Our Big Bash League preview heads to the Gold Coast to see Glenn Maxwell’s Melbourne Stars, take on Jos Butler and his Sydney Thunder in the first of two big matches on Saturday night. The Big Show comes to Hollywood on the Gold Coast!

BBL Tips – Melbourne Stars V Sydney Thunder

18:15 (AEDT), 5th Jan @ Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

History: Played 9: Stars 3 V Thunder 6

Last meeting: December 21, 2018: Thunder d Stars by 15 runs (D/L Method) at Manuka Oval, Canberra

Final Thoughts: A top four clash brings together some of the best big hitters in the Big Bash. After Chris Lynn peppered the stands at Metricon Stadium earlier in the week, the Stars and Thunder will be excited! Bring on Stoinis & Maxwell versus Jos Butler and Shane Watson.

The Melbourne Stars are a respectable 2 and 2 to start BBL08. They eased to a comfortable win in the Melbourne Derby, with two overs to spare against the Renegades. Marcus Stoinis led the way with 78, with strong contributions with the bat from Maxwell & Dunk. The Stars have found a star in Nepalese leggie Lamichhane, but he’s had to return to the Bangladesh T20 League which leaves a big hole. Liam Plunkett is a class all rounder from England, but their spin depth will be tested if Adam Zampa can’t get it right.

The Thunder escaped with a 1 run win against the Scorchers on Wednesday after pacemen Daniel Sams lost his sparkling form in the last over. Luckily some quality spin from Ahmed and Cook got them into a near unbeatable position on a dodgy deck. With the bat, Butler and Ferguson are firing. Not on fire is English Test captain Joe Root. Averaging just 13 at a strike rate of 125, he has to improve.

The Thunder have beaten the Stars in their last five games. The loss of their star leggie has got to hurt the Stars chances. With Pete Handscomb out on test duty, depth becomes an issue for the Stars. The form of Jos Butler for the Thunder is so impressive, while Shane Watson has yet to fire but thats only time. This one is too close to call, so we’ll look at some of the exotics in this one. We like Marcus Stoinis opening the batting and his pure power could see him depositing the Thunder spinners over the fence regularly.

Tip: Top Melbourne Stars Batsmen – Marcus Stoinis @ $3.80