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Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder Big Bash League Preview and Predictions - Thunder must win

Rippa Staff 18 Jan 2018

Even if the Melbourne Stars are not in contention for the finals and the Sydney Thunder are clinging on to faint hope, there is so much at stake when the teams meet at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday, January 20.

The players will have one eye on the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions and any little help in attracting attention will go a long way in helping them grab lucrative contracts. And, there is a little matter of pride for the sides as they look to avoid the proverbial ‘wooden spoon’.

Match Preview


The points tally won’t lie, and the Stars are worst side in the Big Bash League with just two points after seven games. With no consistent performers with either the bat or the ball, it is clear to see why they are struggling.

Did the Thunder perform any better? They have picked three wins from eight matches, and with six points, they are only marginally better than their hosts. That, of course, is no comfort for a side that has seen their campaign go pear-shaped after starting with a win.

A glance at the past record tells us that the Thunder leads the head-to-head 4-3. And, what’s more, the Thunder have won the previous three encounters against the Stars and would love that run to continue.

Match Significance


It looks a pretty safe bet to say that neither of these sides will feature in the finals. It would take a miracle from here for the Thunder and looking at what they dished out so far, even hoping for a miracle looks like a miracle.

The Thunder have a four-point advantage over their hosts, although they have played a game extra. A win for the Thunder will all-but-confirm the Stars’ bottom place while a win for the men from Melbourne will make it a three-way tussle to avoid the wooden spoon.

Who’s Hot & Who’s Not?


None of the stars are firing for the Stars and it is only Glenn Maxwell (214 runs, avg. of 35.66, SR of 148.61) who has scored more than 200 runs. The less we say about their bowling the better, as the collective might of this unit has come to the fore only in their ability to flop! Their best bowler has been Jackson Coleman (five wickets, economy of 6.0) while their best bet (Marcus Stoinis) is out on international duty.

The Thunder are only marginally better – again – as their batting charge is led by their captain Shane Watson (260 runs, avg. of 32.50, SR of 134.02). Their bowling has been about the spin twins Fawad Ahmed (10 wickets, economy of 5.9) and Arjun Nair (nine wickets, economy of 7.06). The worry, though, is the massive leakage that their import Mitchell McCleneghan is carrying (economy of 9.03). 

Tips and Predictions


Who will you pick in this ‘basement clash’? Both sides are out of form, but the Thunder have shown a semblance of consistency to be picked as favourites over the Stars. Back them at odds of $1.81 (Sportsbet).

With the poor form of Luke Wright weighing down their chances, the Stars may struggle with their opening partnership. Back the Thunder to have a better opening partnership at odds of $1.77 (CrownBet).


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Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder Big Bash League Preview and Predictions - Thunder must win

The Melbourne Stars are not in contention for the finals but the Sydney Thunder are clinging on to faint hope when the teams meet at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday, January 20.

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