KFC Big Bash League: Adelaide Strikers vs Melbourne Stars

Batsman hits ball

We take a look at Tuesday's KFC BBL fixture which will see the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Stars at the Adelaide Oval. 

Tuesday’s Big Bash action will see a mismatch of sorts as the table-topping Adelaide Strikers go head to head with the bottom-placed Melbourne Stars.

The men from Melbourne are far too good a team on paper to be languishing at the bottom of the ladder and need to come good soon. That’ll be easier said than done, however, against a plucky Strikers outfit, who have punched well above their weight this term.

Strikers vs Stars | Tuesday 9 January | Adelaide Oval, Adelaide | 10:35

To Win Match
Strikers 82/100 | Tie 35/1 | Stars 21/20

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Adelaide Strikers
The Strikers have enjoyed a sterling Big Bash campaign thus far and will want to underline their dominance with victory over the winless Melbourne Stars. Both Rashid Khan and Ben Laughlin have been the go-to guys for the Adelaide club this season.

Khan’s figures in the tournament thus far have read 2-22, 2-22, 2-19, 2-18 and 2-21 - stats that paint  picture of consistency. The young Afghan has been sensational and has been my player of the tournament so far. His 10 tournament wickets have come at an average of 10.20 while he’s returned an economy of just 5.10.

Laughlin has also taken 10 wickets, although, his economy of 9.17 is less than ideal. Still, both strike bowlers have received excellent support from the likes of Billy Stanlake and Michael Neser and the ever-economical Peter Siddle.

While they’ve struggled at times with the bat, Colin Ingram has just started to find a bit of form. The South African endured a wobbly start to life in the Big Bash but has come good in his last two matches with scores of 66 and 48.

One man who will be feeling the pressure is Travis Head. The Strikers’ skipper has battled for consistency this season. You feel he’s one big innings away from lighting the competition up and will no doubt be targeting a wounded Stars outfit to really get the ball rolling.

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Melbourne Stars
Four matches, four defeats. This is the situation facing one of the best teams in the competition – on paper at least. There needs to be a big turnaround starting on Tuesday or they face the real possibility of missing out on the semi-finals for the first time since the start of the competition.

They weren’t awful last time out against the Renegades but simply couldn’t post a big enough target to really worry Aaron Finch and co. You feel as though they may well struggle for runs once again against a miserly Strikers attack.

Only two of the Stars players have scored more than 100 tournament runs this season – Marcus Stoinis (140) and James Faulkner (102). Both are all-rounders who should be supporting a top order made up of guys like Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, Ben Dunk and Glenn Maxwell; all of whom have failed to come to the party this season.

It’s not only the batsmen who have struggled this season. The bowlers have been pretty average too. In terms of wickets taken, Marcus Stoinis leads the way for the Stars, having taken four competition scalps. Unbelievably, he’s got the joint 26th most wickets in the competition. That’s right, the Stars’ best bowler (in a competition of just eight teams) is ranked 26th in terms of wickets taken – not good enough.

Verdict: Adelaide Strikers 82/100
Massive value on the Strikers here. They’ve just been so good at executing their plans this season and they sit top of the table as a result. The Stars on the other hand, have been a shambles and are tipped to remain pointless after tomorrow’s clash. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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