Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Sixers Match 56 Preview: January 26, 2021
In this article, we preview Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Sixers, match 48 of the Big Bash League Season 10 at Melbourne on 26 January. Melbourne Stars are currently in 3rd place on the points table with five wins in 10 matches played, while Sydney Sixers are atop the points table with eight wins in 11 matches.
Match Preview: What to Expect
On 16 January, Sydney Sixers took on Perth Scorchers at Canberra. Batting first, Scorchers were restricted to 163/7. Sixers eased to the target with 7 wickets and 7 balls to spare. Opener Josh Philippe scored 84 in 52 balls with 10 fours and a six to lead the Sixers’ charge. He was ably assisted by James Vince (52 off 35 balls) with whom he shared a 2nd wicket stand of 106. Carlos Brathwaite (2/12) was Sixers’ most successful bowler, while Jake Ball (2/33), Daniel Christian (2/22) and Steve O’Keefe (1/36) were also among the wickets.
On 17 January, Renegades and Stars met in a Melbourne derby. Batting first, Renegades were bowled out for 150. Among the Stars’ bowlers, Liam Hatcher (3/29) did the most damage, while Glenn Maxwell (1/29), Billy Stanlake (2/28), Zahir Khan (2/23) and Adam Zampa (1/24) all chipped in with wickets. Useful contributions from Marcus Stoinis (43), Nick Larkin (43), Glenn Maxwell (20), and Nic Maddinson (20 not out) helped Stars to overwhelm the target with 6 wickets and 5 balls to spare.
Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars met for the first time in BBL season 10 on 26 December 2020. In that game, Stars batted first and posted a challenging score of 193/5. After Stars were reduced to 49/4 in the 9th over, Maxwell (71 not out off 47 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes) and Pooran (65 off 26 balls with 2 fours and 8 sixes) rescued the innings with a 125-run stand. Among Sixers’ bowlers, Steve O’Keefe took 2/13, while Jason Holder, Ben Dwarshuis, and Gurinder Sandhu took one wicket each.
Sixers began their reply disastrously, losing both their openers with just 5 runs on the board. That was the cue for skipper Daniel Hughes to play an outstanding knock of 96 off 51 balls with 6 fours and 7 sixes. When Hughes was ninth out, two balls remained with four runs needed. Ironically, those runs came off byes on the next ball, as Sixers completed a thrilling chase.
Sixers will continue to look to Josh Philippe (420 runs in 10 matches at 42.00) and Daniel Hughes (273 runs in 10 matches at 34.13) to lead the batting. Steve O’Keefe (9 wickets in 13 games) and Carlos Brathwaite are the go-to men among their bowlers.
Stars will rely on Stoinis (333 runs in 9 matches) and Maxwell (266 runs in 10 matches) to provide the batting platform. Adam Zampa (18 wickets in 8 games) and Liam Hatcher (13 wickets in 8 games) have been their most reliable bowlers.
Sixers have an 8-6 advantage in the head to head comparison with Stars. But the last time Stars beat Sixers was more than a year ago, back in January 2020. While defending champions Sixers are considered favourites to win, we expect this match to be a thriller that could go down to the wire.
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