RECOVERING from a Christmas Day food coma or hangover?
We’ve got just the tonic for you – a Boxing Day bash.
The Melbourne Stars travel west to take on the reigning champions, the Perth Scorchers, at the WACA on Tuesday night.
This is a battle of the BBL’s two most prominent teams – both accustomed to winning and making finals.
The Scorchers have won three of the six BBL titles, while the Stars have made six-consecutive finals appearances without tasting the ultimate success.
It’s early in the season, but this game is going to have big ramifications on the ambitions of both sides in 2017/18.
After a brave defeat in their opening game against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, the Melbourne Stars showed they’ll be a contender again this summer. Interestingly in that match, it wasn’t franchise men Kevin Petiersen, Glenn Maxwell or Luke Wright who did the work for the Stars, but all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who took 3/38 with the ball and then followed it up with a brilliant 99 from 51 balls that almost helped his side chase an unlikely 207.
Make no mistake, things won’t get any easier for the men in green in game 2.
The Scorchers, even without spiritual leader Michael Klinger, are still the hardest proposition in the BBL on their home turf. The in-form Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitch, provide the fire power at the top and middle of the batting order while opening quick Mitchell Johnson has lost none of his pace and fire in international retirement.
But with those Marsh brothers and Scorchers opener Cameron Bancroft out, this is the Star’s chance to pounce.
The reigning champs will want to protect their turf in the home opener and this should be a thriller.
Most runs betting tips – Scorchers vs. Stars
With half of its batting line up – Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft – all on Ashes duty for the Boxing Day test, the Scorchers are going to turn to captain Adam Voges to deliver at the top of the order.
Voges may not be a man who easily clears the fences, but he’ll back himself to provide the anchor for his side and is our tip to top the runs list.
While we’re tempted to go with Marcus Stoinis again after his blistering 99 in the first match, we’re going to go with Glenn Maxwell to dominate here. Maxwell has been in the form of his life this summer and will want to stamp his authority on the competition, especially at a time when he’d rather be at the MCG playing in the Ashes.
Most wickets odds and betting – Scorchers vs. Stars
Get on the wild thing while you can. Mitchell Johnson is back after a break-out season last year and with more responsibility on his shoulders, we’re expecting him to open up the bowling and bully the Stars with a short barrage.
After being criminally underused in the opening game, we think Stars captain John Hastings will remember James Faulkner plays for him and give him his full four-over allotment to do his thing.