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Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades
Melbourne Cricket Ground, January 6, 2018
Match 19 - KFC T20 Big Bash League 2017/2018
|Melbourne Stars 1st Inn||4/157|
|Melbourne Renegades 1st Inn||4/159|
|Melbourne Renegades won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|Melbourne Renegades win by 6 wickets|
|Melbourne Renegades||Over: 17.5 RR: 8.02|
|Last Wicket:||B.J. Hodge, 4 (c. Dunk b. Hastings) - 4/152|
As the Melbourne Stars struggle to get their season going, this derby is more crucial than most as the men in green host the Melbourne Renegades at a packed MCG. Join The Roar for live scores, highlights and analysis from 7:10pm (AEDT).
The Stars are used to starting slow – they’ve kicked off nearly every season with a string of losses, only to come good as the tournament progresses – but this year, there appears to be more cause for alarm.
A dreadful effort with the ball cruelled them in a loss to the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, they failed to fire with the bat against the Perth Scorchers, and in their first MCG match of the season – against the Heat again – they completely fell to pieces in a defeat Glenn Maxwell labelled “putrid”.
And it’s some pretty serious names who are failing to fire: captain John Hastings looks like a man who hasn’t played in nearly two years after missing the entirety of BBL06 with injury, Ben Dunk hasn’t yet passed six in his first three innings at his new home, and international duo Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen have so far failed to live up to their lofty reputation – and price tags.
Last spot on the table more than two weeks into the season is unacceptable for a side laden with talent, and while the tournament has been extended to ten games per side, a loss here should all but put paid to their hopes of making a seventh consecutive BBL semi-final.
By contrast, a combination of new recruits and evergreen veterans has seen the men in red take on the mantle of the form team in Melbourne for almost the first time in their history.
Afghani import Mohammad Nabi has been a revelation with his wily spin and handy lower-order batting, Jack Wildermuth has impressed since crossing over from the Brisbane Heat, and batting from legends Cameron White and Brad Hodge has more than made up from an uncharacteristically slow start to the tournament from captain Aaron Finch.
A half-century in their triumph over the Sydney Sixers last week, however, may usher in a return to form for the dynamic opener, and should this prove the case, the Renegades will have a fully firing side at their disposal.
The Stars have historically had the edge in Melbourne Derbies, but then again, they’ve usually had the stronger side. That’s not the case this time, and the Renegades’ experienced batting and powerful bowling attack should be enough for them to get a prized win over their crosstown rivals.
Renegades by seven wickets or 30 runs.
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