About the Match
The Adelaide Strikers moved to the top of the table after their win against the Sydney Thunder. It was an excellent performance from a team that is starting to perfect its own unique style of play. Their opponents for this match are coming from the opposite end of the spectrum and are currently the last placed team in the league standings. Can the Melbourne Stars finally band their T20 superstars together and make them into a cohesive unit?
Four wins from five matches is an excellent start for a team that was believed to have given up far too many of its leading players at the start of the season. Their new recruits, though, have performed admirably and made the Strikers one of the most fun teams to watch this season.
It is not like the Adelaide Strikers are without their faults. Their batting continues to underwhelm and they still are looking for runs from their leading batsman, Travis Head. Thankfully for the Striker, though, Colin Ingram has started scoring runs consistently and could be peaking at just the right time.
Alex Carey at the top and Jonathan Wells in the middle order are also providing some useful cameos but need to start converting them into bigger scores.
The story of this Adleiade Strikers team is not their batting, however, and so we must talk about their bowling.
Led by Rashid Khan and Ben Laughlin, the Strikers back themselves to defend any score at the moment. There is no letting up for the opposition as Billy Stanlake, Travis Head, and Peter Siddle all are bowling economically and increasing the pressure on the batsmen at all times.
We think that Strikers are going through an excellent phase right now but that the form of their bowling is making their frailties with the bat. A good bowling team or just a bad day for the Strikers could lead to a heavy loss.
The Melbourne Stars have now slumped to their fourth defeat from four matches and the situation is looking very dire for them indeed. We really think that the Melbourne Stars have got their tactics wrong this season as they continue to give Kevin Pietersen plenty of time in the middle even though he is clearly a shadow of himself.
Promoting someone like Stoinis or even Maxwell would serve them much better and ensure that they keep building momentum throughout the inning.
Ben Dunk scored 47 in the last match and finally looked like he was ready to begin his BBL campaign for this year. The Stars made a valuable acquisition in Ben Dunk but he has so far come a cropper. He is the kind of batsman though that can get on a roll once he starts scoring runs and that is exactly what the Stars must hope for.
While the Melbourne Stars have struggled with their batting, it is their bowling that has really let them down. Not a single bowler on their team has taken more than 4 wickets in total up until now. Adam Zampa, the Aussie international spinner, will be very disappointed to have not contributed to his team’s cause even when almost every other leg-spinner in the league is taking plenty of wickets.
John Hasting, the new skipper, and Scott Boland have been very disappointing while Maxwell and Faulkner have also been strictly average in their bowling performances so far.
It could be a confidence thing or it could be down to the fact that the Stars have not had many runs to defend in most matches but the bowlers need to really step up their game to make a difference.
Pitch and Conditions
Excellent weather has been forecast for the match in Adelaide and we expect a lot of runs to be scored at the Adelaide Oval. A short boundary ensures that batsmen are always in the game and defending runs can be quite difficult as well.
The Strikers have won two out of the last three matches against the Stars and also hold a 2-1 advantage in games played at the Adelaide Oval.
For this match the clear favorites are the Adelaide Strikers, however, we are recommending you take a punt on the underdogs.
The Stars have the individuals in their team to win them matches from almost any situation and the Strikers have some vulnerabilities to be exploited.
Back the Melbourne Stars to win