Stars vs Scorchers (MCG)
Wednesday 9th January, 4.15pm WST
This is where it all starts or ends for the Scorchers. With a probable task of winning seven out of their last eight games to reach the finals, this contest against the Stars is a must win. Saying that, how can you back them with any confidence?
The batting has been extremely disappointing and the line-up never settled. Five different opening combinations hasn’t helped. Will we see Klinger and Bancroft retained? Their 42 after the power-play last game, was the best start of the season, but still, apart from Ashton Turner, resulted in little.
David Willey will replace Mitch Marsh, however I hope he’s used in the middle-order this time, and Turner and Cartwright get in earlier. Turner is the key and they need Klinger back in form if they are to get a competitive score on what we expect to be a low, slow MCG wicket. No Zampa in the Stars line-up will help, but leg-spinner Liam Bowe comes in with good wraps.
The loss of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell, will leave a massive hole in the stars batting but the return of quality player Nic Maddinson after injury, will be some compensation. Nick Larkin, who was a replacement for Maddinson, has been retained, is very competent and with Ben Dunk looks important to the Stars chances of posting a good total.
The Scorchers bowling attack has taken a big hit with the loss of Jason Behrendorf and Jhye Richardson. The responsibility now falls on Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye and Ashton Agar to take wickets. Young all-rounder Cameron Green, if given the opportunity could be a surprise package in this game.
As stated earlier it is difficult to make a confident call for the Scorchers. Both sides have lost key players to international selection making it an even contest. Home ground advantage again sways me – Stars to win!
Winner: Stars ($2.05)
Stars Most Runs: Nick Larkin ($4.50)
Scorchers Most Runs: Ashton Turner ($5)
Stars Most Wickets: Dwayne Bravo ($3.20)
Scorchers Most Wickets: Andrew Tye ($3.20)
Odds correct as at 12.45pm, 8th January 2019.Market Market