Adelaide Strikers (STR) and Melbourne Stars (STA) will lock horns in the 39th game of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2021-22 on Saturday, January 15. Adelaide Oval will be the venue for this game.
Adelaide Strikers are in fifth spot in the points table, with four wins and eight defeats from 12 games. Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars are in sixth position with five wins and six defeats from 11 matches.
Adelaide defeated table toppers Perth Scorchers by six wickets, which was surprising considering their form and how the Scorchers were playing. Nevertheless, Adelaide restricted the Scorchers to just 127-9. They never allowed Perth batters to settle in, and kept them under the pump throughout the innings. Fawad Ahmed picked up three wickets, with Peter Siddle and Henry Thornton snaring two scalps apiece.
Their batters then comfortably chased down the target with three overs and six wickets to spare. Ian Cockbain, who made his BBL debut, top-scored for Adelaide with 35 runs. Matthew Short (34 runs) and Henry Hunt (27 runs) also made handy contributions with the bat.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars are coming off a dominating six-wicket win against Melbourne Renegades. After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, Stars bowlers did an excellent job by limiting the Renegades to only 122-7 in their allotted twenty overs. Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf picked up two wickets, while the two leg-spinners Adam Zampa and Qais Ahmad picked up two scalps apiece.
Chasing a modest target, Stars lost the in-form Joe Clarke and Beau Webster very early. After that it was captain Glenn Maxwell’s show who scored an unbeaten 68 off 45 deliveries to see his team over the winning line.
Both teams are coming off a win in their last games, and are high on confidence. Five teams will qualify for the playoffs, so this will be a very crucial game for both the teams.
Can the Strikers (STR) beat the Stars (STA)?
Strikers and Stars both struggled before their victories in their last games against Scorchers and Renegades respectively.
Rashid Khan will be unavailable for the Strikers, who beat the Scorchers in his absence. They’ve added Ian Cockbain to their squad, who has strengthened their batting order, and their other batters also finally performed as a unit in the game against Scorchers. They could be a tough opponent to beat if their batting clicks.
Melbourne Stars, meanwhile, are still inconsistent with their batting. Glenn Maxwell’s return will boost their chances, but apart from him and Joe Clarke, their batting doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
Their bowling has been good, with the likes of Haris Rauf, Adam Zampa and Qais Ahmad contributing handily. However, Rauf and Qais won’t be available for the remaining games, which will be a massive blow. Stars will need to put in a collective performance if they are to beat the in-form Strikers.
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Prediction: Adelaide Strikers to win this game.
Q. Will Peter Siddle take two or more wickets?
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