The Hobart Hurricanes take on the Melbourne Stars in Monday's Big Bash clash.
Game 6 of the 2016/2017 edition of the Big Bash League sees the Hobart Hurricanes take on the Melbourne Stars. The Hurricanes stormed out of the gates in their opener against the much fancied Sydney Sixers while the Stars have had to wait a while to get their campaign under way. The stars have only ever once won their opening game of a BBL season. Can they double their tally here?
BBL Game 6 | Hurricanes v Stars | Monday 26 December | Hobart | 10:10
To Win Match
Hurricanes 29/20 | Draw 35/1 | Stars 11/20
The Hurricanes will be looking to build on the momentum they gathered after winning their first game of the season away from home. They got off to an absolute flyer against the Sixers with the openers Tim Paine and D’Arcy Short (on debut) putting on 81 for the first wicket in 49 balls. The rest of the batting order contributed adequately with quite a few starts and they may have even been disappointed to only score 200!
Kumar Sangakkara and George Bailey add huge experience to the middle order and Dan Christian provides some big hitting lower down the order. While these three only contributed 50 runs against the Sixers, on their day they can be brutal.
The Hurricanes bowlers looked well up for the challenge against Sydney and took wickets at regular intervals. Shaun Tait took 3 wickets for 32 after going for 20 in his first over. Off spinner Clive Rose took 2 wickets for not much and opened the bowling. Little known Hamish Kingston managed 2 wickets while Stuart Broad was the one bowler to not make much of a difference as he went for 35 in his 3 overs. Overall the Hurricanes are a well-balanced side with plenty of experience and youth and I can see them going a long way this year.
The Melbourne Stars finished as runners-up to the Sydney Thunder last season and they will be looking to improve on that here. Boasting some of the biggest names in T20 cricket, I don’t see why they can’t go on and win the thing. They boast the likes of David Hussey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Marcus Stoinis, Luke Wright and Adam Zampa. With a line-up like that, it is astonishing to think they have never won the tournament.
The problem they may have is consistency. David Hussey has not played a game since January, Pietersen played a couple decent knocks for the Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge, but around those were a string of low scores and Maxwell can be absolutely devastating on his day but that is simply not often enough.
Wright and Stoinis will likely open the batting and will look to get the runs flowing before Pietersen, Hussey, Maxwell and Tom Triffit try to be as destructive as possible. They will be missing Handscomb who will be on Baggy Green duty in Melbourne.
Bowlers Dan Worrall, who recently made his ODI debut, Boland, Faulkner and Zampa will need to be in top form against a strong Hurricanes batting unit. John Hastings will be a big miss for the Stars as he sits out the tournament after undergoing knee surgery.
Verdict: Hurricanes To Win at 29/20
The Stars generally take a while to get into the swing of things in these tournaments and I can see that being the case here. The Hurricanes will look to make the most of their home advantage and put the big names of the Stars to the sword. I like the look of this Hurricanes side, their middle order batsmen, Sangakkara, Bailey and Christian are very consistent players who can take a game away from any side. I also like how their bowlers balance out, Tait and Broad are a great partnership while Rose has been something of a revelation in Big Bash cricket. Back the Hurricanes to make it two from two.
Written by Dale Vos for @Hollywoodbets.