Match 12 of the Big Bash League takes place at the Junction Oval, St Kilda in the early hours of Thursday, as the Melbourne Stars take on the Perth Scorchers.
Both teams have the same win-loss record in the tournament to date, each winning one and losing one, but it is Melbourne who are one place ahead of their opponents due to their better net run-rate.
However, the Stars could be in for a tough assignment and the Scorchers look to have every chance of bouncing back from their narrow eight-run defeat to the Hobart Hurricanes last time out.
Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers Betting Tips
After a thumping 38-run victory over Hobart last time out, Melbourne are unlikely to make any changes to their starting XI, with unbeaten centurion Joe Clarke ready hoping to pick up from where he left off.
Marcus Stoinis has suffered back-to-back ducks in his two matches – the first being a golden one – but he can be such a destructive player and is very unlikely to be dropped for the side.
Despite suffering a narrow loss in their last outing, Perth are also not expected to be tempted into any changes, leaving Adam Lyth and Faf du Plessis as the two opening batters.
Wicket-keeper Josh Inglis scored 62 in his last innings and another strong performance could be in the offing on a pitch that looks to be an excellent one for batting.
Perth Scorchers to win @ 8/11
Melbourne did show their quality in dispatching Hobart last time out, but a lot of that was down to centurion Clarke and an early dismissal for the Englishman would put the pressure on his team-mates.
The Stars’ star player, Stoinis, is yet to score a run from two matches, while the likes of Thomas Rogers, Beau Webster and Hilton Cartwright are yet to really hit their straps in the early stages of the tournament.
If Perth’s top two of Lyth and Du Plessis can set a solid platform to build from, then there is every chance the greater strength in depth in batting for the Scorchers can see them over the line in this one.
Inglis chipped in with 62 last time out, albeit in defeat, while Aaron Hardie scored 55 in their opening match and there just seems to be more confidence lower down the order in Perth’s side.
Jhye Richardson – Perth Scorchers Top Wicket Taker @ 12/5
When it comes to the bowling department, there has been nobody more prolific with the ball for Perth than Jhye Richardson, who has taken seven wickets from two matches with an economy rate of 4.37.
The 27-year-old seamer has taken a total of 80 wickets during his BBL career and he looks on course to breaking his best-ever figures in one edition of this tournament, that coming in Big Bash 10 when he ended with 29 scalps.
Richardson is bowling with good pace and his subtle variations should also help him add another couple of victims to his CV on Thursday.