STA vs THU Dream11 Prediction: Sydney Thunder lost 7 games in the group stage, but now they have won the Eliminator against Hobart Hurricanes and the Knockout match against Adelaide Strikers, both playing away from home.
Melbourne Stars, who attained the top position in the league matches, were victorious against Sydney Thunder twice in this tournament. Though, the team that won 8 consecutive matches in the group-stage have now lost four matches in a row. Most importantly, this is the Challenger match, no one can afford to lose here.
A thrilling Challenger game is expected between the runners-up of BBL 2018-19 and Sydney Thunder who won the title in 2015-16. Melbourne Stars need to rejuvenate themselves and break the jinx if they want their maiden title.
Date: February 6, Thursday.
Time: 2:10 PM IST.
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
Head to Head in BBL
Matches Played: 12
Melbourne Stars: 6 Wins
Sydney Thunder: 6 Wins
Head to Head at MCG
Matches Played: 6
Melbourne Stars: 2 Wins
Sydney Thunder: 4 Wins
Form Guide in BBL 2019-20 (Last Five Matches)
Melbourne Stars: L-L-L-L-W
Sydney Thunder: W-W-W-L-L
Squad Updates & Probable XI
In 14 group games, Melbourne Stars won 10, lost just 4 games and remained at the top of the points table. Their early winning streak helped them play the Challenger game despite losing to Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier, which was their fourth consecutive loss in the tournament. It is a cause of concern for the side that usually falters in the knock-out rounds.
While against Brisbane Heat in the last group-stage game, Stars faced 71-runs defeat in reply to Heat’s 187; against Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier, they once again failed miserably in the 143-runs chase. None of their batsmen crossed 30 in either of the matches. Their bowlers, especially Zampa (4 overs 3 for 21) did an amazing job to restrict Sixers under 150. He was also impressive against Heat with his figure of 3-for-27. They need to have a quick-fix for their batting if they want to play in the Final.
Marcus Stoinis (399 runs in last 10 matches) and Glenn Maxwell (260 runs in 10 innings) are the key batsmen for Stars, while Sandeep Lamichhane leads to bowling unit with his 12 wickets in previous 9 games followed by Adam Zampa with 9 wickets in previous 5 outings.
Peter Handscomb (c), Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Seb Gotch (wk), Sandeep Lamichhane, Clint Hinchliffe, Lance Morris
Sydney Thunder has now three wins in a row. They thrashed Perth Scorchers in their last group-stage game and then defeated Hobart Hurricanes in the Eliminator. In the previous “Knockout” game, they defeated third-ranked Strikers at Adelaide, which brought them here at Melbourne to play against Stars. After being asked to bat first by Adelaide Strikers in the Knockout match, they posted a decent score of 151 thanks to Alex Hales’ 35-balls 59. Daniel Sams (3 for 26), Jonathan Cook (2 for 16) and Chris Morris (2 for 22) blocked Strikers within 8 runs and provided Sydney Thunder with the crucial win.
This game is pretty much like the semi-final game, the winner will play in the Final against Sydney Sixers. Alex Hales is in the tremendous form, as he consistently crossed 40 in the last five innings, and scored four half-centuries in those 5 games. Ferguson’s dismal form may harm the team, but Usman Khawaja, Daniel Sams, Jonathan Cook and Chris Morris collectively provide very strong support to the team. In the last 10 games, Alex Hales (446 runs) is the top-scorer for the team, while among the bowlers, Daniel Sams, (18 wickets) and Chris Morris (12 wickets) are the key bowlers. In the 13-man squad, Matthew Gilkes has been roped in, in case of wicket-keeper Jay Lenton missing out the game at the last moment.
Callum Ferguson (c), Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Chris Morris, Chris Tremain, Alex Ross, Jay Lenton (wk), Arjun Nair, Brendan Doggett, Daniel Sams, Jonathan Cook
Captain & Vice-captain
Captain: M Stoinis, G Maxwell, A Ross
Vice-captain: C Ferguson, U Khawaja, D Dams
STA vs THA Dream11 Team
Suggested Playing XI No 1
Suggested Playing XI No 2