Like the Sixers, Melbourne come into this game on the back of a win but that’s where the good news ends for both teams. This is essentially a battle to avoid the wooden spoon for two of the better sides in BBL history and for the Stars, this will be the first time they’ve failed to get out of the groups in seven editions.
Melbourne’s solitary victory over the Renegades last time out came without the services of Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis who are with the national ODI squad while the side are probably fortunate to retain Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner, although neither has done much to lift the side at BBL07.
The Stars are playing for pride, a path that Kevin Pietersen openly questions, so it’s ironic that KP made the match winning contribution against the Renegades. Don’t expect it to continue – this Melbourne franchise needs more from Maxwell, Faulkner, Ben Dunk and others.
The Sixers also suffer from international call ups; both of these are English and having underwhelmed at the top of the order for six games, Sydney fans would have appreciated the irony as Jason Roy made England’s highest ever ODI score at the weekend.
There’s been little from Roy and Sam Billings but they can’t accept all of the blame for a record that shows one win from seven. Nic Maddinson is the Sixers’ mainstay now that Michael Lumb has retired but he, along with the entire top order, has been dismal.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts its third game of BBL and the two previous totals here have been 157 . Both have been chased down successfully by sides other than the Melbourne Stars so the hosts would ideally look to avoid taking first knock.
In a sense, those totals should be taken into context, given that the Stars have been so poor up to this point and on a warm, cloudless evening, the side batting first should be looking to go some way past that average of 149 ,chasing Team wins
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