SCG at 7pm, Tuesday 27 December
Game 1 – defeated Brisbane Heat by seven wickets (with eight balls remaining) at SCG (16/12)
Game 2 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by 42 runs at Blundstone Arena (21/12)
v Melbourne Stars at SCG (27/12)
v Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium (2/1)
v Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium (8/1)
v Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval (10/1)
v Perth Scorchers at SCG (18/1)
Game 1 – lost to Sydney Thunder by six wickets (with six balls remaining) at MCG (17/12)
Game 2 – defeated Brisbane Heat by eight runs at ‘Gabba (20/12)
v Sydney Sixers at SCG (27/12)
v Perth Scorchers at MCG (4/1)
v Melbourne Renegades at MCG (7/1)
v Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena (9/1)
v Adelaide Strikers at MCG (19/1)
Not too many Australian cricket fans would have been super excited when the Sydney Sixers announced their overseas signing was Michael Lumb, purely because they would have never heard of him. But perhaps by the end of the Big Bash League, this man could be on the lips of every Sixers fan. The 30-year-old has established a career as a pure T20 batsman. Lumb has played 105 domestic T20’s, averaging 22 runs at an impressive strike rate of 142.42. He has played for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and represented England in eight T20’s, but with limited success. Hopefully for the Sixers’ sake, Lumb can put it in a big performance opening up the innings tonight after an average start to his BBL campaign.
Has there ever been a bigger name in world cricket than Shane Keith Warne? Probably not. Therefore the Stars have struck gold by recruiting the greatest leg spin bowler to ever walk this earth. He may be 42, but Warne is looking fitter than ever and should be in reasonable form after four reasonably successful years with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. The biggest challenge for Warne will be to overcome the hype and just be himself. He is a brilliant tactician and has adapted to the T20 style well. Warne showed he’s still got it when he bowled the Heat’s Brendon McCullum around his legs. How will he fare on the favourable SCG wicket?
1. Peter Nevill (WK)
2. Michael Lumb
3. Nic Maddinson
4. Ben Rohrer
5. Steven Smith (C)
6. Moises Henrqiues
7. Dwayne Bravo
8. Dominic Thornley
9. Brett Lee
10. Mitchell Starc
11. Stuart MacGill
1. Rob Quiney
2. Matthew Wade (WK)
3. George Bailey
4. David Hussey
5. Cameron White (C)
6. Adam Voges
7. Luke Wright
8. James Faulkner
9. Clint McKay
10. Shane Warne
11. Jade Dernbach
Both teams enter this crucial clash with one win and one loss under their belts after the opening two rounds of the Big Bash League. And a loss here could put a massive dint in one team’s finals hopes, despite the tournament still being so young.
Most of the interest will surround the battle between two of the great leg spinners of all time: Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. For many years, Warne kept MacGill out of Australian sides, but the latter always made the most of his rare opportunities at the top level, claiming 208 wickets from 44 Tests. Both men have made encouraging starts to their BBL campaigns, but a win over their arch rival on Tuesday night will give them a great morale boost.
The Sixers will welcome back T20 specialist batsman Ben Rohrer from injury, but Stephen O’Keefe needs a bit more time to recover.
Both teams are missing big names. The Stars are missing James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, who are currently doing battle with India at the MCG. But the Sixers are missing a few more names, with Brad Haddin, Ed Cowan, Pat Cummins and Shane Watson all missing due to either national duties or injury.
With a batting line-up featuring the in-form Rob Quiney, Matthew Wade, George Bailey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Adam Voges and Luke Wright, the Stars should be too strong, despite being away from home.
Melbourne Stars to win ($1.72 – Sportsbet)
David Hussey Stars High Bat ($5.00 – Centrebet)
Shane Warne Stars Most Wickets ($4.50 – Centrebet)