BBL06 - Match 28
MATCH UP STATS
BBL06 - Match 28
2016-17 Big Bash formMelbourne Stars: W L L W W WBrisbane Heat: W W W L W L
Top runscorer tipsMelbourne Stars: Rob Quiney - $4 at William HillBrisbane Heat: Joe Burns - $5 at Bet365
Top wicket-taker tipsMelbourne Stars: Ben Hilfenhaus - $4 at William HillBrisbane Heat: Mitch Swepson - $4.50 at Sportsbet
WHY is it that Melbourne Stars always seem to run into their best form after their gun Australian players leave for international duty?
Stephen Fleming’s crew have won three on the bounce, two of which have come since James Faulkner, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa were called away for the ODI series against Pakistan.
And they weren’t easy fixtures, if there even is such a thing in the Big Bash League.
After a big derby win over the Renegades and a nervy chase against Adelaide Strikers, they silenced the WACA on Saturday with a dominant performance away to the always-dangerous Perth Scorchers.
A devastating opening spell from Ben Hilfenhaus and Michael Beer – aided by some questionable strokeplay from the Perth bats – left the hosts 4/13 only four overs in.
Kevin Pietersen (44 not out) and Marcus Stoinis (40 not out) ran down the required 135 with the best part of three overs to spare, despite KP becoming rather bogged down by his mission to launch former England teammate Tim Bresnan into the Swan River.
That result put the green half of Melbourne top of the table with two rounds of league fixtures remaining.
Now the Stars will look to all but guarantee a home final with a win over the team they displaced at the summit.
Brisbane Heat fared rather worse last time out when they met the Scorchers at the Gabba.
Although they kept the visitors to a gettable total of 156, they couldn’t cope with the four-pronged pace attack of Bresnan, Mitchell Johnson, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye.
As expected, they sorely missed Chris Lynn’s unrivalled hitting in the top order.
Now Brendon McCullum will miss a match due to slow over rates, which puts the onus on Jimmy Peirson, Alex Ross, et al to step up and fill that sizeable void.
Yet Brisbane can’t have any complaints about the efforts of a bowling attack that many a pundit thought would be their undoing in BBL06.
Mark Steketee, Jack Wildermuth and new inclusion Tymal Mills were all in the wickets against the Scorchers while conceding no more than eight runs per over.
The same goes for young leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, whose promising displays this season have earned him a call-up to Australia’s Test team for the upcoming tour of India.
But the fact remains that the Heat have lost two of their last three and will probably need to win at least one of their remaining pair of matches to clinch a top-two finish.
Rob Quiney betting markets
A fringe-dweller in recent times who has battled injury and form slumps, Quiney looks a new man in BBL06.
The veteran Victorian is in fine form at the top order with scores of 75, 51, 31 and 35 in his four hits this season.
Even a hamstring injury after Melbourne’s opener at Hobart hasn’t upset his rhythm.
There is nothing streaky about Quiney’s runs either – he is absolutely flushing the ball.
His reaction to holing out last weekend was that of a man disgusted at himself for failing to capitalise on his golden touch.
Don’t be at all surprised if he buckles down for a big one on Tuesday.
Over 3.5 sixes – $2.09 at Sportsbet
Most runs vs. Pietersen and Burns – $2.90 at CrownBet
To score 50 – $3.75 at William Hill
Top Stars runscorer – $4 at William Hill
Man of the match – $10 at Bet365
To score 100 – $12 at William Hill
BBL06 Stars vs. Heat match tips
Much of the Stars’ strength is in their second stringers.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value of an all-round pro like Evan Gulbis who can wait in the wings for weeks and then come out and do a job whenever required.
They also look to have found a rookie gem in left-arm wrist spinner Liam Bowe, who may well start against the Heat after sitting out Saturday’s win on a very bouncy WACA wicket.
Do Brisbane possess that kind of depth?
They have plenty of options in lieu of Lynn and McCullum, but Alex Doolan, Sam Heazlett and Nathan Reardon aren’t quite in the same class.
And although the Heat bowlers have fought manfully this season, one can’t help but feel they are a bona fide star short when push comes to shove.
Stars to make it four on the trot looks like the safe bet.
Match result – Melbourne Stars ($1.62 at Sportsbet)
Century to be scored? – Yes ($9.50 at Sportsbet)
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