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Big Bash preview: Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder

Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will both be looking for their first wins of this season’s Big Bash League when they clash on Saturday.

Both sides have played two games and lost both, but one of them should be smiling by the end of play.

As things stand, the Stars are priced at 3.00 to finish bottom of the ladder, while the Thunder are slightly longer at 3.40.

Neither will want to end up with the wooden spoon in BBL 13, so Saturday’s clash at Lavington Sports Ground is a big one.

There is also no love lost between the two sides, rivalry at its best, so that should add a bit of extra spice.

WhatMelbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder
WhereLavington Sports Ground, Albury
When15:30 (AEDT), Saturday 23rd December 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Foxtel & Kayo Sports
OddsMelbourne Stars 2.18, Sydney Thunder 1.70

Stars suffer heavy defeats

The Stars can take some comfort from the fact that their two opening defeats have been against the two sides who made the final last year.

Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers could find themselves there again after strong starts to the campaign, that have included wins over the Stars.

Both defeats were heavy though and the Stars will need to improve dramatically if they are to start climbing the ladder.

They have yet to bat a full 20 overs when making 111 and 101 runs respectively, and that is something they need to put right.

Hilton Cartwright has been their best batter so far with knocks of 33 and 24, but that is still well below the standard required.

Cartwright can be backed at 6.50 to be Team - Top Batter once again, but the Stars will be hoping that big guns such as Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis can step up to the plate.

Maxwell has recovered from a forearm injury and has been given the nod to play. He is priced at 4.00, while Stoinis is available at 6.00.

The bowlers have also been struggling. Joel Paris has taken two wickets so far and is 4.75 to be Team - Top Bowler.

Thunder need to strike

The Thunder have also lost two games, but at least they have been showing some good form with the bat.

Indeed, they made 200-7 in the last match, only for Adelaide Strikers to chase it down with just two balls remaining.

Opening bat Cameron Bancroft was the star of the show in making 74 off just 54 deliveries.

That was added to the 25 runs he scored in the first match against the Heat, and he is priced at 3.75 to be the Team - Top Batter.

Alex Hales is also known for piling on the runs, but has totalled just 18 so far and was out for a duck against the Heat. He is also 3.75 to get his act together and be Team - Top Batter.

Tanveer Sangha has been the main threat with the ball, taking three wickets against the Heat, before grabbing another against the Strikers.

He is 4.00 to be the Thunder’s Team - Top Bowler.

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