BBL

BBL Saturday Double-Header – Fantasy Preview

Match 33 – Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder

The two bottom sides of the competition will face off at the MCG tomorrow night in a desperate attempt to taste victory over one another. Both the Thunder and the Stars are encountering a bit of a dry spell in the wins department, meaning it’s anyone’s game for the taking.

Only the Sydney Thunder remain in contention to feature in the BBL finals this season out of the two sides, so it’s a must-win game against a shattered Melbourne Stars outfit who have had their fair share of misfortunes in the tournament. Coincidentally, both teams are coming off losses against the Sydney Sixers who have turned their campaign around in a flash, unfortunately the same can’t be said about the Stars and the Thunder. What tips the match in the Thunders favor has to be the Stars misfiring-top order, the constant bad starts have put immense pressure on the middle & lower order to rebuild the innings from basically complete scratch.

Whilst Glenn Maxwell has been highly-consistent in contributing runs for the Stars in their past five games or so, support has been few and far for the dazzling stroke-maker. Both Ben Dunk and Luke Wright have been a catastrophe, and just when you think KP is in his element, he finds a way to get himself out. That’s where the Thunder probably have the wood over their opponents, their top order trio of Usman Khawaja, James Vince and Shane Watson have been able to perform when relied upon, the middle order however remains a question mark. Khawaja, one of the most dangerous in the competition when he gets on a roll has a T20 century to his name against the Stars, another concern the home side have to think about.

Lacking some serious presence in the bowling department, it’s going to be yet another big test for the home side to find wickets early, especially given the Thunders top three are their best avenue to winning matches. The Thunder on the other hand will have no such problems, Fawad Ahmed and Chris Green have been sensational as the spinners, and Mitchell McClenaghan has had his fair share of success at the beginning of the tournament. If the Stars can pick up two early wickets, the match could be as good as gone for the Thunder. Sounds simple enough, but the way the Stars have been bowling, it’s almost going to take a miracle to pull off.

Fantasy Breakdown

Top 4 fantasy picks | Melbourne Stars | BBL | 33rd match | Melbourne

  • Glenn Maxwell
  • Peter Handscomb
  • James Faulkner
  • John Hastings

Wildcard pick – Seb Gotch

Top 4 fantasy picks | Sydney Thunder | BBL | 33rd match | Melbourne

  • Usman Khawaja
  • Fawad Ahmed
  • Shane Watson
  • Mitchell McClenaghan

Wildcard pick – Jay Lenton

Team XI’s

Melbourne Stars (possible) – 1. Peter Handscomb (wk) 2. Ben Dunk 3. Kevin Pietersen 4. Glenn Maxwell 5. Seb Gotch 6. James Faulkner 7. Evan Gulbis 8. John Hastings (c) 9. Jackson Coleman 10. Daniel Worrall/Ben Hilfenhaus 11. Liam Bowe.

Sydney Thunder (possible) – 1. Usman Khawaja 2. James Vince 3. Shane Watson (c) 4. Callum Ferguson/Kurtis Patterson 5. Arjun Nair 6. Ben Rohrer 7. Chris Green 8. Jay Lenton (wk) 9. Mitchell McClenaghan 10. Gurinder Sandhu 11. Fawad Ahmed.

 

Match 34 – Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes

It’s two versus three on the points table as the BBL heads West in what is set to be an absolute cracker at The Furnace. The Hurricanes have been the surprise packet of the tournament so far, but can they overcome a team that is vigorously aiming for back-to-back BBL titles?

If you’re heading to this next match in Perth, you’ll certainly be getting your moneys worth with a host of star-studded players taking the field tomorrow evening. Written off big time before BBL 07 even got underway, the Perth Scorchers have somehow managed to maintain a lengthy stay at the top of the standings for the majority of the tournament despite countless injury setbacks & International stars missing from their lineup, you’ve just got to sit back and applaud Justin Langer and his team. They may just be facing their biggest challenge of the tournament yet though, a rejuvenated & fresh-looking Hobart Hurricanes side travels to Perth having played an exciting brand of cricket this season which has put them back on the map, literally.

I don’t need to remind you just how dominant Hobart opening batsman D’Arcy Short has been in BBL 07, he’s been breaking records left, right and centre which begs the question, does any team actually know how to contain this guy? His form guide would suggest not remotely, and this Perth wicket could be the best yet for Short given how much pace & bounce it provides. It’s not just Short who remains a threat, Ben McDermott and Alex Doolan are coming off brilliant-cameo knocks in Adelaide and should be in good touch heading into tomorrows clash with the Scorchers. Skipper George Bailey is having an absolute shocker with the bat this season, despite his teams success he’s only scored 70 runs for the entire tournament.

Speaking of captains, the Scorchers will welcome back Adam Voges who sat out his sides last clash up at Alice Springs due to a suspension relating to slow over rates. Despite losing Andrew Tye and Jhye Richardson to the Australian ODI squad, the Scorchers still have enough depth to cover for the two key bowlers and should make up for it in their batting. Cameron Bancroft, Hilton Cartwright and Ashton Turner are just some of the names who have stepped up big time for Perth in the past couple of games, but it remains to be seen how they’ll fare against Hurricanes live wire Jofra Archer who has been just one of Hobart’s star performers in BBL 07.

Fantasy Breakdown

Top 4 fantasy picks | Perth Scorchers | BBL | 34th match | Perth

  • Cameron Bancroft
  • Ashton Agar
  • Mitchell Johnson
  • Michael Klinger

Wildcard pick – Sam Whiteman

Top 4 fantasy picks | Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | 34th match | Perth

  • D’Arcy Short
  • Jofra Archer
  • Ben McDermott
  • Clive Rose

Wildcard pick – Dan Christian

Team XI’s

Perth Scorchers (possible) – 1. Michael Klinger 2. Sam Whiteman (wk) 3. Cam Bancroft 4. Hilton Cartwright 5. Ashton Turner 6. Adam Voges (c) 7. Ashton Agar 8. Tim Bresnan 9. Matthew Kelly 10. Joel Paris 11. Mitchell Johnson.

Hobart Hurricanes (possible) – 1. Alex Doolan 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Matthew Wade (wk) 4. Ben McDermott 5. George Bailey (c) 6. Dan Christian 7. Simon Milenko 8. Jofra Archer 9. Cameron Boyce 10. Clive Rose 11. Tymal Mills.

 

Zak Varik

Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.

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