Renegades seek turnaround as the Stars look to continue their winning momentum in Melbourne derby!
Melbourne Stars to win the match!
It’s the Melbourne derby and the two teams Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades find themselves at different ends of the spectrum as far as the points table is concerned. They’ve had very contrasting times in this tournament.
While the Stars are soaring high and are sitting at the top of the table, the Renegades are yet to get off the mark and are placed last.
Melbourne Stars started the season with a couple of convincing wins before they lost a close game against Adelaide Strikers (by four runs). They are back to winning ways and have won two games on the bounce once again. They won by four runs against Hobart Hurricanes in a game that was decided via the Duckworth-Lewis method. Meanwhile, they held their nerve to eke out a tight three-wicket win (with two balls to spare) over Sydney Thunder.
Melbourne Renegades have played five and lost five. They've lost a couple of really tight games as well and just haven’t been able to close out games. They have lost three games batting first but all of those went into the final over. Meanwhile, in the other two games, the Renegades failed in chases of 197 and 156.
Melbourne Stars have found different players stepping up in different games. Be it with bat or ball, some or another player has come to the fore to drive the Stars home.
Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Nick Larkin have done it with the bat while Haris Rauf, Dale Steyn, Adam Zampa and the others have done it with the ball. Stoinis is leading the run charts for the Stars this season. He has scored 213 runs in five innings which includes a couple of half-centuries. Maxwell lit up the first game of the season while Larkin made a mark in the last game against Sydney Thunder. The likes of Peter Handscomb and Ben Dunk haven’t quite got going.
With the ball, it’s been about Haris Rauf for a big part. The Pakistan fast bowler has picked up 10 wickets in three games and has an excellent economy as well. Adam Zampa has chipped in very nicely and has taken seven wickets. The other senior fast bowlers like Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steyn have played their part as well.
Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Nick Larkin, Peter Handscomb (wk), Glenn Maxwell (c), Ben Dunk, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, Dale Steyn, Haris Rauf
Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, DW Steyn, N Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile, D Worrall, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ben Dunk
The Melbourne Renegades batting has been decent so far but they’ve been inconsistent. The effort just hasn’t been good enough.
Skipper Aaron Finch has led the way with a couple of fifties and also has a good strike-rate. He has scored 166 runs at an average of 33.20 and a strike-rate of 139.49. Meanwhile, Shaun Marsh has made 30+ in four out of his five innings so far and is the leading run-getter for the Renegades.
Beau Webster has been good in the middle order and has made 148 runs at a strike-rate of 146.53. The likes of Marcus Harris and Daniel Christian haven’t been up to the mark with the bat.
In fact, Christian has been disappointing with the ball as well. Only Kane Richardson and Cameron Boyce have picked up a substantial number of wickets in this BBL. Richardson has taken eight wickets while Boyce has five to his name. Moreover, they are also the most economical bowlers for the Renegades. It’s the bowling that needs to step up.
Sam Harper (wk), Aaron Finch (c), Shaun Marsh, Marcus Harris, Beau Webster, Daniel Christian, Will Sutherland, Cameron Boyce, Tom Andrews, Kane Richardson, Richard Gleeson
Aaron Finch, TLW Cooper, Sam Harper, Shaun Marsh, KW Richardson, Tom Andrews, Cameron Boyce, Richard Gleeson, BJ Webster, DT Christian, Will Sutherland
The pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is usually a good one to bat on. The bounce is true and the ball should come on to the bat nicely. The weather is expected to be clear with the temperatures hovering around 18-190 and there are no showers predicted either.
This is the first game of this BBL at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The turnout for the recent Australia-New Zealand Boxing Day Test match was good and expect the crowd to turn up in big numbers for this game as well, especially considering that it’s a Melbourne derby.
Last season, five BBL games were played at the MCG and in each game, the captain that won the toss opted to bowl first. It may not be any different this time around. Melbourne Stars have won their last couple of games batting second and may want to continue that trend and Renegades might also want to do the same as they’ve lost three out of their five games batting first.
There’s no doubt that Melbourne Stars will go into this game as favorites. They are the table-toppers and also have momentum on their side. The Stars have found ways to win in this season and bucking that trend may not be easy. New players have stood up and taken them through which has lifted the side. That has played a big role and another win will consolidate their position at the top of the points table. But Melbourne Renegades will be desperate to get off the mark and get going in this season.
Melbourne Stars to win the match!