Melbourne Stars will lock horns against Perth Scorchers in the 31st match of the Big Bash League 2021-22. The Junction Oval in Melbourne will host this game.
The Melbourne Stars have won three games so far, and lost as many. They have ten points in their kitty. They beat Brisbane Heat in their last game. After being asked to bat first, the Stars posted a mammoth total of 207 runs on the board. They then restricted the Heat to 187, and will now look forward to continuing that momentum.
Perth Scorchers, meanwhile, have won six of their seven games, and have 21 points against their name. Their only loss came in their previous clash against the Sydney Thunder.
Bowling first, they conceded 200 runs to Thunder in twenty overs. In response, they fell short of their target by 34 runs. They will now seek a return to winning ways. Melbourne Stars are placed at the 6th spot in the Big Bash League 2021-22 points table with 3 wins and 3 losses from their 6 matches of the league. The team has 10 points.
Hilton Cartwright is the top run-scorer for Melbourne Stars with 203 runs at a strike rate of 151. He has struck 10 fours and 14 sixes. Glenn Maxwell has also made 177 runs at a strike rate of 147.
BL Couch has been the best bowler for Melbourne Stars and has picked up 10 wickets while bowling at an average of 17 and an economy rate of 8.70.
Perth Scorchers are placed at the 2nd spot in the Big Bash League 2021-22 points table with 6 wins and one loss from their 7 matches of the league. The team has 21 points.
Colin Munro is the top run-scorer for Perth Scorchers with 268 runs at a strike rate of 142. He has struck 21 fours and 9 sixes. Mitchell Marsh has also made 255 runs at a strike rate of 144.
Andrew Tye has been the best bowler for Perth Scorchers and has picked up 11 wickets while bowling at an average of 17 and an economy rate of 8.31.
MLS VS PER TEAM PREVIEWS
While a covid positive case in the supporting staff would still be playing on the minds of the players, this short break might actually do them a lot of good. Melbourne Stars were having a wayward campaign before the tournament started and this break might well help them to regroup and get back better.
As it currently stands on the points table, Melbourne Stars are placed at the sixth spot with ten points to their name coupled with a net run-rate of -1.114. Although they have done well after the kind of beating they received in their first match, they are yet to reach their full potential. They have so far won three matches out of six played and will be looking to gather some momentum going into the second half of the tournament.
The Stars are coming off a decent win over Brisbane Heat, wherein they defended a total of 207 on a surface that had only a little for the batsmen. Batting first, Melbourne Stars went out all guns blazing with almost everyone looking to smash the ball long and hard. They kept losing the wickets at regular intervals, but Joe Clarke and Hilton Cartwright got stuck in the Brisbane Heat bowlers, propelling their side to a total of 207.
Although chasing down a total of 207 was always going to be difficult for Heat, the Stars ensured that with remarkable bowling first up. Qais Ahmed was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with the impressive figures of 3 for 26 in his four overs. Apart from him, however, all other bowlers proved to be a tad too expensive from the Stars camp and they would want to do a lot better in the matches to come.
On paper, there are only a few lineups that match the potential that Stars have. Having said that, despite having all the star power available, the Stars are struggling with execution. We have seen many instances of individual brilliance from them with Cartright, Maxwell, Russell, and Clarke getting runs, but getting things right in unison is something that they have not been able to do. Similarly, they have the needed potency in their bowling lineup too, but they have fared a lot less than what they are capable of.
All in all, Melbourne Stars have not hit their peak potential yet and when they do, they will be a tough side. This break might have helped them to troubleshoot the problems they had in the first half and if they can get past them and play to their on-paper potential, beating them is going to be very difficult.
Perth Scorchers had a flawless start to their campaign and wouldn’t really complain about the kind of first half they had. They looked unbeatable in most of the matches and will be looking to build onto that in the second half as well. With 21 points to their name, they already are well placed to progress to the next round and a couple of wins hereon should be enough for them to seal a spot in the knockouts.
