It’s been a disappointing BBL campaign for these two sides, both the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers have had mediocre tournaments which has almost certainly put them out of finals contention. Nevertheless, fans will still flock to the MCG in hope of a thrilling contest.
Still waiting on that year where they live up to their name as the most popular team in the franchise, the Melbourne Stars have once again under-performed, but this 2017-18 tournament takes the cake. Yet to win a title in the six seasons the BBL has been running for, this is by far the Stars worst campaign to date having won just a single match past the halfway mark of the competition. Only three Stars batsman can be acknowledged for their efforts so far, they include Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen and Marcus Stoinis who is now representing Australia in the ODI series against England.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis was seen as the danger man down the order, he’s already proven he’s a phenomenal striker of the ball and gave it everything against the Heat where he fell just one run short of his maiden-T20 century. Elevated up the order in his last BBL appearance against the Strikers, Stoinis was a huge loss when he was selected for Australia. It’s probably been the most high-profiled names for the Stars who have stood up when they’ve been called upon, both Maxwell and Pietersen have done their best to keep the rest of the team afloat. KP is coming off a destructive 74 against the Renegades, while Maxwell has found his range in the tournament averaging 58 in his last four BBL innings. It’s been the likes of Ben Dunk and Luke Wright who have had forgettable tournaments, Dunk has only scored double figures once in his six outings in BBL 07, a shocking statistic given how dominant he was for the Strikers last season.
Finally registering a win in the tournament against the Renegades away from home, it was probably the Stars most-complete performance as a team. In the Renegades defense, they were missing captain Aaron Finch, Cameron White and Brad Hodge which really did tilt the odds in favor of the Stars, but a win is a win regardless of the situation. The inclusion of Daniel Worrall was a positive & rewarding move, he produced some real pace on a skiddy-Docklands wicket which proved to be really effective as he claimed 2/25. Former AFL prodigy Jackson Coleman helped himself to three wickets as well, while the skipper John Hastings picked up two himself. It is of my opinion that the Stars missed a trick in playing Scott Boland over Daniel Worrall, Boland has struggled at times in this format to take wickets and isn’t your genuine strike bowler, even veteran Ben Hilfenhaus would have been a more suitable option.
The Sixers have just started to gather a competitive combination at the back end of the competition, unfortunately they find themselves way behind the pack like the Melbourne Stars. It’s amusing how Jason Roy could only accumulate 62 runs in six innings for the Sydney Sixers, yet can destroy Australia in a single innings with a cataclysmic-180 at the MCG. That pretty much sums up the Sydney Sixers tournament so far, they’ve lacked the same performances that individuals have replicated in a different format or team.
After a shocking BBL 06 with the bat, Nic Maddinson has made a slight improvement in his approach and scoring patterns, but he’s still nowhere near the player he was in his earlier years with the Sixers. He’s made numerous starts to his innings setting a solid launching pad for himself, but that’s as far as Maddinson has got which is extremely frustrating for both himself & the Sixers. He’s always destine for a big innings, we’re just yet to see it in BBL 07. While Jordan Silk did a phenomenal job of stepping into the middle order in Moises Henriques absence, the Sixers didn’t look anywhere near as threatening as they do now. The addition of English opener Joe Denly and West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has given them some flexibility, not to mention the return of Daniel Hughes from injury and Moises Henriques who made a decent comeback with both bat & ball.
On a decent sized playing surface, the Sydney Sixers bowlers should be a lot more damaging given the longer boundaries which suits their bowling to perfection. The Sixers have bowlers who tend to vary their pace which tends to draw false shots constantly from the opposition batsmen, that’s where Sean Abbott and Carlos Brathwaite come into play. Even Moises Henriques has some good change up deliveries, so the batsmen would want to be fully-committed, otherwise they’ll find themselves hauling out to fielders in the deep. Add test spinner Nathan Lyon to this attack, and you’ve got yourself another spell of quality bowling which should restrict the batsmen’s scoring output once more. It’s funny to think both teams are near-full strength, yet they’re both sitting at the bottom of the standings with a combined-two wins.
Top 4 fantasy picks | Melbourne Stars | BBL | 30th match | Melbourne
- Glenn Maxwell
- Kevin Pietersen
- Daniel Worrall
- Peter Handscomb
Wildcard pick – Ben Dunk
Top 4 fantasy picks | Sydney Sixers | BBL | 30th match | Melbourne
- Joe Denly
- Moises Henriques
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Nathan Lyon
Wildcard pick – Jordan Silk
Melbourne Stars (possible) – 1. Ben Dunk 2. Luke Wright/Seb Gotch 3. Kevin Pietersen 4. Peter Handscomb (wk) 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. James Faulkner 7. Evan Gulbis 8. John Hastings (c) 9. Jackson Coleman 10. Daniel Worrall 11. Daniel Fallins/Liam Bowe.
Sydney Sixers (possible) – 1. Joe Denly 2. Daniel Hughes 3. Nic Maddinson 4. Moises Henriques 5. Jordan Silk 6. Carlos Brathwaite 7. Johan Botha (c) 8. Peter Nevill (wk) 9. Sean Abbott 10. Ben Dwarshuis 11. Nathan Lyon.