The Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne will be the setting on Tuesday, January 17 as the Melbourne Stars take on the Brisbane Heat in the ongoing Big Bash League T20 competition in Australia.
The home side are currently on top of the league standings with four wins and two defeats from six matches. The visitors have also won four and lost two from six matches so far but are in second position, trailing the hosts on net-run-rate statistics.
While the Melbourne Stars beat the Perth Scorchers in their last fixture on January 14, the Brisbane Heat were defeated by Perth in their last match before coming into this one.
Some superb bowling from Michael Beer and Ben Hilfenhaus saw the Stars restrict the Perth Scorchers to 134/7 in the first 20 overs of their contest. While Beer returned figures of 12/2 from four overs, Hilfenhaus claimed 15/2 in his spell. Scott Boland also claimed a couple of wickets while Marcus Stoinis was also in business for the Stars.
The chase proved to be quite straightforward with Kevin PIetersen and Stoinis taking the side across the line with close to three overs to spare. While Pietersen top-scored with an unbeaten 44 runs, Stoinis made 40 off 23. Rob Quiney also did well with the bat with the opener adding 35 off 23 deliveries from the top of the order.
In the other game, Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson claimed a couple of wickets each for Brisbane as the Scorchers went on to register 156/5 in the first period of their contest. Michael Klinger had top-scored for Perth with 81 runs.
Brisbane faltered in the chase and were bowled out for 129 runs in 19.2 overs. Alex Ross top-scored with 39 runs but he was not particularly effective on the occasion. Brendon McCullum misfired at the top of the order and with Chris Lynn on international duty for Australia, Brisbane lost their way and the match.
Going into this upcoming contest, the Stars will be hoping for another inspired showing from Hilfenhaus and Beer while Pietersen continues to be their most vital batsman. As far as the opposition are concerned, McCullum will hold the key to their chances of success on Tuesday.
Match starts at 7:40 pm local time (8:40 am GMT).
Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat betting tips:
Melbourne Stars to win:
Brendon McCullum to be the top batsman for Brisbane Heat: