Two of the form teams in the Big Bash League will clash when the Perth Scorchers meet the Melbourne Stars at the Optus Stadium on Wednesday.
With the sides meeting again in Melbourne on Saturday, this is the first of the two back-to-back head-to-heads and it could well determine how the Scorchers’ season will unfold.
The Scorchers have won four of their last five, including the last three and have ten points so far (W5, L4). The Stars have won their last six and are runaway leaders at the top (W8, L1).
After a poor start, the Scorchers have sprung to life in the recent matches. It is the batting form of their captain Mitchell Marsh (347 runs, SR 154.22) that has played a strong role. Josh Inglis (275 runs, SR 155.36) has also performed well, while Liam Livingstone (226 runs, SR 151.67) continues to be aggressive at the top.
What’s been working for the Scorchers with the ball has been Jhye Richardson’s renaissance (13 wickets, ER 7.76). Fawad Ahmed has been exceptional with his control (11 wickets, ER 6.94) giving captain Marsh very little to worry about.
The Stars have been the team to beat in BBL09 with some exceptional individual performances. Captain Glenn Maxwell (316 runs, SR 170.81) and Marcus Stoinis (478 runs, SR 134.64) have been piling on runs. Stoinis showed in the previous game that being the specialist batsman is working to his advantage.
Haris Rauf (15 wickets, ER 6.75) remains one of the toughest bowlers of the season to score runs against. Sandeep Lamichhane (nine wickets) is getting back amongst the wickets and that should help the Stars.
This is a massive game for the Scorchers and their realistic chances of finishing in the top-five will be tested against the best. They get to play the Stars in back-to-back matches and can shape their season in the two games. Considering the array of hitters on show, this match should witness some excellent biggies. As for the result, there is a value in backing the Scorchers stop the steam train of the Stars.
History & Statistics
- The Scorchers have won each of their last four H2Hs.
- The Scorchers have won six of nine home H2Hs, including the only fixture at this venue.
- The Stars have scored the most 6s in six of their nine BBL|09 matches.
- The Stars average 5.43 sixes per game, while the Scorchers average 7.38.
- The team batting first has won the last six matches at this venue.
Apart from the usual suspects, the Scorchers are enjoying the rise in form of Inglis. The young ‘keeper is enjoying flashing his blade and should fancy his chances once again.
After a record-breaking innings, all eyes will be on Stoinis and how he improves from here. The Stars’ opener should fancy his chances of another patient build-up and a match-winning score.