There is a double header in the Big Bash League on Sunday and it begins early in the day at The Gabba as the Brisbane Heat will look to continue their march towards the finals when they play host to the Melbourne Stars.
The Stars already know they will be watching on when the finals of this competition take place next week but the Heat are very much still in with a chance of being there themselves. A win here enhances those hopes while a defeat could be fatal to them.
After taking far too long to get going this season, the Brisbane Heat are now one of the form teams and for the second year in succession they are looking to come with a late run and make it into the finals. They have won their last three matches and know if they make it to five wins on the spin they will be in the finals. The table is so condensed that if they do that there is a chance they could skip the first eliminator too which would be useful.
The good thing for the Heat is those three wins have come in very different ways. They have won with a bit in hand, had to really battle in another and then held their nerve in the third of those victories and it is always good when teams wins in different ways. The other positive for the Heat is that their batting hasn’t really fired as one complete unit in those three wins so if it does start doing that they’ll be in a very good position.
Not for the first time for the Melbourne Stars, this has been a season to forget and already they are going through the post mortem of where it all went wrong and what needs to happen to give themselves a chance to finally getting their hands on this title next season. The simple fact is that their squad wasn’t good enough to begin with and hasn’t really looked like it could overperform at any stage hence why even with two matches left they can’t reach the postseason.
The Stars have either opened the batting very well and not built on the start that they have put down or they have started badly and although they have recovered the situation they haven’t done it well enough to be competitive. The real issue has been with the ball though. Their star players have turned up and delivered the goods but the problem is there hasn’t been enough of them. I would imagine a major reset will happen at the end of this season.
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Just quietly Michael Neser is beginning to bowl really well in this tournament and the Brisbane Heat could really use some wickets from him in this match. As well as his bowling, his late order batting has been useful at times as well.
You get the impression that if the Melbourne Stars are to have any chance in this match they are going to need someone to get stuck in at the top of the order with the ball so Nathan Coulter-Nile could be pivotal here especially as he can get a few shots away late on.
These two sides met a couple of matches ago and the Melbourne Stars should have won the match. It was only a brilliant batting performance from Matt Renshaw which got the Brisbane Heat over the line but in that match Joe Clarke and Hilton Cartwright, usually two reliable batters for the Melbourne Stars scored 11 runs between them and even then it needed a boundary off the last ball for the Heat to come out on top.
I’m not convinced Renshaw has many innings like that in him here so if the Stars bowling can get to grips with him and those key batters come to the party like they usually do then I think Melbourne might be overpriced here. I don’t think the gulf between these two is as big as the odds would have us believe here. This is very much a price influenced by one team having to win and the other playing for nothing. Need to win has never automatically equalled will win though and there is enough in the price to tempt me in on the Stars.
Back Melbourne Stars to beat Brisbane Heat for a 3/10 stake at 2.35 with Bet365