Remarkably, the Scorchers were unbeaten till their first six matches up until they met Sydney Thunder. Bowling first, they got off to a terrific start with Matthew Kelly picking up a couple of wickets in quick succession. Post that, however, all their bowlers looked tired and gave away frequent looseners, which allowed Sydney Thunder to not only rebuild but also counterattack. Perth Scorchers found their rhythm back in the death overs, but the damage had been done till then as Scorchers ended up scoring a total of 207.
Chasing down a total of 207 was never going to be easy for the Scorchers and loss of early wickets only made their problem worse. Kurtis Patterson, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Marsh were all dismissed inside the power play, leaving their side in all sorts of trouble. Colin Munro and Andrew Tye played fighting knocks each, but that proved to be too little too late as the Scorchers lost the match by a massive margin of 166.
On paper, there is still nothing wrong with the Scorchers’ unit, and if anything that loss would act as a wake-up call before the second half. Their bowling does look a bit one-dimensional in unfavorable conditions and that is perhaps the only area that they’ll be looking at. Any improvement they make hereon will make them a further stronger side. With the momentum they had, they would feel that they’ve been away from the action for a long time and will be itching to go out there. If they are able to perform to their on-paper potential, they will be a very hard side to get past in this upcoming match.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers, Match 31, Big Bash League 2021.
Date and Time: January 2nd 2021, Sunday; 10:00 AM IST.
Venue: Junction Oval, Melbourne.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS PITCH REPORT
The pitch at the Junction Oval is a balanced one. The ball comes nicely onto the bat, so batters can play their strokes freely. The surface is unlikely to change much as the game progresses.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS WEATHER FORECAST
The temperature in Melbourne is expected to range between 16 and 27 degrees Celsius on match day. There could be a cloud cover throughout the day.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS PROBABLE XIS
On the back of a solid partnership between Joe Clarke (85) and Hilton Cartwright (79), the Stars posted 207 runs against the Heat. Brody Couch and Qais Ahmad picked up three wickets apiece to help them defend the total successfully.
- Marcus Stoinis
- Joe Clarke (wk)
- Glenn Maxwell (c)
- Joe Burns
- Andre Russell
- Hilton Cartwright
- Beau Webster
- Nathan Coulter-Nile
- Adam Zampa
- Qais Ahmad
- Brody Couch.
Matthew Kelly picked up three wickets, but they allowed the Thunder to score 200 in their twenty overs. Colin Munro remained unbeaten on 64, and was well-supported by Andrew Tye (44 off 25 balls), but they couldn’t take their team home.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS HEAD-TO-HEAD
- Cameron Bancroft (wk)
- Kurtis Patterson
- Colin Munro
- Ashton Turner (c)
- Laurie Evans
- Ashton Agar
- Andrew Tye
- Matthew Kelly
- Jason Behrendorff
- Lance Morris
- Peter Hatzoglou
Matches – 18, Melbourne Stars – 8, Perth Scorchers – 9, N/R – 1
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
MITCHELL MARSH – PERTH SCORCHERS
Mitchell Marsh has been in outstanding form for the Scorchers in the ongoing edition of the T20 tournament. The right-hander has smashed 255 runs from five matches at an average of 85 and a strike rate of 144.06. If he gets going, the Stars will be in for a lot of trouble. Not to forget that Marsh has also picked up four wickets at an economy rate of 8.41.
ASHTON AGAR- PERTH SCORCHERS
Ashton Agar has performed his tasks with precision in the current season of the BBL. The left-arm spinner has picked up 10 wickets from seven matches at an impressive economy rate of 7.33. He has been able to keep a check on the run-scoring with a lot of efficiency. Agar has also scored 44 runs at an average of 22 with a top score of an unbeaten 30.
MELBOURNE STARS VS PERTH SCORCHERS MATCH PREDICTION
The Stars beat Heat convincingly in their last game, whereas the Scorchers’ unbeaten run came to an end in a defeat against Thunder. The Scorchers will look to get back to winning ways, whereas the Stars will be eager to keep performing in the same way.
The Stars have the winning momentum behind them, so expect them to carry that forward by beating the Perth Scorchers on Sunday.
PREDICTION: MELBOURNE STARS TO WIN THIS GAME.