As the tournament comes to an end the penultimate encounter of BBL 2019-20 will witness Melbourne Stars locking horns with Sydney Thunder in the Challenger of the tournament. The game will decide who will earn the right to compete with Sydney Sixers in the titular clash on Saturday.
The Glenn Maxwell-led side have been one of the most consistent sides this season. Stars finished at the top of the points table by gathering 10 out of 14 wins this season. However, they could not deliver an impressive performance in the Qualifier against Sydney Sixers.
The wheels have started to come out of Stars’ campaign as they have now succumbed to three consecutive defeats where their over-dependence on the star duo of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell has been exposed to the hilt.
They come into this game on the back of a 43-run defeat at the hands of Sydney Sixers after another inept batting performance saw them get bowled out for 99 in 18 overs. Stars will be eager to retaliate against Sydney Thunder post their dismal performance against Sixers.
Sydney Thunder, on the other hand, is increasingly looking like a side who is peaking at the right time. Thunder cruised to the Challenger by winning Eliminator and Knockout against Hurricanes and Strikers respectively.
Thunder defended a competitive total of 197 runs against Hobart Hurricanes on the back of strong bowling performances from Jonathan Cook and Chris Morris. Furthermore, Thunder booked their place in the Challenger by thumping Adelaide Strikers by 8 runs in the Knockout. After amassing 151 runs on the board, the Callum Ferguson-led side cruised to a narrow victory by restricting Strikers to a total of 143 runs.
Both Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will be aiming to deliver a robust performance to cement a place in the final. In the past five encounters between both the sides, Stars have been triumphant thrice.
Melbourne Stars: Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell(c), Seb Gotch(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall, Haris Rauf, Ben Dunk, Dilbar Hussain
Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson(c), Alex Ross, Arjun Nair, Chris Morris, Daniel Sams, Jay Lenton(w), Chris Tremain, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Nathan McAndrew
Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Match Timings: The match starts at 2:10 PM IST (8:40 AM GMT) (7:40 PM Local).
This game can be viewed on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Live streaming will be available on Sony LIV.