Our prediction is that Melbourne Stars will win the contest against the Perth Scorchers at home.
The Melbourne Stars who are holding onto a position in top three will be up against a team, which unusually finds itself at the bottom of the table, on 9th January 2019 in the 25th match of the 8th season of BBL.
Perth Scorchers are 3 times BBL winners, the most by any team, and yet with 5 losses in 6 games they are facing the possibility of not entering the playoffs for the first time in the history of BBL. Melbourne Stars, who themselves are a regular in the playoffs of BBL across the years, might have been in similar situations if not for the recent gain in the form that earned them consecutive wins after a couple of losses.
Perth Scorchers are desperate for a win here and it will be interesting to see what changes, in the team and in the strategy, do they make to stay afloat in the tournament.
Melbourne Stars were at the bottom of the points table after the league stages in the previous season of Big Bash League with just 2 wins 10 matches. They started this season as underdogs losing a couple of matches. However, since then, Melbourne Stars have come back strongly to register increasingly convincing wins by 5, 7 and 8 wickets against Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades, and Sydney Thunders respectively - two of them away from home.
Peter Handscomb, who came back to play BBL after being dropped from the Test side, helped the Stars register their first win. Then, in the next couple of matches, Australia’s limited overs mainstay Marcus Stoinis and Glen Maxwell helped them register even bigger wins.
With every win, the Stars are looking like a settled side with all-rounders Stoinis, Maxwell’s all-around contributions along with Adam Zampa, Dwyane Bravo strong contributions with the ball.
GJ Maxwell (c), BR Dunk, MP Stoinis, NCR Larkin, SE Gotch, DJ Bravo, EP Gulbis, LE Plunkett, A Zampa, SM Boland, MA Beer.
Last season's table toppers, Perth Scorchers, find themselves in a big rut after the first 6 games of the 8th season of Big Bash League. The hole might have already been deep enough to throw the Scorchers out of the tournament. One more loss in the tournament will confirm their exit. The Scorchers must be looking for a revamp in the match against Melbourne Stars on Wednesday.
The Scorchers’ batting is falling apart in the tournament where they have produced a string of low scores such as 135, 107, 88, and 103. Nobody can expect to win with such scores on board batting first.
These losses, especially the one against Sydney Thunder by just one run despite heroic 60 in just 36 balls by Turner, have been demoralizing for Perth Scorchers. Somehow the Scorchers need to find the will to come back stronger or they can pretty much say goodbye to BBL season 8.
MR Marsh (c), M Klinger, CT Bancroft, AJ Turner, HWR Cartwright, AC Agar, NM Coulter-Nile, WG Bosisto, AJ Tye, JA Richardson, JP Behrendorff
The matches at Melbourne in this season have been low scoring ones with teams batting second winning all the matches except for the one where Melbourne Renegades failed to chase 132 against the Sixers.
The highest score batting first in this season has been just 148.The team winning the Toss should choose to Field first on a tricky pitch and then look to chase down the target as has been the trend this season.
This is a contest between the teams that have regularly found a place in the playoffs of the Big Bash League. This seems to be different season though where both teams are struggling to find a foothold in the standings, Perth Scorchers more than the Melbourne Stars. The Stars have found a way to bounce back but the Perth Scorchers seem directionless.
Melbourne Stars will lend a final blow to Perth Scorchers by defeating them at home.
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