Pad up with BBL tips ahead of a mouthwatering Big Bash final between crosstown rivals the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
History: Played 15: Stars 11 V Renegades 4
Last meeting: January 19, 2019: Stars d Renegades by 6 wickets at Marvel Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Big Bash season reaches its climax courtesy of an all-Melbourne final. Both sides are chasing a maiden title, with the Renegades fronting for their first final and the Stars lining up in the decider for just the second time.
The Stars upset the top-ranked Hurricanes by six wickets with six balls to spare in Thursday’s semi. Daniel Worrall (4/23) was superb in helping restrict Hobart to 7/153. Glenn Maxwell – whose 82 off 43 in the Stars’ must-win regular-season closer was as good as anything produced in BBL08 – marshalled the run-chase with 43* off 33.
The Renegades won a semi-final thriller against the Sixers by three wickets with one ball left. The Sixers put up 3/180 and looked certain to wrap up a home final after Aaron Finch (44 off 41) departed. But a clutch 31* off 14 from Dan Christian guided the Renegades to victory. Sam Harper’s earlier 36 off 17 also proved key.
The Stars have a dominant 11-4 record in the BBL’s Melbourne derby. They are on a three-match winning streak against the Renegades, including both encounters this season.
The Stars cruised to a seven-wicket win with 13 balls to spare at the MCG on New Year’s Day. Marcus Stonis’ rollicking 78* off 49 saw them easily mow down the target of 149.
The Renegades succumbed again 18 days later due to a foundering batting effort at Marvel Stadium. The Stars won by six wickets with four balls left. Stoinis took 3/19 as the ’Gades were bowled out for 121, before blasting 70* off 65 in one of the season’s best all-round performances.
The Renegades are 4-2 at Marvel Stadium this season. But a genuine home-ground advantage is dubious, with the Stars winning the last six straight at the venue.
Led by the competition’s leading wicket-taker Kane Richardson, the Renegades have the edge in the bowling department. But Stoinis’ power at the top of the order and Maxwell’s blistering return to form points to a Stars triumph in what shapes as a pulsating final.