All-time meetings: Melbourne Stars W2, Brisbane Heat W6
Last meeting: Melbourne Stars beat Brisbane Heat by 9 wickets
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: Glenn Maxwell
Melbourne Stars won their second match in a row on Wednesday with a 44-run victory over Adelaide Strikers, defending their total of 167/2 by bowling out the reigning champions for just 123 so they will take plenty of confidence from that.
The victory against the Strikers was the Stars' second in a row since the return of key players from international duty, and Stoinis in particular illustrated his worth again with a fantastic performance, scoring 53 runs off 45 balls and taking three wickets.
Stoinis and Dunk’s unbeaten partnership allowed the likes of Glenn Maxwell to stay rested, and he will be raring to go if called upon against the Heat as they go in search of a third straight win to bolster their top-four hopes.
Coach: Daniel Vettori
Captain: Chris Lynn
Brisbane Heat failed to topple the Sydney Sixers in their crunch match on Sunday, falling to a crushing 79-run loss that leaves the Heat outside the top four places with seven points and just five games remaining.
It was the second match in a row that the top order failed early on, with both McCullum and Lynn continuing the struggles they experienced in their previous match against the Sydney Thunder and although that tie was eventually abandoned, the form of the Bash Brothers will be a concern going into this match against the Stars.
One positive for captain Lynn is the form of bowler Josh Lalor, whose 5 for 26 against the Sixers garnered huge praise, even if it was ultimately in vain and Lynn may decide to shuffle his bowling order to try and take the weight off Lalor’s shoulders against a formidable-looking Stars top order.
Melbourne Stars go into this match as obvious favourites, as the return of key international players has coincided with a real upturn in form. Although the Heat have won three of their last five completed matches, their comprehensive defeat to the Sydney Sixers last time out was a crushing blow, and the floodlight failure in the match previous saved them from defeat as they were in a perilous position against the Sydney Thunder before the abandonment. The worrying form of the Heat’s opening pairing is in sharp contrast to the formidable partnership of Stoinis and Dunk, so it is difficult to see past the Stars for this one.
Success! You will now receive an email with a confirmation link to complete the process.
Enter your email address to receive our newsletter on all things sport, data and analysis!