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There's plenty of action coming up ahead in the year 2019 and the beginning of the new year couldn't have been more exciting with plenty of T20 action set to happen on the first day of the new year. Along with some exciting fixtures in Women's Big Bash League and Burger King Super Smash, Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades are all set to lock horns on Tuesday at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Melbourne Renegades recently succumbed to the pressure of chasing as they registered their first loss of the tournament, against Sydney Sixers. The Stars, on the other hand, didn't get off to a great start but are back in contention with a superb win against the Sixers in their last match. Both the teams will want to start their new year with a win and we expect a nail-biting contest between the two teams from Melbourne.
Peter Handscomb shrugged off his omission from the Australian test team following his poor run of form and showed his class by smashing 70 runs off just 35 deliveries to guide Melbourne Stars to a much-needed win against Sydney Sixers. He helped Stars with the spark at the top of the order which was missing for the Stars in their first couple of games.
Earlier, the Stars were phenomenal with the ball on a not-so-easy to bat surface with Jackson Coleman being the pick of the bowlers. He dismissed three Sixers' batsmen and played a vital role to restrict them to a total of just 130. Along with him, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Lamichhane, Dwayne Bravo, and skipper Glenn Maxwell chipped in with important wickets to stifle Sydney Sixers on a surface which was a little slow.
Barring Handscomb, their batting appeared to be in the familiar territory as they continued to lose batsmen throughout the chase. After Handscomb, the next best batsmen was Nick Larkin who scored 20 off 22. With the likes of Ben Dunk, Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stonis in their lineup, the Stars are rich on experience and hitting strength. However, their batsmen have not performed on the field yet which will be a matter of concern for their think tank. If their batsmen can step up and complement their in-form bowling lineup, the Stars will be a tough team to deal with.
Ben Dunk, N Larkin, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Sebastian Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Evan Gulbis, Jonathan Merlo, Sandeep Lamichhane, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland.
Prior to their last match against Sydney Sixers, the Renegades were on song. However, their meeting with the men on pink elaborated some important vulnerabilities as they ended up being the second-best team despite chasing a low total.
Electing to field after winning the toss, the Renegades were brilliant upfront. Usman Shinwari castled Jack Edwards in only the third over of the innings. Kane Richardson and Jack Wildermuth added to the pressure built by their opening bowlers as they dismissed Daniel Hughes and Joe Denly in fifth and sixth over respectively. Barring Dan Christian and Cameron Boyce, there was a considerable contribution from everyone in their bowling attack as they restricted Sixers to a modest total of 132.
Chasing a subpar score on a sluggish surface, all Renegades had to do was play was sensibly and stay at the wicket, but they failed to do so. After the first wicket stand of 32 between Tim Ludeman and debutant Mackenzie Harvey, no batsmen was able to survive against quality Sixers' bowling let alone keep up with the run rate. Such was the collapse after the first wicket that the Renegades slid from 32 for no loss to 99 all out. Harvey top-scored for Renegades with 25-ball 30 as he slammed Sixers bowlers for fours and a six. He was their only batsmen who looked good and is likely to play a vital role in this upcoming contest.
Mackenzie Harvey, Sam Harper, CL White, TLW Cooper, Mohammad Nabi, DT Christian, BJ Webster, JD Wildermuth, Cameron Boyce, KW Richardson, Usman Khan.
It's an important fixture for both the Renegades and the Stars with both teams hovering in the middle part of the points table. The Renegades are one of the three teams with six points and a win here will push them to second place in the points table. A win for Stars, however, will possibly push Renegades down one spot with Stars taking their place. Renegades' batting has been inconsistent in all the matches they've played thus far. Stars have the momentum coming into this match with a win against Sixers to their name and are better placed to win the upcoming fixture and garner two important points from it.