Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat: Tuesday 7:10pm AEDT at MCG
This was the season in which the Melbourne Stars were supposed to have set aside all allegations of being perennial underperformers and boss the tournament. They have the players to do so but have once again started with two losses from their first two games. Their opponents for this match is the Brisbane Heat, a team that has much to think about after the beating they received from the Adelaide Strikers in their last game.
|Stars v Heat||Recommended Bets|
|Winner||Brisbane Heat ($2.10)|
|Top Stars Batsman||Ben Dunk ($4.50)|
|Top Heat Batsman||Joe Burns ($5.50)|
|Top Stars Bowler||Marcus Stoinis ($6.00)|
|Top Heat Bowler||Yasir Shah ($4.00)|
All of the batting strength that a side possesses on paper is no good if the players just don’t perform in the middle. The Stars are loaded with T20 giants who should, theoretically, not all fail in tandem but that is exactly what has been happening.
Glenn Maxwell was in terrific form coming into this tournament but only has 12 runs from two matches, Ben Dunk has a total of six, and Luke Wright has 40. Only Marcus Stoinis has scored a fifty for the Stars so far, and has along with Faulkner, been the most impressive batsman of this team.
Kevin Pietersen should slot back in the side after being back from his Christmas break which probably means Quiney or Handscomb missing out.
The Wolf does not see how these many talented players can continue to underperform for so many matches on end. Maybe the 2018 part of the BBL season will be kinder to them.
Stoinis is also the leading wicket-taker for the Stars with four scalps to his name but he is part of an attack where the seamers are giving away too many easy runs. John Hastings is giving away runs at 12.16, Scott Boland is giving away runs at 11.00, and even Stoinis is giving away runs at 9.28 runs per over.
The spinners have been better but they have not had the runs to be able to put the pressure on the opposition.
The Brisbane Heat had a horror outing against the Adelaide Strikers. They first lest them off the hook by letting their tail add crucial runs and then absolutely self-destructed with the bat. Only one out of the top-5 batsmen was able to get into double figures, not a single six was hit in the entire innings, and they eventually ended up losing by 56 runs.
The Wolf thinks this is one of those performances that is so poor that it does not indicate the true potential of the Brisbane Heat and cannot be looked much into. It was a bad performance that is unlikely to happen again in this tournament.
The fact that the Stars do not have the same quality of bowling as the Adelaide Strikers will also make a big difference. This is a match that is going to be about the batsmen on both sides since the Heat also does not have the strongest of bowling attacks.
Head to Head
The Heat holds a 5-2 advantage over the Stars and have won five of the last six matches including the last four to be played between the two teams. Being a strong away team traditionally, the Heat has never lost at the MCG against the Melbourne Stars either.
The Wolf is happy to forget the last performance of the Brisbane Heat and count it as an out of character performance. They should be able to bounce back on the flat MCG wicket and out-bat the Melbourne Stars.
Top Melbourne Stars Batsman
It’s almost like Ben Dunk has not even shown up to this edition of the BBL yet. He has just faced a total of 10 deliveries and scored 6 runs in total. That is an extremely poor return but does not necessarily mean that he is out of form. Ben Dunk was the highest scorer of the previous edition and the Wolf is backing him to score heavily in this match.
Top Brisbane Heat Batsman
Joe Burns is one of the few bright spots in this Brisbane Heat batting unit at the moment. He has 96 runs to his name from thee innings and been in pretty good form. With the likes of Pierson and McCullum not in the best form right now, Joe Burns could continue to get plenty of overs to face. He is the Wolf’s pick to be the best Heat batsman in this match.
Top Melbourne Stars Bowler
For someone who bowls regularly and is currently the highest wicket-taker in the Stars lineup, Marcus Stoinis is being offered at excellent odds in this match. He has the change of pace necessary to be able to surprise batsmen on a flat pitch and could end up being the best bowler for the Stars quite easily.
Top Brisbane Heat Bowler
Yasir Shah started his BBL career with an absolute bang as he took two wickets for just 18 runs. The MCG is a large ground where clearing the boundaries is not always an easy task. If he can come into bowl when the opposition teams are under pressure for some runs then he will be even more dangerous.