About the Match
Brisbane Heat has had a mixed run so far, and presently are at 5th place with 4 points; they will take on Melbourne Stars, who are at the bottom of the table with zero points, at Melbourne on 2nd January. While Brisbane Heat suffered defeat against Adelaide Strikers by 56 runs recently, Melbourne Stars lost the match against Perth Scorchers by 13 runs. Both teams will try to start the New Year on a winning note, and whichever team can overcome the challenges under crunch situations, will be better placed to emerge victoriously.
Chasing 143 against Scorchers, the top-order collapsed under pressure with players like Ben Dunk, Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell getting out cheaply on single digits. Luke Wright scored 21 runs while Rob Quiney and James Faulkner tried to revive the innings by scoring 25 and 35 runs respectively; however, they fell short of the target by 13 runs. Earlier, speedsters Faulkner, Michael Beer, Marcus Stoinis and John Hastings provided regular breakthroughs and spinner Adam Zampa took a wicket to restrict the Scorchers to 142; but the batsmen failed to cross the finish line and win the match.
When they met Brisbane Heat earlier, the batsmen failed to chase down 207 runs despite a brilliant 99 runs by Stoinis and a well-made 47 by all-rounder Faulkner. Earlier, Stoinis shone with the ball taking 3 wickets while Michael Beer and Scott took 3 wickets between them. Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen failed to build a solid foundation after the dismissal of Ben Dunk and Glenn Maxwell in the early overs.
The Stars have the home advantage here and we could see them come out all guns blazing in order to revive their fortune and start climbing up the ladder.
Likely Starting XI:
Luke Wright - Ben Dunk - Rob Quiney - Kevin Pietersen - Glenn Maxwell - Marcus Stoinis - James Faulkner - John Hastings (c) - Michael Beer - Scott Boland - Liam Bowe - Adam Zampa.
Chasing 147 runs against Strikers, the Heat batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards with players like Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, Jimmy Pierson and Alex Ross failing to fire. Cameron Gannon top-scored with 23 while Ben Cutting contributed with 14 runs; but it wasn't just enough to reach the finish line and they lost by a humiliating 56 runs. Fast bowler Josh Lalor took 3-40 while spinner Yasir Shah dismissed 2 opponents to restrict them to 147.
When they met Melbourne Stars earlier, Joe Burns, Alex Ross, and Ben Cutting pitched in with 30+ runs each to take the total to 206; Brendon McCullum scored 40 off 22 and they are in good form to repeat the winning performance again. Spinner Shadab Khan dismissed 2 opponents while Brendan Doggett, Mark Steketee, and Josh Lalor took 3 wickets between them to win the match by 15 runs.
Brisbane Heat are in a good position and they will be eager to make a comeback after the recent loss; the batsmen are in good form while the bowlers could stifle the opponents in the upcoming match.
Likely Starting XI:
Brendon McCullum (c) - Jimmy Peirson - Chris Lynn - Alex Ross - Joe Burns - Ben Cutting - Cameron Gannon - Mark Steketee - Mitchell Swepson - Josh Lalor - Yasir Shah - Sam Heazlett.
The Numbers Game
- Brisbane has been more dominant of the two sides in recent times. In their last five matches, Brisbane Heat have prevailed over the Stars on four occasions.
- Melbourne Stars are known to be slow starters. In last four summers, the Stars have picked up the speed only during the latter half of the competition.
Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat will fight hard to dominate each other on the field, and we could see an entertaining contest on Tuesday; while the contest could go down to the wire, we feel that Brisbane Heat with its power-packed batting unit is better placed to win