Melbourne Stars - Sydney Thunder

Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder at the MCG

6th January 2020

The Big Bash roadshow moves onto its penultimate game for BBL09 as the Stars and Thunder playoff for the right to play the Sydney Sixers at the SCG in Saturday’s final. The Thunder are best priced with Bet365 at 23/20, while the Stars can be backed at 4/5 with Ladbrokes.

Table topping Stars set the early pace but have now lost their last four matches. While Marcus Stoinis is a permanent fixture at the top of the order and Glenn Maxwell has scored well whenever he has come out to bat, the rest of the batsmen have struggled to contribute. With Stoinis and Maxwell failing against the Sixers in the Qualifier match, the Stars were skittled for 99. Given such a failure I expect Ben Dunk to come back into the side, most likely as an opener. The bowling attack is likely to stay the same with Clint Hinchliffe retaining his place.

The Thunder’s confidence will be high having now won 3 on the bounce. They are likely to keep the same XI that knocked the Strikers out of the competition although Nathan McAndrew may come in for Brendan Doggett, whose two overs cost 25 in Adelaide. The other possible change is Matthew Gilkes in for Jay Lenton who is expecting a child and will be unavailable should the birth clash with the game. Alex Hales is in tremendous form with scores of 85, 63, 47, 60 and 59 in his last five matches. He is best priced 5/2 to top score for Thunder with Spreadex.

Given the shift in momentum towards Thunder, and the fact home advantage is worth little in the Big Bash, the sensible option is to get with the visitors. The Stars are too reliant on a couple of players, while the Thunder are a better all-round outfit.

Back Sydney Thunder at 23/20 with Bet365 – BET HERE

We talked about the MCG pitch last week and the same sentiment remains. It a good batting track with scores 1st innings of 143, 145, 219, 141, 186 and 140 this year. In last week’s game at the MCG we recommended selling sixes at 10. The large playing area produced only one maximum and I would be looking to get against sixes again. This time the best option is on the fixed odds, backing under 9.5 sixes. In competed matches at ‘The G’ 69% have 9 or less sixes hit.

Back Under 9.5 Sixes with Spreadex at 5/6

Daniel Sams is the tournament leading wicket taker with 30 scalps. Only 2 other bowlers in the Thunder squad, Chris Morris (20) and Jono Cook (13), have double figures. He bowls the death overs and should be strong favourite to be Sydney Thunder top bowler.

Back Daniel Sams Top Sydney Thunder Bowler at 10/3 with William Hill

Expected Line Ups

Melbourne Stars:

Marcus Stoinis, Ben Dunk, Nick Larkin, Peter Handscomb+, Glenn Maxwell*, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, Haris Rauf, Dibar Hussain

Sydney Thunder:

Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson*, Alex Ross, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Arjun Nair, Jay Lenton+, Chris Tremain, Jono Cook, Ben Doggett

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