BBL 2019-20: Challenger, Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder: Match Prediction – Weather Report, Pitch Conditions, Playing XIs and Live Streaming Details
In the past five encounters between both the sides, Stars have been triumphant thrice.
by Ameya Author
Published - Feb 5, 2020 2:10 pm | Updated - Feb 5, 2020 2:11 pm
The penultimate encounter of BBL 2019-20 will witness Melbourne Stars locking horns with Sydney Thunder in the Challenger of the tournament.
After bowing down against Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier of the BBL 2019-20, Stars will be eager to clinch the Challenger. The Glenn Maxwell-led side have been one of the most consistent sides this season. Stars finished at the top of the points table by gathering 10 out of 14 wins this season. However, they could not deliver an impressive performance in the Qualifier against Sydney Sixers.
Hunting down a target of 143 runs, Stars’ batsmen were bowled out on a mere total off 99 runs. No other player Stars apart from Clint Hinchliffe could go past the 20-run mark against the formidable bowling attack of Sixers. Stars will be eager to retaliate against Thunder post their dismal performance against Sixers.
Thunder, on the other hand, cruised to the Challenger by winning Eliminator and Knockout against Hurricanes and Strikers respectively. Thunder defended a competitive total of 197 runs against Hobart Hurricanes on the back of strong bowling performances from Jonathan Cook and Chris Morris.
Furthermore, Thunder booked their place in the Challenger by thumping Adelaide Strikers by 8 runs in the Knockout. After amassing 151 runs on the board, the Callum Ferguson-led side cruised to a narrow victory by restricting Strikers to a total of 143 runs.
Both Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will be aiming to deliver a robust performance to cement a place in the final. In the past five encounters between both the sides, Stars have been triumphant thrice.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the MCG has been fairly good for batting but the previous outing at this wicket was not a favourable one for Melbourne Stars. The Glenn Maxwell-led side could gather only 99 runs on the board at this ground in the Qualifier. There are chances of rain to intervene in the match and hence, the overs might be reduced accordingly. The temperature is expected to hover around 26 degrees Celcius along with high levels of humidity.
Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell have been consistent performers for Stars this season. Both the all-rounders have delivered match-winning performances for Stars this season. Stonis, who is the leading run-scorer this season, will be aiming to propel Stars to a flying start. Stars’ bowling force will be steered by Haris Rauf and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Rauf’s return from international duties has certainly helped Stars in bolstering their bowling line-up. However, Stars will be missing the services of 19-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane, who is off on international duties. Adam Zampa will be heading the spin bowling attack in Lamichhane’s absence.
Predicted XI: Marcus Stoinis, Seb Gotch (wk), Nick Larkin, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell (C), Nic Maddinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchcliffe, Adam Zampa, Haris Rauf, Daniel Worrall
Sydney Thunder is equipped with a robust batting force comprising the likes of Alex Hales, Alex Ross, Usman Khawaja and skipper Callum Ferguson. Alex Hales is currently second in the top-scorers’ list of this season with 568 runs.
The duo of Jonathan Cook and Chris Morris is expected to recreate its recent bowling exploits. Daniel Sams has also delivered consistent performances this season and has scalped the most wickets this season.
Predicted XI: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (C), Alex Ross, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Arjun Nair, Jay Lenton/Matthew Gilkes, Chris Tremain, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett
Probable Top Performers
Marcus Stoinis– Melbourne Stars| Alex Hales- Sydney Thunder
TV– Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Online– Sony LIV
Match Timings – 2:10 PM IST; 7:40 PM local time
The prediction is for Sydney Thunder to win the match.