Our Prediction: Melbourne Stars to win, 1.96 Bet on Melbourne Stars to win for Real Money
Table toppers Sydney Sixers take on one of the most star-studded lineup of Big Bash League, Melbourne Stars. The match will be played on 27th December 2015 at Sydney’s home ground, SCG beginning at 8:10 PM GMT. The Sixers are flying high after back to back victories against the Hurricanes and Renegades by 95 runs and 3 wickets respectively. The Stars, unlike what was expected of them, are laying at the bottom of the table with two losses one of which was just by one run. Melbourne Stars need to bounce back into the league with a couple of wins and they will be looking for a win desperately whereas the Sixers will be hoping to score yet another victory in the tournament. The battle among two solid teams is going to be a tough and we are surely in for a treat.
Sixers bounced back admirably after the 36-run thrashing they received from the hands of their cross-town rivals, the Thunder. They cruised past Hobart Hurricanes and scored their highest chase ever against Renegades.
They will be without their Australian players who are away on national duty that is, Steven Smith, Josh Hazelwood and Nathan Lyon, but they still boast a strong top five as far as batting is concerned. They have all-experienced Johan Botha and Doug Bollinger to lead their bowling department.
Their batting lineup, despite the absence of Aussie skipper Steven Smith, looks pretty balanced. Michael Lumb is an experienced T20 campaigner and played a vital role in their victory against the Renegades. Brad Haddin got out for a duck in the previous game, but it was his 70-odd runs coupled with Lyon’s magic which made the Sixers win against Hurricanes. Nic Maddinson, Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk makes a great middle order to deal with. With Botha, Carters and Abott to follow, they have good late order batsmen. However they’ll be hoping that they do not get out from dugout as far as batting is concerned.
Against all odds, the Stars have failed to win any of their two games. Against Thunder, Faulkner failed to finish off with a win as Kallis successfully defended 10 runs off the last over. The Strikers won their game comfortably after scoring a mammoth total of 187.
Stars will be coming out without the presence of their Star against Thunder, Kevin Pietersen. With the batting order boasting the likes of Luke Wright, David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner, his absence should not cause much worry in the camp. Their bowling unit looks a tough one as well. Adam Zampa, Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings and James Faulkner have given away too many runs, but they are better than that and will be looking to make amends.
This star-studded lineup of Melbourne makes up for an interesting contest. Though the players are not in their prime form, but it takes only a couple of overs for the likes of Maxwell or Faulkner or Wright to turn the game on its head and they aren’t the only players in the team who can do that. With such good players at disposal Stars will be tough to beat on any day.
The Stars haven’t performed to their potential yet in the tournament, not even eighty maybe whereas the Sixers are brimming with confidence and are already looking a tough side to beat. The absence of in-form Pietersen will hurt the Stars but not much whereas the Sixers will be missing the services of their ace spinner Nathan Lyon. Stars have lost a couple of games, but they showed glimpses of their prime in the last game against Thunder. With tournament inching towards its business end, we think that Stars largely due to their experience, individual ability and firepower have much better chance of victory than the Sixers. We think Melbourne Stars will get back in the tournament with an all-important win here.
Winner: Melbourne Stars, 1.96 @ Bet on Melbourne Stars now