Perth Scorchers will aim to end their poor run to keep their playoff hopes alive when they face Melbourne Stars in the 25th fixture of this year's Big Bash League (BBL) at the MCG on Wednesday, January 9.
Both teams have faced each other on twelve occasions with the scoreline leveled at 6-6. In their previous encounter during the last season, Scorchers secured a 13-run win.
Batting first, the Scorchers posted 142/6 in their quota of twenty overs and then restricted the Stars to 129/8 to seal the match.
The Stars are currently third in the BBL 2018-19 standings with three wins and two losses from five league matches. They are coming on the back of an impressive seven wicket win against Melbourne Renegades in their previous match.
With the departure of their front-line batsmen including skipper Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis (due to ODI call up), the Stars are forced to make a lot of changes to their playing XI.
In the absence of these players, Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Nick Larkin will need to bear additional responsibility to get the team towards a good total. Larkin has scored two 40-plus scores in the tournament including a 41 against Sydney Thunder. While Bravo boasts a tremendous batting firepower and these two, along with Ben Dunk will be expected to give their best.
Scott Boland has taken four wickets in the last two games, while Jackson Coleman claimed 3-18 in his previous outing against Sydney Sixers. These two will be expected to replicate their show against Perth. Meanwhile Bravo with six wickets in the tournament can be a worthy option during powerplay and death overs.
Expected Playing XI
Ben Dunk, Jonathan Merlo, Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Nick Larkin, Evan Gulbis, Liam Plunkett, Jackson Coleman, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe and Michael Beer.
Perth Scorchers are having a disastrous season as they have managed to just one win out of six league games. They will be hoping for a change in fortunes against a new look Stars.
Ashton Turner is among the leading run scorers of this year's league with 197 runs in six outings and is coming off a 30-ball 47 against Brisbane Heat. He will be Perth's major hope in batting and they will need him to score big on this occasion.
Meanwhile, they will bank on the likes of Hilton Cartwright, who is the only other batsman to score a half-century in the side and the returning man Cameron Bancroft, to put the best effort to get the team off to a good total.
Both Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile have snared eight wickets apiece and these two will be expected to rattle the Stars top order early on. David Willey is another man in the lineup with potential to swing the ball effectively and he will be their main weapon during middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Michael Klinger, Andrew Tye, Cameron Bancroft, David Willey, Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner, Hilton Cartwright, William Bosisto, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Matthew Kelly and Jason Behrendorff.Published 08 Jan 2019, 20:31 IST