With the race for top-five proving to be tighter than ever in the Big Bash League, the Adelaide Strikers will hope that lady luck will smile on them when they host the Melbourne Stars at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
The Strikers have 13 points from 11 matches (W6, L4, NR1), but more importantly have won their last two matches. The Stars were brushed aside by Sydney Sixers in their previous game, which ended a run of eight successive victories.
The Strikers registered a timely win over the Hobart Hurricanes, thanks to Travis Head’s return to form. The Strikers’ captain remains their biggest positive as they chase points to stay in the playoff contention. The form of openers Jake Weatherald (337 runs, SR 142.79) and Phil Salt (209 runs, SR 151.44) will be crucial for their chances.
The duo of Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle have 28 wickets between them and have been conceding at 7.0 runs per over. The Strikers will need solid performances from their support bowlers though, as demonstrated by Wes Agar against the Hurricanes.
The Stars were given a jolt by the Sixers, but the chances in a rain-shortened match was always 50-50. While Marcus Stoinis continues to wheel away with his scores (585 runs, SR 136.04), the outlook of Glenn Maxwell (353 runs, SR 159.72) continues to be aggressive.
Without Haris Rauf around – due to his international commitments – the Stars remain reliant on their Nepalese leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane (14 wickets, SR 7.76). Otherwise, the Stars look a slightly disjointed unit in terms of their bowling attack.
This is a match that is more crucial for the Strikers than the Stars, who have already booked their top spot for the regular season. A loss isn’t catastrophic for the Strikers, but a win will be a huge boost to their playoff hopes. Expect the hosts to give their all, while the visitors will look to get back to winning ways. The Strikers will once again rely on their captain to deliver the goods, while the bowling continues to be manned by their best two. This match could sway the Strikers’ way, purely because of the intent that they might bring to this contest.
History & Statistics
- The Strikers have won three of the last four H2Hs and five of the last seven.
- The Strikers have won the last four H2Hs at this venue.
- The Strikers have won five of the seven H2Hs where they lost the toss.
- The Strikers have hit the most sixes in three of their last four BBL|09 matches, with the other being a tie.
- The Strikers have had the highest opening partnership in their last four BBL|09 matches.
- The Stars have won all three H2Hs where they lost the toss.
- Seven of the last eight H2Hs were won by the home side on the day.
Travis Head is making sure that the Strikers do not slip down the table and the Adelaide captain will once again be the key to their chances.
Marcus Stoinis continues to make the most of his purple patch and score runs at will.