The Melbourne Stars captured a comfortable win in their season opener on Friday night and they’ll be back on deck come Saturday afternoon as they face the Sydney Thunder at Manuka Oval from 4.05pm. As usual, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
BBL10 Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Betting Tips
Manuka Oval, Saturday December 12th, 4,05pm
Melbourne Stars Squad: Glenn Maxwell (c), Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Andre Fletcher (WI), Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Dilbar Hussain (PAK), Nick Larkin, Tom O’Connell, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
Sydney Thunder Squad: Callum Ferguson (c), Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
Although it will be played on a new pitch, the wicket at Manuka should play much the same as it did on Friday night. The game was largely dominated by the ball, with the Stars bowling the Heat out for just 125 before losing 4 wickets in their wining chase. While it was the pace bowlers who did the majority of the damage, pace off the ball via variations and spinners seemed to be the key to building pressure.
The Stars batting line-up was exposed to a degree in their chase on Friday night, losing early wickets and forcing superstar Glenn Maxwell into the game far earlier than he would have liked. However, we know what Marcus Stoinis is capable at the top of the order and Andre Fletcher looks like he could be as damaging as anyone in the competition.
I wasn’t quiet about the fact that I am very bullish on the Thunder this year during my season previews in the lead up to BBL10. While some of the other staff writers might not agree with me, I think the Thunder are a squad that is built to win T20 cricket games. Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja are two dominant top order batsmen while they have an underrated middle order full of experience in the likes of Callum Ferguson and Alex Ross.
The Thunder bowling line-up is also quite strong. Daniel Sams is breaking out as a white ball star in Australia while Jono Cook is one of the underrated Big Bash League spinners. Throw in New Zealand import Adam Milne and new recruit Ben Cutting and the Thunder is dangerous on paper.
We haven’t seen the Thunder at all this season and the Stars just one game, so this tip is mainly based on my thoughts on the squad strength, and I have to say I love the value of the Thunder here.
Melbourne Stars Prop Bet
Glenn Maxwell was fantastic in the Stars first game, scoring 46 off 26 to lead the stars to victory as well as taking a catch to rack up 56 player performance points. His line for the game against the Thunder sits at just 37.5, which is low especially if he can snag a wicket as he has been opening the bowling of late.
Loves to get a through a few quick overs at the start of the innings in a hope to catch the batting team off guard but often he can get a surprise wicket. Even if he doesn’t get one, he is always in the hot spots in the field, usually good for at least one catch per game, which instantly drops his runs needed by 10. If all else fails, he can still easily get the job done with the bat, especially if he takes the expected jump up to No.4 in the batting line-up this season.
Maxwell Over 37.5 PP
Sydney Thunder Prop Bet
I would happily still take Usman Khawaja over a couple of the batsman rolling around the Australian Test squad at the moment. In just over a year, he’s gone from being a reliable Test number three to off the international scene completely and you’d better believe Uzzy will have a chip on his shoulder heading into the BBL10 season.
Khawaja has plundered 306 runs in just eight Big Bash League innings against the Stars and his average of 43.71 against them is the highest of any opponent outside of the Strikers. Khawaja is also coming off a 131 and 46* in his last Sheffield Shield game for Queensland. Great value to top the Thunder runscorer list on Saturday afternoon.
Khawaja Top SYD Runscorer