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Melbourne Stars continued on their merry ways with yet another spectacular win in the tournament. They defeated Sydney Sixers to further the gap between them and the team placed at the first position. They also became the first team to cement their position in the playoffs. While it all seems to be pretty easy for the Stars, the competition is pretty stiff in the middle of the points table. Perth Scorchers will be looking to get out of the mid-table muddle with a win in their upcoming encounter. They will meet Hobart Hurricanes on 13th January at Bellerive Oval, Hobart. Both the sides are in the bottom-half of the points table and a win here will be of significant value for both. Considering that, a cracking contest is certainly on the cards.
Even though Hurricanes are still pretty much in the thick of things, they have a tough road ahead. They are at the seventh spot on the ladder and will need at least a couple of more wins on the trot to find themselves in the top half of the table.
The Hurricanes have been the most inconsistent team in the tournament so far and that is also evident from their recent run in the tournament. They are coming off consecutive losses in their previous two matches and and desperately need a win.
Against Sydney Thunder, their batting failed once again as they could put up a total of 162, which was a bit less than the par score on the surface. All their batsmen got off to a pretty good start, but none of them managed to play a big knock. On paper, they have a decent batting unit, but consistency has been an issue for them. Also, the absence of D'Arcy Short has also been a cause of concern for them in the last couple of matches.
Matthew Wade, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, David Miller, GJ Bailey, Simon Milenko, Clive Rose, Thomas Rogers, Nathan Ellis, Qais Ahmad, Scott Boland.
After having a slowish kind of start to the tournament, the Scorchers finally seem to be picking up some pace. A couple of consective wins in their previous two matches has helped them gain momentum and another win here will push them to third spot on the ladder.
As it stands, they are placed at the sixth spot with eight points to their name and a net run-rate of -0.153. They registered a couple of superb wins in their previous two matches and will be looking to take the momentum forward.
In their recent match, against Brisbane Heat, the Scorchers needed to score a towering total to challenge in-form Heat batting lineup and they did it to perfection. Josh Inglis and Liam Livingstone got them off to a stable start that allowed them to launch an assault late in the innings. Mitchell Marsh played a belligerent knock, scoring 93 off 41 deliveries, that propelled their total to 213, which at one time seemed impossible.
While a total of 213 was pretty tall and chasing it would have been pretty difficult, bowlers still needed to get Scorchers off to a good start with the ball. Getting rid of Tom Banton, Max Bryant, and Chris Lynn was the key and Jhye Richardson and Chris Jordan deliveried with perfection. Joel Paris and Jhye Richardson were the pick of their bowlers as they returned with the impressive figures of 29 for 2 and 24 for 2 in their respective four overs.
Liam Livingstone, Josh Inglis, SM Whiteman, Mitchell Marsh, CT Bancroft, Cameron Green, Tim David, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Joel Paris, Fawad Ahmed.
Both the sides are placed in the bottom half of the table, and with the business end of the tournament not too far, both of them need to kick on from here. Perth Scorchers are in a bit better position, and a win here will put them in a pretty good position, as far as qualification scenarios are concerned. For Hurricanes, however, just a win might not be enough, but it will undoubtedly act as a starting point. Comparing the two sides based on their recent performance, the Scorchers are certainly the favorites. Also, they have a better-balanced team, at least on paper, and are, therefore, our pick to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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