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Toss Winner - Melbourne Stars Women won the toss and chose to bowl first
WBBL 2020: Teams look to open their wins tally
Melbourne Stars are favourites to win the match
Tournament: WOMENS BIG BASH LEAGUE 2020 | Format: T20 | Venue: North Sydney Oval, Sydney, Australia | Toss: To BowlBet Now
Rain was main hero on the opening day of the WBBL 2020 with two games being no-results. The two teams in this fixture were both affected by bad weather, consequently enduring no-results. While they wouldn’t mind the free points gained, neither side would want to lose too many games to the weather this early in the tournament. The Stars were on course for setting up a competitive total before the rains arrived three overs prior to the innings closure. The game never resumed after that due to the downpour.
The Thunder’s fixture against their Sydney neighbours never took off at all due to incessant rains and with more rain on the radar, all that both teams can do is to be hopeful of getting a relatively clear forecast, so that they can at least squeeze in a minimal contest if not a full game.
Although the opening fixture couldn’t produce a result, the Stars would be pleased with how their new signing-cum-captain Meg Lanning started the season. The Australian captain, while not in great T20 form of late, did get her rhythm during the ODIs against New Zealand, and seemed to continue the momentum in what was a smartly-paced fifty. She remained unbeaten, anchoring the innings at one end while Mignon du Preez and Annabel Sutherland gave able support to ensure that the Stars weren’t hampered by the golden ducks of Elyse Villani and Natalie Sciver. The duo are quality resources, and it’s only a matter of time before they get going.
The Stars might go in with the same XI for this fixture, given that the bowling didn’t get any opportunity to evaluate themselves. Lanning is expected to continue opening the innings and given her nature of gameplay, it seems to be the best option for the Stars skipper, thereby allowing the strokemakers and powerhitters to rally around her. If the bowling can hold up reasonably, they are an outfit that could surprise a lot of teams this season.
E Villani, M Lanning(c), M du Preez, N Sciver, E Osborne, A Sutherland, T Flintoff, N Faltum, S Day, H Ferling, R Mair
With no play possible in the Sydney Derby, there is nothing new that Thunder were able to learn about their team that they didn’t already know. Therefore, they should be sticking to the same XI that was likely to take the field against the Sixers. It’s their top order that is their best bet to take out opponents, given the flair and firepower that they possess. Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight are batters with the right mix of aggression and cricketing smarts while Sammy-Jo Johnson can tonk the ball around at will. There is more experience in the ranks with the likes of Rachel Priest and Rachel Haynes to add teeth to the batting unit.
The bowling is what will be interesting to see. While South African veteran Shabnim Ismail is a safe bet for whichever team she plays, the rest bar Lauren Smith aren’t necessarily starry or intimidating. They’ll have to punch above their weight and provide the senior bowlers with the needed support. The bowling department’s fortunes might well decided how deep Thunder can go this season.
T Beaumont, P Litchfield, H Knight, S Johnson, R Haynes(c), S Horley, H Darlington, L Smith, S Ismail, S Bates, R Trenaman
It’s expected to be a rainy weekend in Sydney with roughly 70 percent chance of rain and high humidity conditions. The surfaces are expected to be hard with decent pace and bounce to begin with, as the pitches are all fresh at this point.
A venue with great Club history, the North Sydney Oval isn’t used frequently in the higher levels of the sport in Australia but has a lot of tradition associated with it. Over the years, it’s been strongly associated with Women’s international games and WBBL.
With rain expected once more, captains would want to bowl on what should still be fresh decks with the showers likely to have quickened it up if anything. Chasing should be the way to go.
Both teams look evenly-matched with their respective set of flaws and pluses. The Thunder though are yet to take the field and that’s when we can really know how their form is. They could be a bit rusty, given the long lay-off that most players are returning from. Stars did get some game time with the bat and more importantly, have a core of experienced players to bank on. Although by a small margin, we expect the Stars to win this fixture
Melbourne Stars are favourites to win the match
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