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After a relatively soft start to the tournament, the Scorchers finally seem to be lighting the points table on fire. They have slowly, but steadily risen up the ladder in the past few matches and will be looking to continue to build on the momentum they have gained. Their next assignment isn't easy, though. They are set to face Melbourne Stars, tournament's best side by far, and a win here will push Scorchers to the second spot on the ladder. The match between the two sides is to be played at WACA Cricket Ground, Perth, on Wednesday, 15th January. Melbourne Stars are the only side that has confirmed a playoff berth for them. For them, it would be all about continuing their winning streak and adding to their dominance on the ladder. For Scorchers, it would be about strenghthening their position in the top-four. We expect both the sides to come hard at each other on Wednesday and expect it to be cracking contest.
The Scorchers got off to a terrible start in the tournament and were languishing in the bottom half of the table for quite some time. With three consecutive wins in their last three matches, the Scorchers are finally looking all set to take on the best team of the tournament.
In a total of nine matches played, the Scorchers have ten points to their name with a net run-rate of 0.31, which is second only to Melbourne Stars' net run-rate. All of the Scorchers' last three wins were pretty dominant with their wins over Hurricanes being the biggest of all.
Batting first against the Hurricanes, the Scorchers worked their way to a total of 175 with Josh Inglis leading the way for them. Josh Inglis smashed 73 off just 46 deliveries and pretty much guided the innings with wickets falling all around him. He was well supported by Mitchell Marsh in the middle-overs. Marsh contributed with a well-compiled knock of 40.
While their win was setup by Josh Inglis and Mitchell Marsh, it was ensured by their bowlers. With a total of 175 runs needed to be defended, the Scorchers' bowlers needed to come out strong in the powerplay overs and they didn't disappoint. Jhye Richardso, in particular, was brilliant with the field restriction on and picked up two important wickets of Matthew Wade and David Miller in the second over of the innings.
Richardson set the template for the other bowlers and the other bowlers followed the suit. Chris Jordan, Joes Paris, Mitchell Marsh, Fawad Ahmed, and Liam Livingstone all bowled beautifully as the Scorchers restricted Hobart Hurricanes to a total of just 98.
Josh Inglis, Liam Livingstone, CT Bancroft, Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green, Tim David, Jaron Morgan, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Joel Paris, Fawad Ahmed.
Melbourne Stas have without a doubt been the best side of the tournament so far and their dominance on the points table reflects that. With 16 points to their name, they are four points ahead of the next best team on the ladder and will be looking to continue to build on it. Also, they have a net run-rate of 0.987, which speaks volumes about the kind of margins their wins have come with.
The Stars' last loss in the competition was quite some time ago, when Adelaide Strikers defeating them by five runs. They have come a long way since then and have six wins on the trot to their name since then. The Stars were pretty severe in their previous match against the Sixers as they defeated them by 44 runs.
Batting first against the Sixers, it was all about Marcus Stoinis, who played a brilliant knock of 147 coming in just 79 deliveries. He was well supported by Hilton Cartwright, who scored 59 off 40 deliveries.
Chasing a total of 219 was always going to be difficult for the Sixers and Stars bowlers ensured it stayed like that. Clint Hitchcliffe was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with the impressive numbers of 3 for 20 in his four overs.
Marcus Stoinis, Hilton Cartwright, Ben Dunk, Glenn Maxwell, Sebastian Gotch, N Larkin, Nathan Coulter-Nile, D Worrall, Jackson Coleman, Haris Rauf, Sandeep Lamichhane.
It would be pretty safe to say that Melbourne Stars have played flawless cricket so far. The likes of Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, and Hilton Cartwright have been in terrific form with the bat and the same has reflected in the totals they have put up on the scoreboards so regularly in the tournament. Although Adam Zampa did not play in the last match and will not play in the next one either, their bowling didn't appear weak. Scorchers, too, have been in superb form in their last three matches and won't be easy to walk past, especially on their home ground. Considering the form the two sides are in, there's nothing to separate them. However, Melbourne Stars emerged on top when the two teams met last time in the tournament and will be more confident of the two sides. Placing your money on a Stars win would be a way to go in this upcoming contest.
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