In what could be a woeful mismatch of this edition’s Big Bash League, the Sydney Thunder will be up against the Melbourne Stars in their respective third match of the competiton and scores live from 7.40 pm AEDT.
The Thunder have begun the way they had ended the last two seasons. It’s not about not possessing the personnel to do the job for them – which wasn’t their issue even last season – it has been about providing the finishing touches to a passage of play.
Take for instance their first game of the competition against the Sixers.
The Thunder had everything going well for them with David Warner and Usman Khawaja at the crease. The duo had added 116 in 11 overs and would have received long odds not to top 200 from that position.
Not only did the wicket of Warner peg them back but it did that so drastically that the side ended up with just 166 on the board. The Sixers won easily.
The failure-to-nail-it story repeated in the second game against the Adelaide Strikers, albeit the script was a little different this time. First the Thunder had done well to restrict their opponents down to 153, before their captain led them to a score of 3/129 in 16.1 overs.
What that meant was that they needed to score another 25 from 23 deliveries with seven wickets standing and with Michael Hussey batting on more than 50.
Eoin Morgan was dismissed for 35 and the rest of them capitulated in a bizarre manner to hand over the game to their opponents, going down by six runs.
And while one would have still backed them to come back from this position – of now having lost 15 matches in a row dating back to the first season – they will be up against what is coming across as a very-talented and a well-oiled united in the form of Melbourne Stars.
The Stars are currently second in the table, having played a game lesser than the Strikers. And the fire-power they possess with the bat, to go with their bowling stability, it is difficult to see how the Thunder will carve out a win.
In their first game, the Stars were aided by fifties from Cameron White and Luke Wright at the top of the order. This was followed by David Hussey’s half-century in the second and a whirlwind of a 37 from Glenn Maxwell that helped them top 200 for the second time in a row.
Both times, the opposing team was held off by more than 70 runs with Jackson Bird doing job in the first and Maxwell completing the last rites in the second after the trio of Bird, James Faulkner and John Hastings had squeezed the opposition scoring rate.
The Thunder will need a lot going for them if they want to overturn the mighty Stars. The batting, minus David Warner and Usman Khawaja, will need to click, as would the slightly thin bowling line-up led by Dirk Nannes.
And then, they would hope for a brain-fade from the Stars of the order of their own self in that game against the Strikers.
The Stars will be huge favourites in this one.
Join us for the Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars match in the Big Bash League 2013-14 on Wednesday and you can follow the live score of this game from 7.40pm AEDT and post your comments below.