- Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
- Date: 8 February, Wednesday
- Time: 01:45 PM IST
- League: Big Bash League
Melbourne Stars Preview
Melbourne Stars, under the leadership of Glen Maxwell, will leave no stone unturned to pen down a redemption story in the club’s history by securing their first-ever Big Bash Trophy. Ultimately, Stars along with Hobart Hurricanes are the only two team who has never won this competition.
Previously, Melbourne Stars have reached the semi-finals five times and final twice but failed to make the most of it. For some fans, they are deemed as a perennial choker of this highly coveted T-20 extravaganza. Now is the perfect time for the act of atonement.
The Stars topped the points-table but were humiliated by Sixers in the qualifier. This defeat was their fourth in a row. However, they bounced back and overpowered Sydney Thunders in the Challenger to earn a place in the finals. Marcus Stoinis and Nick Larkin were the heroes of that game, both of them scored 83 apiece and combined for the 117-runs stand to propel Stars to a massive total.
Marcus Stoinis is in the form of his life, and the kind of domination he has shown in the whole tournament is the naked testament of his remarkable batting prowess. He has already scored 695 runs, surpassing the record of most runs scored in an edition, previously held by D’Arcy Short.
On the bowling front, a lot is expected from Haris Rauf and a leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
Sydney Sixers Preview
Sydney Sixers will be chasing their second Big Bash title on Saturday at their home ground after winning the inaugural season in 2011-12. If the weather forecast is anything to go by, expect rainfall to make occasional interventions in the game. And in case of a washed-out game which seems to be highly probable, Sydney Sixers are going to win the title in front of their home crowd.
The Sixers finished just behind the Stars in the points-table. They were the first team to reach final after beating Melbourne Stars in the qualifier. The bowling trio of Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott and Steve O’Keefe were too hot to handle for the Stars as they were reduced to their lowest ever total in the club’s history.
The Sixers, having won all of their last five matches, will be arriving into the decider as a confident entity with momentum and psychological edge over their side.
Sydney Sixers have picked an unchanged squad for the decider. With rain and inclement weather coming into play on Saturday, Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott would be favouring the prospects of flirting once again with the Stars batting lineup. Jackson Bird has been the most effective bowler in the powerplay for the Sixers. There will be a huge onus on him to get Marcus Stoinis out as soon as possible. Steven Smith will look to continue his impressive form in the final.
Melbourne Stars to win it for the first time.
For the Stars, the question they must be pondering about is, what better time than now to win their maiden title? But to their dismay, only if weather permits.
Fantasy Team Tips
- Haris Rauf made an enormous impact with the Stars this seaon. He got the most wickets for Stars with 20, including a hat-trick. He is going to be the popular choice as bowlers. From Sixers, Sean Abbott and Jackson Bird would be a great choice.
- Both sides have got brilliant top-order batsmen in Marcus Stoinis, Josh Phillippe, James Vince and Steven Smith.
- Glenn Maxwell and Nathan Coulter-Nile should be an undisputed choice for all-rounder position. One of them can be a perfect choice for captain in fantasy team.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – Josh Phillippe
- Batsmen – James Vince, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin
- All-rounders – Moises Henriques, Nathan Coulter-Nile
- Bowlers – Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott, Haris Rauf, Adam Zampa
- Captain – Marcus Stoinis
- Vice-Captain – Moises Henriques