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Monday turned out to be a remarkable day in the current season of the Big Bash League. Not only did the Sixers end Stars' winning streak, they also moved to second spot on the ladder. While the Stars are still comfortably placed at the top and have no threat whatsoever to their supremacy at the ladder, they would not want to lose the momentum going into the business end of the tournament. Up next, they are set to face the team that is one of the only two sides to which the Stars have lost - Adelaide Strikers. The two teams are set to lock horns on 22nd January, at Adelaide Oval. Adelaide Strikers' second spot at the ladder was recently claimed by the Sixers and they'd like to return the favor and get it back. Melbourne Stars, on the other hand, would not be too worried and are likely to continue resting their key fast bowlers as they did against the Sixers. The two teams are evenly matched, at least on paper, and this encounter has all the ingredients for a humdinger of a contest.
Adelaide Strikers have had a see-saw kind of tournament so far. They were comfortably placed in the first half of the tournament, but dropped down to the bottom half of the ladder after a loss against Brisbane Heat. However, with a scintillating win over Brisbane Heat and then over Hobart Hurricanes, the Strikers are now looking well set to make it to top four.
Jake Weatherald, Philip Salt, TM Head, JW Wells, Matthew Short, Alex Carey, Michael Neser, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, WA Agar, Billy Stanlake.
After a super-human show in the tournament, Melbourne Stars showed that they are all humans after all. Sydney Sixers ended their winning run with a massive win in a rain-inflicted game, but not without generous assistance from the Stars. Melbourne Stars rested two of their leading quicks, Jackson Coleman and Nathan Coulter Nile, and fielded a relatively inexperience bowling attack against the Sixers. That allowed the Sixers to notch a towering total on the board, the total which the Stars failed to hunt down.
While the result mattered more to the Sixers than the Stars, the Stars would certainly want to get back to the winning ways. They are still at the top of the table and will continue to stay there regardless of the result in this upcoming encounter. It was ninth occasion in a row that the Stars failed to win in Sydney.
While the Stars have played flawless Cricket in the tournament so far, there were a few vulnerabilites on display against the Sixers. Nic Maddinson look out of sorts as he scored at a strike-rate of under a hundred in a run-chase that required more than ten runs an over to win. Having said that, Marcus Stoinis looked in terrific form on the day and returned with 62 runs to his name. Hilton Cartwright did well in his brief cameo of 21, but perished in a quest to score quickly. NCR Larkin, Nic Maddinson and Glenn Maxwell struggled to get the timing right on a sticky surface, but the management and the fans would not be too concerned, consdering the form they all have been in.
In the absence of two primary bowlers, their bowling had to come good. It, howerver, didn't. Jonathan Merlo and Lance Merlo failed to contain Moises Henriques as they went for 15 and 26 runs in their respective overs. Sixers were eying a significantly higher total, but a superb last over by Worrall kept the hosts to 143.
In the tournament up until now, Glenn Maxwell has done a brilliant job a captain. However, his captaincy came under scrutiny as he didn't promote himself up the order with Stars staring at a steep target to chase. He did a decent job when the Stars were bowling, though.
It was an exciting contest, at least for the Sixers' fans. Stars' winning streak came to an end after eight scintillating performances and although Stars displayed a few vulnerabilities, it would be better to discount those considering the wide array of variables involved in that game. They are likely to keep resting their premier fast bowlers and give youngsters a chance and that might give Adelaide Strikers a big chance to script second victory overs Stars in this season. Having said that, the Stars still have one of the best batting unit in the tournament and beating them is going to take a lot of work from the Strikers.
Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, N Larkin, Sebastian Gotch, Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lance Morris, D Worrall, Adam Zampa.
Both the sides have fantastic batting lineups and this should be high-scoring encounter and no total could be considered safe to defend. However, recent results indicate that batting in the second innings generally gets difficult if the target to chase is above par. Considering that, we think that the captain winning the toss will be looking to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Adelaide Oval features one of the best surfaces to bat on in Australia and it is evident from the results of recent matches played here. While the straight boundaries are long, batsmen fancy their chances to hit square of the wicket, which features pretty small boundaries. The surface tends to get a little slower as the game progresses and spinners come into play in the second innings. Going by the recent results, anything above 170 should be a pretty competitive total on this ground.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy lineup for the upcoming Big Bash League 2019 match to be played between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars:
Adelaide Strikers are the one of the only teams in this edition of the Big Bash League, who have defeated Melbourne Stars. Stars would not want to lose twice to the Strikers and a the Strikers would want to move to the second spot on the ladder with a win here. A win here should be enough for the Strikers to ascertain a semi-final spot and that is what they will be aiming for. Considering the stakes involved, we expect both the sides to come out all guns blazing. Although the Stars have been one of the best sides in the tournament, the absence of their key bowlers leaves them a bit vulnerable. Adelaide Strikers, on the other hand, appear to be on a role with two back to back wins on the trot. Considering that they have already beaten Stars in the tournament before, they'll be upbeat and confident going into the upcoming fixture. With favorable reward-to-risk ratio, placing a bet on Adelaide's win would be the way to go.
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