However, the fact that so much depends even on the last match and the qualifiers are not finalized yet is a testament that the tournament is extremely competitive. Melbourne Stars are at the fifth spot with six wins from 13 matches while Brisbane Heat have as many wins but from 14 matches.
If the Stars succeed in winning this match, they will leap ahead of the Heat and qualify for the playoffs. Even if Sydney Thunder succeed in winning the match by a big margin, they would be equal on points with Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars and if their net run rate is better, they will make a surprise entry to the playoffs.
Melbourne Stars were last thrashed by Brisbane Heat by 10 wickets after they scored 156 in the 20 overs. As always, Marcus Stoinis was their star batsman who scored 81 from 51 balls but unfortunately got run out as he was nearing a century.
He did not receive any support and this is why the team could not post a big total. Among the bowlers, Josh Lalor was the stand out as he picked up three wickets but was also a touch expensive and gave away more than 40 runs.
Sydney Sixers last played a match on February 2 which was a derby and the team beat Sydney Thunder by 9 wickets on the back of steady bowling performances from Sean Abbott and Tom Curran.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XIs of both teams.
Melbourne Stars- Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Bird, Daniel Worrall, Sandeep Lamichhane, Adam Zampa
Sydney Sixers- Daniel Hughes, Josh Philippe, James Vince, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Jack Edwards, Tom Curran, Sean Abbott, Steve OKeefe, Ben Dwarshuis, Lloyd Pope, Ben Manenti, Mickey Edwards
Who will win? – Melbourne Stars
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Moises Henriques (Sydney Sixers), Ben Dunk (Melbourne Stars)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Tom Curran (Sydney Sixers), Sandeep Lamichhane (Melbourne Stars)
Most Sixes – Moises Henriques (Sydney Sixers), Ben Dunk (Melbourne Stars)
Team Scores Batting First – Sydney Sixers 150+, Melbourne Stars 165+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
© Cricket World 2019