Date & Time: Thursday, February 06, 14:10 IST
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
Here’s where the before the loser
It is the last step into the mega final of BBL 2019-20 when Thunder takes on Stars in the Challenger at MCG. The Thunder has come a long way after sneaking into the top 5 at the last moment. But then they have outplayed both Hurricanes and Strikers to make their way into the Challenger. On the other hand, the Stars seems to have lost their way a bit at the fag end of the tournament by losing 4 matches in a row which includes the Qualifier. Having finished in the top 2 of the table the Stars have another opportunity to make their way into the finals. Although this time around they don’t have a tomorrow which might bring the best out of them, just as it has been the case with Thunder.
The Stars have gone with the same 13-men that they played in the Qualifier. Thunder, on the other hand, made one change to the 13-men squad with brining in Gilkes in the place of Bowe, he is likely to replace Lenton in the XI.
The surface in MCG hasn’t been an easy one to bat on in the tournament. The average first innings score in the tournament is around 142. Spinners have done well here especially leg spinners have got more wickets than any other.
He is the top wicket taker of the tournament with 30 wickets from 15 matches played. He bowled the crucial overs for the team whether it’s bowling in the powerplay or in the death. His variations are what stood out for his impressive season. He has a PPM of 57 and an MDTA of 1.36 in the tour.
He has been just unstoppable in the second half of the tournament. He has scored at a PPM of 97 and has an MDTA of 1 in the period. We expect him to continue the same in the challenger as well.
In the last few games, he hasn’t been at his best with the bat. But he has been the leading run-scorer for the season with 612 runs from 15 matches played. Given his record at MCG we expect him to bounce back in the side’s crucial match of the season. He has a PPM of 56 and an MDTA of 1.9 in 21 matches played.
He has carved a niche of his own in the season by picking at least a wicket a match in the tournament. He has a PPM of almost 50 and an MDTA of 1.43 in the tour. At the venue, he has a PPM of 42 and an MDTA of 1.27 in 19 matches played here.