It is the clash of two teams with contrasting results in their respective last games. Melbourne Stars would be wondering how did they lose their last game against the other Sydney side. While Sydney Thunder handed the Melbourne Renegades another humiliation so early in the season.
Now the two sides gear up to face each other at the Manuka Oval, the ground where they met earlier in the season. The Stars came on top then but, the picture has changed for Thunder since.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details & team combination
The Manuka Oval has been a host to five games so far this season. The highest and the lowest score here this season came in the last match. It was Thunder themselves who scored 209 in the first innings and choked the Renegades to a mere 80.
The pacers here have bowled at an economy of eight which is middling with respect to other venues this season. However, their record of 18.2 balls per wicket here is the second-worst. The record of 17.6 balls per wicket for spinners is also not exceptional but still better than their pace counterparts, an anomaly than most T20 venues.
In terms of personnel, it is the players from Thunder who rule the roost here since they have played all their four games at this venue. Callum Ferguson is the highest run-getter (146) so far. However, after an innings of 46* here against the Heat, Hilton Cartwright has the best average of 55 at the Manuka Oval in this season so far.
Among the bowlers, Tanveer Sangha has and Daniel Sams have seven and six wickets here so far. For the Stars, Nathan Coulter-Nile picked a four-for in the only game he played here, but injury concerns surround him.
There could be some interesting match-ups too
None of the five experienced bowling options in Stars in the last game: Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan and Glenn Maxwell have ever dismissed Ferguson before. There isn’t any certainty on the inclusion of the one bowler from Stars who has got him thrice: Haris Rauf.
Maxwell has been the top-scorer for Stars so far this season. But if there is one bowler he has struggled against, he is Daniel Sams. In 26 balls he has faced from the left-arm pacer, Maxwell has scored 3 runs and has been dismissed twice.
In the last two seasons, Glenn Maxwell averages 51.5 against the Thunder. Moreover, he has been the highest run-scorer for Stars as mentioned above. Owing up responsibility as the captain of his side, he has scored runs every time he went in to bat. Moreover, since he can chip in with ball and fields at catching positions, he is the safest bet for the captain for your fantasy XI
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Maxwell could score 13-30 runs and take 0-1 wickets in this match.
As mentioned above, Callum Ferguson is the highest run-scorer at the venue of this game. He is also the leading run-scorer for Thunder. Moreover, none of the prospective bowlers from Stars have got better of him in T20s. In the last game as well, the thunder skipper scored an impressive half-century. He can be a decent choice for the vice-captain of your XI.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ferguson could score 12-35 runs.
Nicholas Pooran is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball going around. In the IPL this year, he scored 353 runs at an average of 35.3 and a strike-rate of a daunting 169.7 runs which was the most for any player with more than 300 runs. In the last game against Sixers, while batting for the first time in BBL he scored the fastest-ever fifty for Stars. During his 26-ball knock, he scored 42 runs in eight consecutive balls.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Pooran could score 11-28 runs.
Tanveer Sangha has seven wickets in this season so far – the most for Thunder. All of them have come at this venue. Among spinners with more than two wickets, only Steve O’Keefe has a better bowling strike-rate this season than Sangha’s 13.1 balls per wicket. He can be a good value for money pick.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Sangha could pick 0-1 wicket.