Published: 29th Dec,2020 1:52PM

In their previous meeting, the Stars got the better of the Thunder.

Oliver Davies
Oliver Davies. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sydney Thunder started their 2020-21 Big Bash League campaign with a loss to the Melbourne Stars. However, the team, led by Callum Ferguson, have won three matches in a row and are placed second in the points table with 11 points from four games.

Their 129-run victory over the Melbourne Renegades also boosted their net run rate to 1.597- the second-best after Daniel Hughes’ Melbourne Stars, who have an NRR of 2.119. The Thunder are next scheduled to lock horns with the Stars on Tuesday, December 29 at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

The Stars, captained by Glenn Maxwell, meanwhile, started with two wins in succession. But a two-match winless streak has pushed them down to fourth in the table. On the head-to-head count, the Stars are leading the Thunder by 8-6 with a win apiece at the Manuka Oval.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch in Canberra has been a decent one for batting with the average first innings score near to 170. In fact, the Thunder crossed the 200-run mark while batting first at the venue last time around.

The temperature will be around 16 degrees Celsius with the humidity mostly in the high-60s. There are no chances of a downpour though there will be 70 per cent cloud cover during the course of the match.

Average first-innings score

167 (5 unaffected matches in BBL 2020-21)

Record of the chasing teams

Won – 3; Lost – 2

Playing Combinations for THU vs STA

Sydney Thunder

Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (C), Oliver Davies, Daniel Sams, Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Nathan McAndrew, Sam Billings (WK), Adam Milne, Tanveer Sangha

Bench– Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Jason Sangha, Chris Tremain, Baxter Holt

Melbourne Stars

Andre Fletcher, Ben Dunk, Hilton Cartwright, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (C), Nicholas Pooran (WK), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Liam Hatcher, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan

Bench– Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Clint Hinchcliffe, Dilbar Hussain, Lance Morris, Seb Gotch, Tom O’Connell, Jackson Coleman, Jonathan Coleman

Probable Top Performers for THU vs STA

Callum Ferguson– Sydney Thunder

Callum Ferguson has been in excellent form in the ongoing tournament. In four matches, the right-hander has notched 146 runs at an average and strike-rate of 48.66 and 118.69 respectively.

The fact that he has two fifties including a top score of an unbeaten 61 against the Scorchers shows how devastating he has been. In the next game against a power-packed Stars’ bowling unit, Ferguson might again have to step up.

Glenn Maxwell– Melbourne Stars

Glenn Maxwell has been a brute force for the Stars thus far in the BBL 2020-21. In three innings, the team’s captain has scored 156 runs at an average and strike-rate of 78 and 152.94 respectively.

He has hit the most boundaries for the Stars and that shows how brutal he has been with the bat in hand. However, he would like to improve on his bowling performance with some wickets in his bag.

Broadcast Details

Match timings – 07:15 PM local time, 01:45 PM IST

TV – Sony Ten Network

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

The prediction is for Melbourne Stars to win the match.