The last Big Bash League match of 2023 takes place at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday as the tradition of the Adelaide Strikers seeing the new year in with a home match continues. The Melbourne Stars are the opponents this year.
These two teams go into the final match of the year either side of the playoff line and the winner will begin 2024 sat in the top four so there is plenty at stage and there won’t be any partying on either side until this one is done.
The Adelaide Strikers won their first completed match this season but they have lost the two since then so they will be looking towards the big crowd and the party atmosphere to get them going in a match they could really do with winning to give themselves the best chance of reaching the playoffs. The loss to the Sydney Sixers was probably acceptable but not getting over the line against the Melbourne Renegades last time out was of no use to them.
When you consider that the Strikers have a couple of matches against the Perth Scorchers next up this is a match they just can’t afford to lose. We know they are struggling with the ball at present so they are going to need their batters to come to the fore for them. Thankfully for them they have boundaries which suit the way they bat and that will hopefully serve them well for this match as they look to keep their season alive in many ways.
It looked like this was going to be another season of nothing for the Melbourne Stars when they were tamely beaten in their opening three matches but seemingly out of nowhere they have really come to the party and have successive wins to their name and another here will have them looking very pretty in terms of kicking on and reaching the playoffs, especially when you consider they have a couple of matches with a struggling Renegades to come.
The Stars were perhaps a little fortunate that their most recent game was cut short by the rain. When the run chase got going the target always looked a favourable one and even though they lost three early wickets they had enough power and class to make it through. They will probably need more of that here but it has been a while since Melbourne went into a game with their confidence high so they should enjoy the position that they are in.
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Jamie Overton has delivered a couple of cameos with the bat in his brief time at the Adelaide Strikers and although he has been brought in for what he can do with the ball, if he can club a few big shots here it will do them no harm.
Glenn Maxwell reminded everyone why he has been one of the best white ball players in Australia in the last decade in the last match and the Melbourne Stars will be hoping that he fancies the occasion and showcases his talents here.
I’m expecting a lot of big hitting in this match. These two teams are full of big hitting batters and the platform and the backdrop is of a party atmosphere which lends itself to big hitting and high scoring and I don’t see these two teams disappointing. We have seen already in their matches that Adelaide Strikers are struggling with the ball and looking to dominate with the bat and until the spinners come on for the Stars the same can be said of them.
We have some big hitters swinging from the hips for us in this match. Matt Short and Glenn Maxwell are two of the cleaner ball strikers going around but there is also D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Jamie Overton, Marcus Stoinis, Hilton Cartwright and Beau Webster among others so we certainly aren’t short of firepower in this one. That makes me think that a 12.5 sixes line is very attainable, especially when you consider the only previous completed match here had 17 of them.
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