Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars, BBL 2018-19: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After facing defeats in their first two games, Melbourne Stars will be hoping to secure their maiden win of the season when they lock horns with Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, December 27.
These two teams have played each other in eight BBL games, with the honours levelled on 4-4. In their previous face-off, during BBL07, the Sixers managed to pip the Stars by five wickets.
Batting first, the Stars scored 189/5 thanks to an entertaining knock (84 runs from 47 balls) by Glenn Maxwell. But, his effort was overshadowed by Joe Denley and Nic Maddinson' 108-run second wicket partnership, and the Sixers overhauled the target with fifteen balls to spare.
The Sixers started off their BBL campaign with an impressive performance against Perth Scorchers but completely lost their ground against Sydney Thunder to face a 21 run defeat.
Failure of the top order batsmen is denting Sydney's batting and has put unnecessary pressure on middle order. Their top order batsmen Joe Denly, Jack Edwards and Moises Henriques managed just 52 runs in two fixtures, with respective scores of 01-13, 09-13 and 15-02. The team will need these three to step up on that occasion and provide a healthy start to the innings.
Jordan Silk (67*) and Daniel Hughes (62) played a key role during the first outing against Perth. While Tom Curran (62) and Sean Abbott (35) tried to manage their innings after the batting collapse against Thunder. All these batsmen have already proved their worth in middle order and can be destructive if given room.
Steve O' Keefe has taken the most wickets for Sixers; five in two matches. While Sean Abbott, who was the best bowler for the Sixers last season, has bagged four wickets in two games and these two are expected to pose the major threat to Melbourne batters.
Ben Dwarshuis and Tom Curran have also been impressive with two and three wickets respectively, and the team will need them to pick a few scalps upfront.
Expected Playing XI
Moises Henriques (C), Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk, Josh Philippe (W), Tom Curran, Sean Abbott, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Dwarshuis, Ben Manenti, Jack Edwards and Joe Denly.
The Stars have now lost their last two matches in the BBL and they are finding it extremely difficult to cross the winning line. They have not been up to the mark in both the games and will aim to avoid previous mistakes in a bid to open their account on the points table.
Nick Larkin and Glenn Maxwell are the key men in the batting line-up. Larkin is the leading run-getter for the side this season with 77 runs. While Maxwell is among destructive batsmen of this and missed a 50 on the previous occasion, he will be eager to make up for that against Sixers.
Marcus Stoinis scored a watchful 22* from 15 balls in previous game, and along with Dwayne Bravo will be expected to make a sizable contribution in the next fixture.
The Stars' main bowler Sandeep Lamichhane has taken the most wickets, five in two matches, and he was the pick of the lot last time with figures of 3/24. While Adam Zampa snared two scalps in the opening fixture against Thunder and the skipper will back them to replicate their show against Sixers.
Expected Playing XI
Glenn Maxwell (C), Marcus Stoinis, Dwayne Bravo, Evan Gulbis, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland, Sandeep Lamichhane, Jackson Coleman, Peter Handscomb, Ben Dunk (W), Nick Larkin.