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The advantages of the new BBL Finals format are already on display as we get ready for the BBL 09 Challenger between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder. The Melbourne Stars are going to have another opportunity of making the BBL 09 Final after being beaten by the Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier. As a team that finished at the top of the BBL 09 league table, a second chance id definitely deserved.
Sydney Thunder was fifth on the BBL standings after the end of the group stage and would not have been a part of the finals according to the old format. They have no won two knock-out matches and find themselves in a veritable semi-final.
Will the momentum of winning games carry Sydney Thunder onward to face the Sydney Sixers or will the Melbourne Stars shed their recent poor form?
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder BBL 09 Challenger is going to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on the 6th of February 2020.
Four consecutive losses coming into this match is a big concern for the Melbourne Stars. All the aura of invincibility that it had built up has faded and the team would be feeling the pressure. A couple of former players like Shane Warne have called out the Stars for their poor record in BBL Finals as well.
While the Melbourne Stars are under pressure, their team is not weak by any standards.
Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell have to lead from the front with the bat for the Melbourne Stars. These were the two players that did the job during the regular season and they are the ones that have to step up again.
Nic Maddinson, Mick Larkin, Peter Handscomb, and Seb Gotch give the Melbourne Stars a strong batting lineup but not one of them has been consistent enough in BBL 09 to be called dependable. Handscomb has enough experience of playing international cricket but we think he is a bit limited when it comes to T20 cricket.
Nick Larkin would be our pick to be a dark-horse highest scorer for the Melbourne Stars in this match.
The bowling lineup is expected to remain the same for this match from the contest against the Sydney Sixers. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Haris Rauf, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa, Clint Hinchcliffe, and Marcus Stoinis give the Melbourne Stars plenty of options.
In fact, if Maxwell and Stoinis are sure of bowling in this match then the Stars can add another batsman to the side and give themselves some more cushion. It seems to us that the Melbourn Stars are too good a side to keep getting things wrong so many times in a row and a turnaround is close.
Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, N Larkin, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Sebastian Gotch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, D Worrall, Haris Rauf.
Alex Hales has led the Sydney Thunder challenge in the previous two matches and showed just why he is regarded as one of the most dangerous players in the T20 format. If Alex Hales can continue in his brilliant form, then he helps cover up a lot of shortcomings in the Sydney Thunder batting lineup.
The T20 format is unpredictable because a single player can win the match on his own. That is close to what Alex Hales has been doing and he has to be the biggest threat in this match again. Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson also have the capability to do the same but that is where the batting lineup ends effectively for Sydney Thunder.
Alex Ross is a decent player but Arjun Nair, Daniel Sams, and even Chris Morris are not batsmen that can be taken seriously. They come out and swing the bat in the hope it will come off. On Some days it will but on most days it will not.
Daniel Sams and Jonathan Cook have been on a wicket-taking spree in recent matches. Sams is the leading wicket-taker of BBL 09 and has been absolutely brilliant for his side. Arjun Nair, Chris Tremain, Brendan Doggett, and Chris Morris help provide a decent amount of depth to the bowling side of things.
AD Hales, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Alex Ross, Arjun Nair, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, CP Tremain, Jonathan Cook.
The team that wins the toss is going to want to bat first. The pitch tends to get slower in the second inning and winning the toss should be seen as a significant advantage.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
There is no chance of rain predicted in Melbourne on match day and we can look forward to an uninterrupted match. The pitch at the MCG was a bit on the slower side during the Qualifier. A similar sort of the surface can be expected near the end of the season. 147 turned out to be plenty for the Sydney Sixers and a similar score batting first could be challenging once again.
Dream11 tips and dream11 prediction for Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder BBL 09 Challenger
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
Sydney Thunder comes into this match with a lot of momentum and confidence. It has the spinners to trouble the Melbourne Stars and its top-order batsmen seem to be in better form as well. Its lack of batting depth is a concern, though, as two early-wickets could end its challenge in a flash. The Melbourne Stars have a better batting lineup and will be playing in home conditions. We think they are going to regain their best form in this match and reach the BBL 09 Final.
Bet on the Melbourne Stars to win.
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