The second match of the day and the 22nd in the tournament will see Big Bash League 2013-14 table-toppers Melbourne Stars play the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba. Follow the action live from 7.15 pm AEDT.
The Stars have gone from strength to strength in the competition and with five wins from as many games, are all but through to the second stage of the competition.
And when they visit the Gabba to play the Heat in their sixth of the tournament, Brisbane will have the cognizance of the situation they face.
After starting off the tournament with a 76-run win over their cross-town rivals Renegades, they crushed the Sixers by 77 runs in the second.
The Thunder pushed them into the last over but the Stars were never in danger of going down in their chase of 156 before they registered a nine-wicket win over the Renegades with 22 balls to spare.
Then came the big one. Facing a reasonably strong all-round playing XI of the Adelaide Strikers, there were talks of the game being the first one that tests the Stars.
On a difficult pitch, the Strikers seemed to have done well to bat first but that ended rather badly for them – they were restricted to a paltry 9/90 in their 20 overs.
And if one thought they would be able to push the Stars into the final quarter of their overs in the chase, they were in for a huge surprise.
The Stars completed their win in only 7.3 overs, thereby boosting their net run-rate up to +3.25.
To give you a context of how superb that is, the Renegades had ended the competition with seven wins out of eight games last season and had an NRR of plus-0.791.
The Scorchers in 2011-12 topped the table with five wins from seven and could muster up only +0.626.
To give an analogy, the Stars’ performance this season has been much like Bayern Munich’s in the Bundesliga this season – who are not only at the top of the table by some distance, but also have a goal difference of +34 to the next best of being half of that.
The Heat are up against and they will know that.
What they will also know is that they had found themselves in a similar situation last season – in fact after five games last year, they had four points, which is exactly what they have this year too. And we all know how that ended for them.
The Heat will also look to take away a few positives from wherever they can.
For instance, three of the Stars players, who have done reasonably well for them in the competition, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Clint McKay have been ruled out of this clash because of their national commitments.
That will test the Stars’ depth and while there is someone like Rob Quiney to replace him, the Heat could look to exploit the likes of James Muirhead and one of the other inexperienced bowling replacements.
Trust the Stars to start off favourites yet again but the James Hopes-led Heat will come out hard at them.
Join us for the Heat v Stars match in the Big Bash League 2013-14 on Saturday and you can follow the live score of this game from 7.15pm AEDT and post your comments below.