|Finished.171/6 (20) - 182/4 (20)|
It’s hard to be a team that could possibly slip out of the playoff spots entirely if they don’t play their cards right, but such is the position the Stars find themselves in. At the time of writing, it is still undecided as to where many of the teams will be after today given the close nature of the competition. The only thing that can be said for sure is that the lowest they’ll go is 5th. Nevertheless, they still need to win at least one match along with a Bash Boost point in order to go through. Next up, they face another team in a similar - but slightly better - situation. The Scorchers’ comeback has been nothing short of remarkable, but it’s not complete yet as they still need to do a little more in order to cement their qualification. With both teams’ playoff dreams on the line, it’s going to be a murderous affair at the MCG. Before any blood is spilled, let’s take a look at how the two teams have been doing.
Melbourne Stars predicted XI, preview, form, and key players for this match
Predicted XI: Glenn Maxwell (c), Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Seb Gotch (wk), Zahir Khan, Nick Larkin, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Hatcher, Andre Fletcher.
The Stars can’t help but feel frustrated with themselves after their defeat to city rivals Renegades, but they’ll have to control their emotions and make sure that they are in a mental state to pull through. In that match, Batting first, it was up to Marcus Stoinis (37) and Nick Larkin (61) to build the innings given that Andre Fletcher is back to being his dismal self. While those two did a good job of it, the only person who was able to get to double figures after them was Nic Maddinson with 21, and the Stars could only muster a subpar 158. On the defense, the Stars’ bowlers weren’t quite able to limit the runs as well as they would have liked, and although Nathan Coulter-Nile managed to take 3 and Zahir Khan bowled well for his 23 for 1, the team ended up losing off the 3rd-last ball of the match by 5 wickets.
MS Key players
Marcus Stoinis: After saving the team many times with his hard-hitting antics, Stoinis is a staple of the key players list for the Stars.
Nic Maddinson: Maddinson’s 61 in the last match may have gone in vain, but he has shown that he has plenty of ability.
Glenn Maxwell: If not with the bat, then with the ball, as we say when it comes to Maxwell.
Nathan Coulter-Nile: Back in the squad and already taking scalps, Coulter-Nile was and is an integral part of the Stars’ bowling attack.
Perth Scorchers predicted XI, preview, form, and key players for this match
Predicted XI: Ashton Turner (c), Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis (wk), Liam Livingstone, Cameron Bancroft, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye.
With Andrew Tye back in the squad, and a win against the Hurricanes freshly confirmed, the Scorchers will be beyond the reach of the Stars even if they lose against them. With that confidence, they will make an attempt to catch the Sixers if the latter loses their upcoming match. In their last match, their openers scored quickfire twenties to give them a running start, and Josh Inglis’ 58 took it from there. Things were looking to crumble from the other end, but a late flourish worth 29 by Jhye Richardson boosted the total to 179. On the defense, their bowlers managed to weather the Hurricanes’ storm and pin it down. Jhye Richardson was in his element with a 4-for, and Jason Behrendorff was also exemplary as he gave away only 17 off his 4 overs while also picking up a couple of wickets. At the end of the allotted overs, the Scorchers won by 22 runs.
PS Key players
Colin Munro: He may have finally had a poor game, but that doesn’t mean that will become the norm for the otherwise in-form batsman.
Josh Inglis: coming to the rescue when his team needed him the most, we think there’s still plenty of juice left in Inglis.
Jhye Richardson: With the veteran Tye getting a little on the old side, Jhye looks to be the heir apparent.
Jason Behrendorff: He may not have struck as much as Richardson, but he bowled incredibly well to limit the scoring.
MS vs PS weather conditions and pitch report
As the two matches are going to be played back to back, there will still be a miniscule chance of rain on what will remain a beautiful, partly cloudy day in Melbourne. The temperature should still be hovering around a pleasant early 20s, and the continued moderate humidity and light breeze should still make it a good time for cricket.
As it will be played right after the Renegades versus Heat match, the pitch might swing in the favour of spinners a little more. There will also be existing footmarks on the pitch that cause trouble when the ball is banged in, so batsmen, especially left-handers, will have to be wary.
Expect scores of 160 to be decent.
Can the Stars finally confirm their qualification in this topsy-turvy season? Or will the Scorchers press onwards and upwards in their seemingly relentless comeback effort? Find out if our Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers predictions come true on Saturday!
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|Players to score a fifty:|
|M Stoinis/N Maddinson (MS), C Munro/J Inglis (PS)|