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Brisbane Heat will take on Melbourne Stars at Carrara Oval in 2020 Big Bash League (BBL 2020) on Thursday. Currently, Heat are placed 6th with 3 wins and 4 losses out of 7 games. Stars are placed one spot higher than Heat, with 3 wins, 3 losses, and 1 no result out of 7 games. Both the teams won their respective last match, with Stars breaking their three-match losing run. Heat would eye revenge of their season's opener loss to Stars in the clash on Thursday.

Head to head

Total matches 13, Heat won 8, Stars won 5

Team News

For Stars, results have not gone their way as they would have liked despite some brilliant individual performances from opener Marcus Stoinis and captain Glenn Maxwell. They lost a close match against Sydney Sixers by a wicket, and another by 22 runs against Sydney Thunder. 

Nevertheless, they overturned a three-match losing streak, with a win over Hobart Hurricanes in the last match, thanks to Stoinis' brilliant 97 not out. Stars would look to carry on the winning momentum in the clash against Heat on Thursday. But, they would need more meaningful contribution from other players.

Heat have bounced back admirably to win three out of their last 4 games after suffering three straight losses in the first three games of the season. They will be pleased to see Joe Burns return to form with a knock of 52 in the win over Sydney Thunder in the last game. Besides, Chris Lynn too made a great comeback, posting a quick 16-ball 30 against Thunder. Their bowling too has come to the party, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman leading the way.

Pitch and conditions

Showers are predicted for Thursday clash, and hence, a truncated match is possible. Temperatures will hover around 25 degree Celsius to 21 degree Celsius. Carrara Oval has always been good for batting, but with rain predicted, team winning the toss would like to chase.

Probable Playing XI

Brisbane Heat– Max Bryant, Chris Lynn, Joe Denly, Joe Burns, Lewis Gregory, Jimmy Peirson, James Bazley, Jack Wildermuth, Mark Steketee, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Xavier Bartlett.

Melbourne Stars – Marcus Stoinis, Andre Fletcher, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Hilton Cartwright, Seb Gotch, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Liam Hatcher, Sam Rainbird.

Key battles

Mujeeb ur Rahman (BH) vs Marcus Stoinis (MS)

Mujeeb ur Rahman Marcus Stoinis BBL
Mujeeb ur Rahman (BH) vs Marcus Stoinis (MS)

Stoinis has turned a new chapter in his T20 career when he first opened in the IPL 2020 qualifier 2 clash, and he has been regularly opening in the 2020 Big Bash League as well. Opening the batting gives him full liberty to express himself, and he has made full use of that opportunity in this tournament. He has destroyed opposition's attack, with his big hitting. 

For Heat, the best way to restrict Stoinis is to deny him pace, and bowl their best bowler Mujeeb upfront to Stoinis. Mujeeb is difficult to get away with, and Stoinis would look to dominate him, and that would give the Afghanistan off-spinner the chance to get the better of the Australian opener.

Chris Lynn (BH) vs Adam Zampa (MS)

Chris Lynn Adam Zampa BBL
Chris Lynn (BH) vs Adam Zampa (MS)

Lynn is unpredictable, and can be the destroyer he is known for, or just throw away his wicket. But if Lynn's last knock (16-ball 30 against Thunder) is anything to go by, he looks to have found his rhythm, and would look to go all out against Stars' bowling attack. Adam Zampa could stop Lynn from running away with the game as the leg-spinner could fox Lynn with his clever change of pace, and variations.

Prediction

Although Stars got the better of the Heat in their first clash, Heat have improved since then, and look a difficult opposition to get away with. But if Stoinis and Maxwell have a great day, then Heat could kiss their chances of winning the match a good bye. At the moment, Stars are better placed to win the Thursday clash. 

Cricwizz predicts Stars will win the clash