BBL 2018-19 Match 20, Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder: Preview and Playing XI
Sydney Thunder is all set to face Melbourne Stars at the Carrara Oval in Queensland on Saturday, January 5. Both teams have played nine matches against each other in the Big Bash League, with six of those been won by the Sydney Thunder and three by the Melbourne Stars.
In their most recent clash on December 21, the Thunder registered a 15 run win at the Manuka Oval. In a rain-affected game, the Thunder posted 81/5 on the scoreboard and then restricted the Stars at 74/6.
Sydney Thunder have beaten Melbourne Stars in each of their previous five meetings including their opening clash this season, and this will certainly give them the psychological advantage ahead of this clash.
Jos Buttler is currently on the second position in the seasons runs chart with 250 runs in five games and possesses an incredible average of 50. Skipper Callum Ferguson meanwhile, is their second best batsman this season with 142 runs and these two can be dangerous if not dismissed early.
Joe Root and Shane Watson are the other big guns in the lineup, who are yet to play their part and these two will be eager to score big against the Stars.
Daniel Sams and Fawad Ahmed have been the key wicket taker for the Thunder this season with eight and six wickets respectively and they are likely to be the go-to men for his skipper Watson. Meanwhile, Chris Green, Sam Rainbird, and Jonathan Cook have also played their part in succession and have picked three wickets each and they will look to build up the pressure from the other end.
Expected Playing XI
Shane Watson (C), Jos Buttler (W), Callum Ferguson, Joe Root, Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams, Chris Green, Gurinder Sandhu, Jonathan Cook, Sam Rainbird, and Fawad Ahmed.
Melbourne Stars had a disastrous start to this season campaign, but managed to get themselves back on track in their previous game against Melbourne Renegades and will be hoping to end their poor run against Thunder.
Marcus Stoinis certainly ignited new hope in Melbourne campaign. He was promoted up the order in the previous fixture against Renegades and he took full advantage of the opportunity to score a 49-ball 78. While skipper Glenn Maxwell has also been in good touch, these two will lead the charge against Melbourne Stars.
They will also have a lot of expectations from Nick Larkin and Ben Dunk to put their best feet forward and get the team off to a decent total.
The departure of Sandeep Sandeep Lamichhane is certainly a big blow for the Stars as the Nepal sensation was their best strike bowler so far and they will certainly miss his services against Thunder. In his absence, Dwayne Bravo will bear the responsibility to lead the bowling brigade.
Scott Boland and Adam Zampa are their next best options in the side and these two have shared seven wickets between them so far. They will be backed by the skipper to tighten the screws in the middle.
Expected Playing XI
Glenn Maxwell (C), Marcus Stoinis, Ben Dunk (W), Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Nick Larkin, Evin Gulbis, Adam Zampa, Jackson Coleman, Scott Boland, and Michael Beer.