The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips as Melbourne rivals the Renegades and Stars do battle again.
History: Played 17: Stars 12 V Renegades 5
Last meeting: January 4, 2020: Stars d Renegades by 8 wickets at MCG
Final Thoughts: The Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades square off in their second BBL clash in the space of six days. The Stars carved out an eight-wicket win at the MCG last Saturday – the first step in attempting to erase the memories of their defeat to the Renegades in last year’s BBL final.
Shaun Marsh (43 off 33) top-scored in the Renegades’ tally of 9/142. Sandeep Lamichhane was outstanding with the ball, taking 3/26 in his four overs. Marcus Stoinis blasted 68 not out off 55 balls to get the Stars home with seven balls to spare.
The gloss was taken off the victory somewhat after Stoinis was reprimanded for a slur against Renegades bowler Kane Richardson. But the opener’s hot form continued with another half-century in the Stars’ six-wicket win over the Thunder on Wednesday. Glenn Maxwell (59* off 37) finished the chase superbly, while bowling sensation Haris Rauf (3/23) was man-of-the-match.
The Stars sit atop the BBL ladder with a 6-1 record. The defending champion Renegades, meanwhile, have slumped to 0-7.
They suffered a six-wicket loss to the Scorchers on Tuesday, despite Sam Harper’s blockbusting 73 off 46.
Final pain lingers for Stars
The Stars won both regular-season Melbourne derbies last year but will still be having nightmares about their 13-run loss to the Renegades in the final. They restricted the Renegades to 5/145 and made a strong start to their chase through Ben Dunk (57 off 45) and Stoinis’ (39 off 38) opening stand of 93. But the Stars were strangled by the Renegades’ bowlers and made just 39 runs from the last seven overs.
But the Renegades are in all sorts this season. Their bid for a revival will be hampered by the loss of Aaron Finch and Kane Richardson to ODI duty. The Stars will be without Peter Handscomb and Adam Zampa, but Stoinis and Maxwell will be hell-bent on keeping their run of form going after being dumped from the national side.
The Stars are unsurprisingly pronounced $1.50 favourites. The Renegades have hit 34 sixes to the Stars’ 29 sixes this season. But Stoinis, Maxwell and co. should ensure the Stars come out on top in that department, too.