The Melbourne Derby is back on the agenda this Friday night at Marvel Stadium with the Renegades hosting the Stars. With the Stars sitting atop the ladder with 6 wins from 7, they can almost seal up a home final with a win. Meanwhile, the 0-7 Renegades are now without their 2 best players and will be at long odds to cause an upset.
International Cricket will impact both sides with Finch, Richardson, Zampa and Handscomb all heading to India. So for the Renegades, Dan Christian will take over as captain and Wildermuth/Cooper are the two most likely players to come into the starting 11.
Melbourne Renegades Squad (13): Dan Christian ©, Cameron Boyce, Tom Cooper, Richard Gleeson, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Samit Patel, Luke Robins, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth
Melbourne Stars Squad (13): Glenn Maxwell ©, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Sam Elliott, Seb Gotch, Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nick Larkin, Lance Morris, Haris Rauf, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall
It’s a season to forget for the Renegades at the moment and it’s not going to be any easier without Finch / Richardson. So the experience of Shaun Marsh and Dan Christian will be the key for the home side. Despite a poor season, they can take a few positives out of BBL09 thus far. Beau Webster has been impressive with the bat in a breakout season, Sam Harper is finding form and they’re getting vital experience into Will Sutherland. Their bowling department was already struggling with Richardson so it’s really hard to see them taking 10 wickets. Boyce does have a great record at Marvel. However, Christian hasn’t bowled much, Gleeson is pretty average and Wildermuth has been out of favour. Not to mention, Patel didn’t offer much in his first game and Marcus Harris is woefully out of form.
Cam Boyce basically turns into a different bowler at Marvel Stadium, where he’s a consistent wicket-taker. With no Kane Richardson, there’s not a lot of wicket-takers in this ‘Gades bowling lineup so Boyce looks like a great value bet on Friday night to lead the home side in wickets. He’s taken 5 wickets in his last 5 games against the Stars, which includes a 2 wicket haul twice. At Marvel, Boyce has also taken 2 wickets in 5 straight BBL games at the venue.
With Maxwell and Stoinis out of favour with the Aussie selectors, it’s a huge bonus for the top of the table Stars. Seb Gotch should replace Handscomb and with Maddinson out with a shoulder injury, Larkin could open the batting. Meanwhile, Zampa’s replacement will likely be Cartright or Hinchcliffe. The Stars come into this one after a comfortable victory over the Thunder at the MCG. It all started with a brilliant Haris Rauf hat-trick as he just continues to take wickets in BBL09. As usual, the batting was led by the two leaders in this team as Stoinis / Maxwell recorded half-centuries in the Stars successful chase of 146.
With three straight half-centuries, it’s hard to see how the Renegades weak bowling attack is going to stop the red-hot Marcus Stoinis. Going back to Jan 2, he scored 58 against the Thunder in Sydney, then made 68 not out against this Renegades side and he’s coming off 50 against the Thunder at the MCG. He’s scored 25 or more runs in his last 6 innings and has beaten 30 runs in 5 of his last 6 innings.
It’s 1st versus 8th in terms of ladder position and the odds reflect that with the Melbourne Stars comfortable favourites. The Renegades will eventually get a win over someone this season but this doesn’t look like it. The Stars have benefited from the ODI selectors overlooking Stoinis and Maxwell, the pair should be hard to stop once again. Meanwhile, the Renegades bowling lineup simply looks too far out of its depth to trouble the in-form Stars.
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