About the Match
The Scorchers registered an emphatic win against Hurricanes in the last league match to secure a home semi-final; they will take on Melbourne Stars in the 1st Semi Final match on 24th January at Perth. The Stars lost their last game against Sixers but made it through to the playoffs on virtue of a higher run rate compared to the Renegades, who gave them a stiff challenge. The Scorchers finished on top of the table with 5 wins and they definitely look hot favourites to win the title; it needs to be seen if the Stars spoil their party again on Tuesday or succumb to the hosts this time around.
Top-order batsmen Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh and Shaun Marsh are in good nick with the bat and can stabilize the innings whether batting first or during the chase. Klinger’s solid 81 off just 54 deliveries took the team to an honorable 156-run total against Brisbane Heat in the recent match, which was then well-defended by paceman Andrew Tye, who took a hat-trick and finished with 4-22, and other speedsters like Richardson, Bresnan, and Mitchell Johnson, who claimed 2 wickets each.
Against the same opponent in the previous match, the bowlers failed to defend a good 173 runs after a dismal show by the speedsters. David Willey was the lone wicket taker but he too gave away easy runs. The Marsh brothers had put up a good fight while batting first with Mitchell top scoring with 70 off 41 while Shaun scored run-a-ball 32. However, others like Klinger and Ian Bell failed to fire and in the end, they lost the match by 9 wickets.
The Scorchers have done well to register a comeback win and with the home advantage here, they could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with.
Scott Boland’s sensational 4-30 helped them restrict Strikers to 152 runs in the last game; he was supported well by the experienced Ben Hilfenhaus, who has been in good form recently and picked up 2-21 in 3 overs. Pietersen and Quiney started the chase on a positive note with 30+ runs each while others down the line carried forward the good work. Hilfenhaus showcased his all-rounder skills with a brilliant 32 off 24 and steered the team across the finish line.
Against Renegades, Pietersen took charge with a superb 73 off 46 while Quiney started the innings with a well-made 51; useful contributions by Maxwell and David Hussey saw them post a gigantic 200, which was then successfully defended by spinners Zampa and Michael Beer, who took 3 wickets each. Speedsters Boland and Hilfenhaus took 3 wickets between them and helped win the match by 46 runs.
They have a well-balanced pace and spin attack that can try to demolish the Scorchers here; with an experienced batting line-up that can do well in crunch situations, the Stars are definitely the team to look out for this season.
The Scorchers do have the home advantage and their recent performance shows their strength with bat and ball. On the other hand, the Stars have been on a winning roll and look well placed to give a tough fight to the hosts on Saturday. The contest could go down to the wire but we feel that Melbourne Stars with their precise bowling attack and in-form top-order have the edge to win.