Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers – Jan 12

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January 12, 2020

Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers

Venue: MCG | Start: 7:10pm (AEDT)

Melbourne Stars – It’s a top of the table clash on Sunday night in one of the most anticipated matches of BBL09. Neither will live or die by the result (both will remain in the top-two irrespective of how it finishes), but will take huge confidence ahead of the upcoming finals series in which they’re likely to face the other again.

The Stars go in deserved favourites, after notching their second derby win on Friday night to go 7-1 in the most astonishing fashion. Already the most influential player in this season’s Big Bash to date, Glenn Maxwell underlined why he is one of the most destructive players in the world with an outrageous 83 off 45 to sink Renegades’ hearts.

Maxwell’s last three innings now read 40*, 59* and 83*, to take his season average to a whopping 77.75. Only teammate Marcus Stoinis has scored more runs than him in the competition. At one stage the Stars required over 12 runs an over, but Maxwell was never bothered. His new, intriguing theory is that despite how daunting it may be chasing a big total, a destructive batsman’s presence is always more daunting for the opposition. “It doesn’t matter if the (required) run rate goes up above 11 (per over), I have the confidence that I’ll catch up…It’s almost the spider theory – they’re more scared of you than you are of them,” he said. A win here would go a huge way to securing top spot and with it, the all-important home ‘qualifier’ – a new feature of the Big Bash finals series.

Sydney Sixers – The Sixers just keep inventing new ways to win and are fast becoming the BBL’s best scrappers. After an incredible come-from-behind win in the Sydney Smash earlier this season, again Greg Shipperd’s side scrapped to eke out victory against the Strikers this week by just two wickets. Their never-say-die attitude is a valuable commodity in T20 cricket and should hold them in good stead come finals time.

Crucially for the Sixers, skipper Moises Henriques returns for this clash, perhaps their biggest game of the season. His side have been one of the most economical clubs in BBL09, conceding over 160 just twice in eight games. And they’ll need to take that confidence into this clash, knowing they’ll have to bowl at two of the most in-form T20 players in the country in Stoinis and Maxwell. The two men lead the BBL09 runscorer tallies with 331 and 311 apiece. Crucially, Maxwell is striking at an incredible 169.94 – better than any other batsman in the top 20 runscorers. And this is where death bowling specialist Tom Curran will earn his crust; his performance likely to be vital to the Sixers’ hopes on Sunday evening.

Betting Analysis – Unsurprisingly, the MCG wicket hasn’t been overly easy for batsmen in the opening two games there, sides batting first posting 142 and 145 respectively. But the Stars have seemingly had little issues, chasing down both totals fairly comfortably. As such, look for Glenn Maxwell to bowl first if given the chance. For his side, the man donning the gold cap, Stoinis, remains the strongest top runscorer bet for the ladder leaders despite his own unbelievable form. With the ball, Harris Rauf’s skiddy 145km/h seamers are dangerous both from the top and at the death, and he remains the best wicket taker bet for the home side. For the Sixers, Henriques is solid betting option given his value, while Lloyd Pope could cause the Stars’ middle order some issues, and is far from the worst option in the wicket takers market.

Head to Head: Melbourne Stars
Top Runs Scorer – Melbourne Stars: Marcus Stoinis
Most Wickets – Melbourne Stars: Haris Rauf
Top Runs Scorer – Sydney Sixers: Moises Henriques
Most Wickets – Sydney Sixers: Lloyd Pope