KFC Big Bash League: Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars Preview

Batsman hits ball

We preview the blockbuster BBL clash between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars set to get underway on Wednesday 20 December at the Gabba. 

The second match of BBL 07 pits two of the best teams in the competition against one another as the Brisbane Heat welcome the Melbourne Stars to the Gabba.

Will the Heat’s destructive top order come out on top or will the all-star line-up of the Melbourne franchise get the business done this Wednesday? Let’s take a look:

Heat vs Stars | Wednesday 20 December | The Gabba, Brisbane | 10:40

To Win Match
Heat 96/100 | Tie 35/1 | Stars 86/100

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Brisbane Heat
The big news for the Heat coming into this match is the return of Lynn. The Aussie opener is very much the poster boy of this competition, regularly converting promising starts into big scores. He only played five matches last season and still managed to score 309-runs striking at an incredible 177.58.

The worry for the Brisbane franchise will be Lynn’s lack of match practice. He hasn’t played a competitive fixture since 29 May may struggle to get up to pace. He’ll open the batting with McCullum who comes into this competition fresh off winning the BPL with the Rangpur Riders.

Arguably one of the most exciting acquisitions of the season has been that of Shadab Khan. The young Pakistani leg-spinner turns the ball viciously and may well find a bit of joy on the dry surfaces we’re likely to see throughout the competition. Along with Lynn, Shadab will be the Heat's biggest weapon in this competition.

It’ll be very interesting to see whether or not Khan’s compatriot, Yasir Shah gets into the starting XI. Playing two wrist-spinners can definitely pay off in this format of the game but it does come with considerable risk.

In terms of seamers, Ben Cutting, Mark Steketee and Mitch Swepson should do the bulk of the quick bowling throughout the tournament. The trio are all vastly experienced at this level but may struggle against such a strong Stars top and middle order – extra pressure on the spinners then?

Melbourne Stars
The Stars have a pretty strange record when it comes to the Big Bash. They’ve never failed to make the semi-finals, something that speaks volumes for their consistency. And they’ve only ever made the final once and have never won the title… which points to their inability to perform under playoff pressure.

There is no doubt that they’ll be targeting the title this season at the very least, and they most certainly have the playing personnel to do just that. They’ve managed to secure the services of last season’s top scorer, Ben Dunk.

Dunk will come in to bolster an all-star top order which also includes the English duo of Luke Wright, Kevin Pietersen as well as Australian Rob Quiney. They also boast the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis in their middle order, both of whom can take the game away from the opposition in the space of five or six overs.

On top of all of this batting talent, they probably have the best bowling attack in the competition. James Faulkner, John Hasting, and Scott Boland make up the three-pronged pace attack. Adam Zampa’s wrist-spin is set to bamboozle batsmen up and down the country while Michael Beer’s left-arm orthodox is always difficult to get away.

Verdict: Brisbane Heat 96/100
This one’s pretty difficult to call but I think that the Heat just edge it, especially at the Gabba. I really like the composition of their top order and think that the inclusion of Shah and Shadab should take them over the line. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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