The Big Bash League match between Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat features Bettingpro.com.au's bet of the day for Saturday, January 25.
Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat (Sat 7.10pm AEST)
The Stars have 20 points from their 13 matches and will finish top of the standings irrespective of their remaining results. However, they will be keen to come out of a two-match losing run of their own. The Heat have a bigger task on their hands, sitting with 10 points from 12 matches and just outside the top-five at this stage. A win might not guarantee progress, but a loss would surely complicate things.
The Stars have been able to base their season on Marcus Stoinis (590 runs, SR 133.78). The opener has been impressive all along, but the Stars have been over-dependent on him. Peter Handscomb and Nick Larkin could improve and add more steel to the batting. Their bowling was led by the surprise package Haris Rauf (16 wickets) who has now left for national duty. His replacement Dilbar Hussain is an equally good and surprise bowler – so watch out for him. Otherwise, Sandeep Lamichhane (14 wickets) has been pressing well for the Stars.
With a sudden dip in their standards and form, the Heat are in danger of blowing their chances. Chris Lynn (339 runs, SR 159.90) is destructive, but needs to be present at the crease beyond the fourth over at the least. AB de Villiers is easing into his role, but the consistent collapses around him isn’t helping one little bit. Bowling also lacks conviction and balance, as their best bowler Ben Laughlin (14 wickets, ER 9.16) continues to be expensive. James Pattinson has shown the drive and urge to lead the pack and could be their best shot at getting back to winning ways.
The Stars have no real worries at the moment, even if they lose, considering they are guaranteed top-spot. However, they will be keen on taking winning momentum into the playoffs and not get complacent. For the Heat, the chance of missing out on the top-five is a reality, unless they improve. With the kind of form that they are exhibiting, there is really no confidence in the camp and it is tough to see them winning.