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The Melbourne Stars have started the Big Bash League in style and currently sit on third in the BBL Points table. They are going to be playing against the Perth Scorchers in this match, a side that is last in the BBL League standings right now.
While the Melbourne Stars have been carrying some fine form into this match, they are going to be hit hard by the absence of their leading players. The Perth Scorchers will also lose a couple of key players but have actually ended up having more first-choice players available than was expected.
The Perth Scorchers have won just one out of their six matches in BBL 08 and need to start winning matches as soon as possible. Facing a weakened Melbourne Stars side could just be what they need.
The Melbourne Stars have been hit the hardest by the Australian national team selections. They are going to be missing Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, and Peter Handscomb for the next three matches. That is a huge loss to overcome and is going to ask a lot of the Melbourne Stars.
Nic Maddinson has been named as captain for this period. He is going to have lead from the front himself if the Stars are going to score enough runs to be competitive. Taking Stoinis and Maxwell out of the lineup means removing two of the Stars highest scorers in BBL 08.
Pater Handscomb had also played a match-winning inning on his return to the Melbourne Stars.
So who is going to fill the gap left by these players? Nic Maddinson, Ben Dunk, Nick Larkin, and Evan Gulbis seem to be the players that have to step up. Dunk has been regaining his touch while Maddinson is a very talented player as well. Nick Larkin has also been one of the consistent scorers so far.
The question remains whether these batsmen bare ready to take the responsibility of leading the Stars batting and not just supporting the senior players. Dwayne Bravo is another player that could be pushed up the order and given more of a batting opportunity in this match.
The weakened Melbourne Stars batting is going to be up against a pretty good Perth Scorchers bowling unit to make things even tougher.
Melbourne Stars had already lost the services of Sandeep Lamicchane and have replaced him with Liam Plunkett. Tom O’Connell comes in as a leg-spinning option while Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, and Scott Boland should continue to lead the bowling for the Stars.
Ben Dunk, Nic Maddinson, Evan Gulbis, N Larkin, Sebastian Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Jonathan Merlo, LE Plunkett, Scott Boland, Michael Beer, Liam Bowe.
The Perth Scorchers were beaten quite comprehensively by Brisbane Heat in their previous match. That loss came at the Perth Stadium and would have stung the Scorchers. Ashton Turner remained the lone player to be able to get some runs for them and that is beginning to be a real problem now.
The opening duo of Michael Klinger and Cameron Bancroft have to be better than they have been. The Melbourne Stars bowling is not especially strong and we think both these players are due to get some runs as well.
It might be a good bet to look at Klinger or Bancroft as the highest scorers for the Perth Scorchers in this match.
Ashton Turner has been in terrific form for the Perth Scorchers and it is pretty astounding he is not in the Australian national side at the moment. He is also another player that could continue to feast on a Melbourne Stars side that is missing some important players.
With Cartwright, Agar, Willey, Tye, and maybe Whiteman, the Perth Scorchers side is looking like a strong batting side.
We are also looking forward to Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar making a statement with their bowling. Both these players were dropped from the Australian ODI side and made their displeasure pretty clear.
There is no better way to speak than with actions on the ground and both these players have plenty of motivation to do so. The loss of Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson makes their bowling weaker but the Scorchers still have the depth to bounce back.
The Perth Scorchers look like a strong side and even though they have not done too well in BBL 08 so far, don’t count them out just yet.
M Klinger, CT Bancroft, AJ Turner, Hilton Cartwright, William Bosisto, Aaron Hardie, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, David Willey, AJ Tye, U Qadir.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The BBL 08 match between Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers is going to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne. There is some rain around in Melbourne but the weather is expected to clear around the start of the match. We should be able to get an uninterrupted game.
The pitch at the MCG has been very flat this season and that is not going to change. The batsmen will have a good time while the bowlers will have to resort to their cutters.
A score of around 150 should be difficult to chase down.
The Melbourne Stars are playing at home but the loss of their top players makes them a much weaker side. The Perth Scorchers should be able to win this match with ease.
Back the Perth Scorchers to win.
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