About the Match
The Thunders continue to be winless after playing four games in the ongoing Big Bash T20 League and are placed at the bottom of the table; they will take on Melbourne Stars, who won their first game of the season when they defeated Hurricanes by 7 wickets in the Boxing Day match. Being the reigning champions, Thunders have a lot to prove to their fans and this contest at home turf could be the turning point for them. The Stars who have 2 points and placed sixth on the table, will be eager to bring home more points after losing the last game to Renegades by 7 runs.
The batting line-up consists of Shane Watson, T20 experts like Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Ben Rohrer and youngsters Kurtis Patterson and Ryan Gibson. Batting first against Heat recently, Patterson opened the innings strongly with a score of 36 off 31 while Morgan stabilized the middle-order with a well-made 52; however, with hardly any support from others they could muster only 157 runs.
Spinners Fawad Ahmed and Chris Green provided quick breakthroughs as they claimed 2 wickets each while speedsters Pat Cummins and Clint McKay took 3 wickets between them but their efforts went in vain as the opposition easily chased down 158. Against Scorchers, Cummins, McKay, Green and Watson provided regular wickets but the batsmen found it an uphill task to chase down 178.
They have a good mix of all-rounders as well as specialist batsmen, who need to work on building steady partnerships whether batting first or during chase; the spin and pace combination has been effective and they could strategize well to demolish the Stars here on their home ground.
They have hard-hitters like Glenn Maxwell, David Hussey, Pietersen, Luke Wright and all-rounder James Faulkner, who can intimidate the hosts in the upcoming match. The bowling squad also has some big names like Ben Hilfenhaus, who has been in terrific form in the domestic circuit, Scott Boland, Michael Beer and Faulkner, who bring their pace skills to the table. Spinner Adam Zampa and speedster Marcus Stoinis add depth to the attack and can try to outwit the Thunders.
In the game against Hurricanes, Hilfenhaus finished with figures of 3-38 while Maxwell also took a wicket with his right-arm off break. However, the others proved to be expensive and the batsmen had to face a tough target of 189, which they chased down in an emphatic way to win their first match. Opener Rob Quiney top-scored with 75 off 43 while Luke Wright and Maxwell did well to keep the scoreboard ticking; Maxwell’s well-made 58 ensured they crossed the finish line with more than 2 overs to spare.
While chasing a reduced target of 159 against Renegades however, the batsmen crumbled under pressure and despite a superb 45 off 40 by Wright, they fell short by 7 runs through the D/L method. Hussey and Faulkner played useful knocks but others down the line failed to impress. They have a well-balanced team of batsmen and bowlers, who can try to repeat their match-winning show here.
Both teams have experienced players as well as young talent, who are raring to go in order to help their team move up the standings. However, Melbourne Stars who have plenty of proven batsmen and an in-form squad of bowlers, look better placed to come out with flying colors on Wednesday