Big Bash League 2018-19, Perth Scorchers vs Melbourne Stars: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After fifty BBL 2018-19 games done and dusted, the league table has nicely shaped up with Melbourne Stars chasing a semi-final spot with a win critical to their ambitions. Standing in their way are the table dwellers, Perth Scorchers led by Mitchell Marsh.
The perennial favourites, Perth have been dismal with the bat all season and have suffered due to it on countless occasions. On the other hand, the Stars have won their last three games on the trot thanks to Marcus Stoinis, who has taken it upon himself to lead the Stars to the semis.
With the match being played at the Optus Stadium and this being the Scorchers' final home game, this match is sure to be a thriller for everyone to witness.
After another dreadful performance with the bat on Friday, Perth need to regain their mojo if they are to even come close to beating the Stars. Shaun Marsh isn't available for this match which leaves Michael Klinger to open the batting after being dropped a couple of matches ago.
The onus lies upon the trio of Bancroft, Mitchell Marsh and their top scorer Ashton Turner to propel the Scorchers to a par score and give their bowlers something to work with. Josh Inglis could continue at the top of the order and with enough batting depth available as well, Perth should do well against a good Stars attack.
Usman Qadir isn't included in the side and has been replaced with Nathan Coulter-Nile due to the overlying conditions at the Optus Stadium. Matt Kelly has been sensational since his first match in the BBL 2018-19 season with his death bowling shining out amongst an array of tricks he has. Perth need Andrew Tye and Jason Behrendorff to show up on Sunday with the latter capable of wreaking havoc inside the powerplay overs to give the Scorchers a handy advantage.
Expected Playing XI:
Michael Klinger, Josh Inglis(WK), Cameron Bancroft, Mitchell Marsh (C), Ashton Turner, Nick Hobson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Clint Hinchcliffe, Matt Kelly and Jason Behrendorff.
Marcus Stoinis and Ben Dunk have been brilliant ever since they were paired together at the top of the order and have been ably supported by the likes of Pete Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell. Nic Maddinson recently came back after a bout in the sidelines and has looked good in patches.
A big performance is expected of the former Sixers batsmen. Dwayne Bravo and Evan Gulbis' presence in the lower middle order gives the Stars ample depth to go big in Perth which has produced a few high-scoring matches.
Liam Plunkett has settled in nicely within the Stars setup with the Englishman doing admirably in the ongoing BBL. Marcus Stoinis as been doing great with the ball as well with a couple of wickets in each of his last three games. He has fourteen wickets in just eight games making him one of Maxwell's go-to bowlers in the Stars side.
Jackson Bird and Dwayne Bravo have also been great for them with the former going at just 5.88 runs-per-over in the five matches he has played. All of them need to fire in unison if they are to avoid losing to the Scorchers again in the season.
Expected Playing XI:
Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Pete Handscomb (WK), Glenn Maxwell(C), Nic Maddinson, Dwayne Bravo, Evan Gulbis, Liam Plunkett, Adam Zampa, Jackson Bird and Jackson Coleman.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:20 IST