Date & Time: Friday, January 31, 13:45 IST
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
A place in the final awaits
The top two teams of the BBL 2020 league phase clash with each other in the Qualifier at MCG for a spot in the final in the new playoff system. The loser of the match has to go through to the challenger to make it to the final.
Both teams have been equally impressive through the group phase. The Stars relied on specific players to get the job done on most of the occasions whereas one or other stepped up to the occasion for the Sixers. The Stars may have finished at the top of the table but 3 out of their four losses have come in the last 3 games of the league phase. On the other hand, the Sixers squad seems to be rejuvenated with the return of a few experienced players at the fag end of the group stage which is evident in the last few games. In a format where momentum and experience play a key role, the Stars need to fire full cylinders to challenge the upbeat Sixers at the G.
Both sides have only changed for the big clash. Harris Rauf and Sean Abbott are likely to replace Sandeep Lamichhanne & Tom Curran for respective sides who have left for international duties.
The surface at the G has proved to be tough for batting in most of the games in the season. The average score batting first in the season is around 150. Spinners have had more success with the nature of the surface and with the presence of long boundaries.
The Stars skipper has been instrumental in the side’s dream run in the tour. He is the second-highest run-getter for the side and also has been handy with the ball on most occasions. We expect him to continue the same in the big clash against the Sixers given his long levers to clear any boundary and tidy bowling. At the venue, he has a PPM of 54 and an MDTA of 1.33 in 16 matches played here.
He is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 607 runs from 14 matches played. In the last 4 matches, he may have only a couple of 30+ scores but expect him to bounce back in the big clash. He has a PPM of almost 60 and an MDTA of 1.64 in the 18 matches played at the venue.
It seems to be no one gonna stop him from scoring runs irrespective of what format or where he plays. In the two matches played in the tour, he scored at PPM of 62.5. In the last 5 matches played in the format, he has a PPM of 47.6 and an MDTA of 1.67.
He is the leading run-scorer for Sixers in the season with 401 runs from 14 matches played. His brisk starts at the top of the order somewhat released the scoring pressure on the middle order in most of the games. Now with the presence of Smith in the middle order, it gives him more freedom to express himself. He has a PPm of 50 and an MDTA 0f 1.44 in the tournament.
He is going to be the triumph card for Maxwell in the Qualifier given the success of leg spinners at the venue in the tournament and historically as well. In the 9 matches played in the tour, he has a PPM of 44 and an MDTA of 1. At the venue, he has a PPM of 37 in the 17 matches played.
He is among the top 10 wicket-takers of the season with 15 wickets from 14 matches played. Adding to it, he has also chipped in with handy runs down the order whenever the team needed the most. When these two sides met a week ago at the SCG, he chipped in with a couple of wickets.