Third-placed Sydney Thunder takes on fifth-placed Melbourne Stars for the second time in the Big Bash League.
Sydney lost to Melbourne by 22 runs in the first clash. Sydney thrashed Melbourne Renegades by 129 runs in their previous match. Melbourne lost by a narrow one-wicket against Sydney Sixers in their last game.
Head to Head
Matches Played- 14, Thunders-6, Stars- 8
Usman Khawaja and Alex Hales gave the perfect start for Sydney hitting 70 runs in the powerplay. Newcomer, Oliver Davies smashed a brilliant 23-ball 48 and Nathan McAndrew struck 3 huge sixes, in the en to take the team to a competitive total of 209. All the bowlers chipped in with wickets. Tanveer Sangha was the star as the leggie took four wickets for just 14 runs. Sam Billings may play this game.
Despite a top-order failure that left them struggling at 49-4, Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran hit 71 and 65 respectively to take the total to 193. Billy Stanlake and Adam Zampa were expensive with the ball. Nathan Coulter-Nile was impressive as he scalped two wickets and conceded less than 5 runs an over. His injury came at the wrong time as Maxwell took the gamble of bowling the last over and could not defend 20 runs successfully.
Pitch and Conditions
The chasing team has won three out of five matches in Canberra this season. Totals above 200 can be defended easily. Early breakthroughs by the bowlers can stem the run flow effectively. Lots of runs can be expected during the death overs at the Manuka Oval. Clear weather is expected to prevail for the game.
Probable Playing XI
Sydney Thunder (SYT): Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Oliver Davies, Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting, Baxter Holt (wk)/ Sam Billings, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha
Melbourne Stars (MLS): Andre Fletcher, Ben Dunk, Hilton Cartwright, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile/Dilbar Hussain, Adam Zampa, Liam Hatcher, Billy Stanlake/Jonathan Merlo, Zahir Khan
Alex Hales (SYT) vs Adam Zampa (MLS)
Hales got his groove back with a good knock of 35 in the previous game. He is an aggressive top-order batsman who can be unstoppable when he is in full flow. He is a proven T20 specialist with a penchant for winning games single-handedly.
Zampa took two wickets in the last match and conceded 47 runs. He possesses clever deception and is capable to make breakthroughs. He can exploit the turn on dry pitches and can unsettle the batsmen with his variations in the air.
Tanveer Sangha (SYT) vs Ben Dunk (MLS)
Opening the batting, Dunk scored a slow knock of 24 runs in the last game. He is a hard-hitting batsman and possesses a solid technique. He has immense experience in franchise-based T20 cricket and can adjust his game depending on the match situation.
Sangha delivered the killer blows taking wickets as he choked Melbourne's batsmen. Making his debut in the BBL, he could not have asked for a better first season. His probing line and length make him difficult to get away especially for those batsmen who love to play free strokes off the pitch. He will play a crucial role in the powerplay for Sydney.
Sydney has strong momentum on their side having won their last 3 games. Melbourne would be kicking themselves for losing the last match from a winning situation due to poor decision-making at the end. Sydney is more balanced in the batting department and Melbourne have a few game-changing bowlers.
Cricwizz predicts Melbourne Stars to win the match