance against the Adelaide Strikers on Monday but they won’t need me to tell them they face a much stiffer task of it in this match. The concern over the Stars is a lack of top order runs with the exception of Joe Clarke who is having a fine season. Nevertheless they made an awkward chase look fairly routine against the Strikers and they should take a lot of confidence from that. They will need to have though.
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Colin Munro has added himself to the list of Perth absentees for the foreseeable future. They were already without Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis who are away with Australia. Jason Behrendorff is in the squad but his availability is still unknown.
Melbourne Stars will welcome Glenn Maxwell back into their side for this match after he has completed his isolation period. He will resume the captaincy of the side and most likely come in for Clint Hinchliffe.
I think we’ll see a fairly high scoring match here. We’ve only had one match on this ground this season and while that wasn’t overly high scoring the main reason for that was because it was the match which Brisbane Heat played at short notice against the Melbourne Renegades when a lot of their players were making their competition debut. They only put up 128/6 but the fact it was chased down inside 15 overs suggests there was nothing wrong with the pitch.
This is a small ground anyway. There were two matches here two seasons ago which were much higher scoring and there were 39 boundaries in each one and that is something like the sort of match I expect to see here, particularly as unlike that first game here this term both sides are active and have some big hitters of a cricket ball. The boundaries line for this match is 36.5 and when you consider there were 29 in that Heat vs Renegades match which was low scoring. I expect there to be a lot more runs here and on a ground where all the boundaries are accessible I like the over here.
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