When Sydney Sixers travelled to the MCG they were only two points behind Melbourne Stars, but so much has changed in eight days and they start this fixture at the SCG seven points behind and facing a battle to make the top two.
Both teams have played 11 matches and the Sixers have 13 points (W6, L4, NR1), while the Stars have 20 (W10, L1). The Sixers are without a win in three matches (L2, NR1), while the Stars are on an eight-match winning streak.
Batting continues to be a problem area for the Sixers. They have only two individual 50s this season and both have come off Josh Philippe’s bat (278 runs, SR 126.94). With only Daniel Hughes aggregating 200+ among the rest, the Sixers have so much to catch up.
Nothing to worry with their bowling, though, as most of the boxes are ticked – despite the absence of Sean Abbott. Tom Curran (15 wickets, ER 9.73) continues to be effective, although his numbers are stretched because of his bowling duties at both ends of the innings.
The Stars look absolutely unbeatable, and that has a lot to do with their batting. Marcus Stoinis (523 runs, SR 133.07) and Glenn Maxwell (341 runs, SR 163.94) continue to be their lead anchors, as the Stars pile runs at quick pace.
While the absence of Adam Zampa has robbed them of precision in the middle overs, the Stars have Sandeep Lamichhane (12 wickets, ER 7.34) to fill that role in their attack.
The Stars have looked the real deal this season, chalking up victories quite efficiently. They have been challenged in the recent matches, but the manner in which they responded has been impressive. It is difficult to see them taking the foot off the pedal and will be going for another victory. The Sixers, on the other hand, have been up and down with their form. Batting remains a concern for the Sixers, although their bowling has been accurate. With Nathan Lyon also in the unit, it would be interesting to see if they can control things against the Stars. Regardless, it is the visitors who still hold all the cards.
History & Statistics
- The Stars have won both the H2Hs where they have won the toss.
- The Stars have won three of the four H2Hs where they chased.
- The Sixers had the best powerplay in just three of their BBL09 matches.
Lyon has been having excellent seasons in Australian whites, but can he replicate that in Sixers’ pink? He is coming fresh off a maiden Test five-for at this venue.
All the talk might be on Stoinis and Maxwell, but Hilton Cartwright is doing the right stuff over the past few matches. Can he continue to play the calm role?