After two thrilling BBL08 semi-finals, the Grand Final matchup is set and what a contest it will be! The two Melbourne Based teams won their respective semi-finals to set up the first ever BBL Grand Final derby, which will take place this Sunday at Marvel Stadium in front of a packed house.
The Melbourne Stars defeated the Hobart Hurricanes on Thursday night before their cross-town rivals, the Renegades, took care of business in a thriller on Friday night against the Sixers.
We take a look at the final and give our betting tips below!
BBL08 Final Betting Tips
Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars (Sunday, 17th Feb 2.45pm AEDT)
The Gades bowlers didn’t have the best game as a group in their semi final matchup against the Sixers, allowing Josh Philippe and Daniel Hughes to get off the leash early in the innings as the pair piled on 87 runs for the first wicket. The Renegades rained their opponents in towards the back half of the innings, however, the Sixers total of 180 left them odds on to win the match, even more so when the Renegades lost opener Marcus Harris in the first over.
The Renegades batting line-up rallied on the back of a brilliant and composed innings from skipper Aaron Finch, who compiled 44 off 41 balls while Sam Harper and Cameron White played important innings in the middle order.
The real star of the match, however, was all-rounder Dan Christian. Christian came to the crease at 5-132 with the Renegades still needing 49 runs off just 30 balls. Christian went on to score a match-winning 31 off just 14 balls including three timely sixes to get the Renegades over the line and into their first BBL final.
The Renegades may have missed the part time bowling of Mohammad Nabi in the first innings, as skipper Aaron Finch was left without another option when regular first choice paceman Harry Gurney and Kane Richardson both went at over nine runs per over.
The Melbourne Stars got over the line in their semi-final in a touch more convincing fashion against the Hobart Hurricanes. Bowling first, the Stars picked up the key early wicket of Matthew Wade for just two before dismissing Caleb Jewell and D’Arcy Short not long after. George Bailey and Ben McDermott put up a solid fight for the Canes, but ultimately, Hobart could manage just 153/7 off their 20 overs.
After missing the majority of the season through injury, it was swing bowler Daniel Worrall who was the pick of the bowlers, claiming the early wickets of Wade and Jewell and finishing the game with figures of 4/23 off four overs.
In reply, the Stars run chase got off to a bit of a shaky start when they lost openers Marcus Stoinis and Ben Dunk for 18 and 9 respectively. However, experienced heads Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell steadied the ship for the Stars, who won the game with seven balls to spare.
With the win, the Stars punch a ticket to their second BBL final after losing to the Sydney Thunder in BBL05 season.
The Melbourne derby is almost an impossible assignment to predict at the best of times, however, in a BBL Final, the task becomes even harder. The bookies agree, starting the Stars as the slightest $1.87 favourites in the lead up to the game.
It’s hard to imagine the Renegades bowling attack being dominated again the way they were on Friday night, however, we feel that the Stars still had plenty more to offer in their semi final. The pitch at Marvel Stadium was a lot more batsmen friendly than we have seen for the majority of the BBL season so far and we think that probably helps the Stars more than the Renegades.
It took some late game heroics from Dan Christian to get the Renegades over the line in the semi-final and while he is one of the best T20 players in the world, the Gades can’t rely on that again. Each team has 4-5 core star players, and at the moment we think the Stars core is in much better form than their opponents. Look for Maxwell, Handscomb, Stoinis, Worrall and Adam Zampa to take charge here and claim their first BBL title.
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