BBL06 - Match 22
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BBL06 - Match 22
2016-17 Big Bash formMelbourne Stars: W L L WAdelaide Strikers: L L W L W
Top runscorer picksMelbourne Stars: Kevin Pietersen - $4 at SportsbetAdelaide Strikers: Ben Dunk - $3.50 at William Hill
Top wicket-taker picksMelbourne Stars: Scott Boland - $4 at SportsbetAdelaide Strikers: Chris Jordan - $4 at William Hill
Old stagers Kevin Pietersen (73) and Rob Quiney (51) starred with the bat in a total of 201 – the side’s highest innings score so far in BBL06.
That proved too tough a task Aaron Finch and the ‘Gades as Michael Beer (3/32) and Adam Zampa (3/19) closed out a 46-run victory.
The latter half of that spin duo is one of several big-name Stars who could miss Adelaide’s visit on Tuesday.
As seems to be the case every season, the Australian selectors have plundered the green half of Melbourne for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan.
Zampa, James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell have all made Darren Lehmann’s squad for the five-match stoush, which starts this Friday in Brisbane.
There is a silver lining for Stephen Fleming and company, however, with Peter Handscomb returning to the Big Bash after an incredible start to his Test career.
Whether or not he will play on Tuesday is uncertain, given the short turnaround from the Sydney Test, but his presence alone is a huge boost for the Stars.
There is no such pot of gold awaiting the Strikers.
Travis Head hasn’t enjoyed the best of Big Bash seasons to date, but the 22-year-old’s call up for the one-dayers leaves a big all-round hole in the Adelaide lineup.
That could mean a second chance for Jake Lehmann, who hasn’t featured since contributing exactly nothing to the win over Sydney Sixers on New Year’s Eve.
Even worse for coach Jason Gillespie is the shock selection of giant paceman Billy Stanlake, who has burst into the national selectors’ view with a string of high-quality performances in BBL 2016-17.
His likely absence on Tuesday could lead to a Strikers recall for either Michael Neser or Kane Richardson, both of whom have shown rather ordinary form in recent outings.
There could be one or two more interesting changes to the batting order.
Jono Dean has made back-to-back ducks in his two innings this season, which leaves the door open for veteran slogger Craig Simmons.
There is also some concern over Jake Weatherald, who hasn’t reached 20 since knocking a half-century in Adelaide’s first game of the season.
That lean run could see him make way for Kelvin Smith – his opening partner for South Australia in Sheffield Shield cricket.
Kevin Pietersen betting markets
We aren’t 100 per cent certain Handscomb will play on Tuesday, which leaves KP as the standout punting option in the Stars lineup.
The former England hero has stepped up in a big way, knocking 60 and 73 in his last two hits.
With Faulkner and Maxwell leaving for international duty, Pietersen’s top-order runs will be more important than ever.
No matter the format, you can just about bank on him to produce a big performance when his side needs it most.
Pietersen thrives on anything loose from the quicks, which is bad news for a Strikers attack which, Stanlake aside, has conceded far too many runs this season.
Man of the match – $8 at Bet365
Top Stars batsman – $4 at Sportsbet
Most sixes – $4.50 at Bet365
To score 50 – $3.25 at Bet365
To score 100 – $13 at Bet365
BBL06 Stars vs. Strikers match tips
It’s funny how the Stars never seem to find their feet until it’s time for their local stars to bunk off for international duty.
They dominated the Renegades at the weekend, blasting the pace pairing of James Pattinson and Chris Tremain for a combined 84 runs from eight overs.
Quiney has picked up where he left off after his hamstring injury, while Luke Wright rarely has two bad games in a row and will be eager to make a key contribution on Tuesday.
Bowling options are a slight concern, with John Hastings out for the season and no frontline replacement for Zampa in the offing.
It could all depend on whether any of the Strikers bats show up besides Ben Dunk and Brad Hodge.
Those two have compiled some 436 runs between them in BBL06 – almost 100 more than the rest of the Adelaide squad combined.
That unreliable runscoring does not pair well with a bowling unit that has shipped some big numbers this season.
As such, it’s shaping up as Melbourne’s game to lose.
Melbourne Stars to win – $1.75 at CrownBet
Melbourne Stars highest opening stand – $1.93 at Bet365
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