Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Big Bash League Betting Tips, Latest Odds, Team News and Predictions – 6/2/2020
The Sydney Thunder took the long way around to this Challenger, after beating the Hobart Hurricanes in the Eliminator and Adelaide Strikers in the Knockout. The Melbourne Stars topped the table after the round-robin stage of the tournament and then lost to the Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier.
The winner of this Challenger will play the Sixers in Saturday’s final. The Stars have lost two Big Bash League finals, but never won the title. The Thunder won the tournament in 2015-16, with the Stars on the wrong end of the result of that final.
The scales are somewhat more even this time, with team news sure to influence the latest odds and predictions. However this stacks up, we are in for a cracking contest at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thrusday.
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Match Preview
Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
When: Thursday, 6 February 2020
Start Time: 14:10 (IST), 8:40 (GMT)
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Latest Odds
Bet365 have the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder priced at 1.75 and 2.15, respectively, to win the Challenger. They met twice during the round-robin stage, with the Stars triumphant on both occasions. Their last five head-to-heads have brought three wins for Melbourne and two for Sydney.
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Team News
Batsman Marcus Stoinis has a big point to prove in the Challenger, after being crowned the Big Bash League Player of the Season, but not being selected for Australia’s T20I squad to tour South Africa. He’s on standby in case of injury, yes, but that’s little consolation on the back of a commanding stretch of form. His role at the top of the order will be important again in the absence of the injured Hilton Cartwright.
The Stars’ pace attack missed fast bowler Haris Rauf for a short period. He has returned from a debut stint with Pakistan against Bangladesh – and will be key to the hosts bid to successfully overcome a supercharged Thunder batting order. He is averaging almost two wickets per match this BBL season. In terms of taking pace off the ball, which is important in a format dominated by batsmen, the Stars can turn to leg-spinner Adam Zampa and left-arm wrist-spinner Clint Hinchliffe. The latter has enjoyed a breakthrough season.
The Thunder will be without seamer Gurinder Sandhu. He has recently been sidelined by injury. Despite not being picked in the XI for the last couple of matches, Sandhu could have been a nice option. Instead, fast bowlers Daniel Sams and Chris Morris will shoulder the bulk of the responsibility among the non-spinners. Sams will almost certainly finish this season’s BBL as the top wicket-taker.
Sydney, like Melbourne, have a good leg-spinner in the talented Jonathan Cook. The national selectors continue to look for bench strength during a T20 World Cup year – and another solid performance could really put Cook on their radar. Zampa, yes, is the country’s first-choice limited-overs leg-spinner, but Cook can challenge that.
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Betting Tips
We’re down to the second-last fixture of the 2019-20 Big Bash League – and it’s bound to toss up some interesting tussles and related markets.
Stoinis to be Stars’ top batsman – again
Stoinis scored successive half-centuries against the Thunder earlier in the tournament – and is priced at 3.25 to be Melbourne’s top batsman if they beat the Thunder. Bet365 have also offered him at 1.16 to be the top batsman overall in a market that only includes one other – the Thunder’s Alex Hales at 5.00.
Morris to be Player of the Match
Star South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris has a tendency to step up when needed most. This is a big occasion for the team and the individual. He could go big with the bat and contribute significantly with the ball, particularly on the back of some sterling recent form. Bet365 have Morris offered at 17.00 to be Player of the Match – long odds, but well worth a bet.
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder – Prediction
The Stars beat the Thunder twice earlier in the tournament. The Thunder, though, have impressed through the play-offs of this season’s BBL. This is a tough one to call, as the Stars pursue a maiden BBL title and the Thunder a second.
Best Bet: Chris Morris to be Player of the Match with Bet365 at 17.00