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Stoinis looms as Stars' BBL final key

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16th February, 2019
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Melbourne Stars all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has dominated the Melbourne Renegades this season and will be key to his side’s BBL title push.

The Melbourne Renegades must do something that has eluded them this summer if they are to win the BBL final – dismiss Marcus Stoinis.

Given what the Melbourne Stars allrounder has done to the Renegades in their two BBL games this summer, Stoinis is a massive factor ahead of Sunday’s final at Marvel Stadium.

On New Year’s Day, Stoinis claimed two wickets and then made 79 (not out) at the MCG as the Stars enjoyed a convincing seven-wicket win over their local rivals.

He then snared 3-19 and scored 70 (not out) as the Stars also beat the Renegades at Marvel Stadium.

Renegades captain Aaron Finch had a simple answer when asked what to do about the Australian one-day player of the year.

“Get him early – we know once he gets set, he can be hard to remove,”‘ Finch said.

“He’s someone who can play a lot of different styles, we saw in the last game he took the back seat and tried to guide them through to that total.

“There are other days he’s come out and blasted it from ball one.

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“You just have to back yourself to be hitting the stumps a lot – make sure if he takes the risks and misses out, that you’re either hitting the stumps or in and around that front pad.”

Sunday’s clash will produce a first-time BBL champion, with the Stars’ 2016 loss to Sydney Thunder the only time a Melbourne team has reached the final.

The Stars boast an 11-4 derby record that includes a 6-1 advantage at Marvel Stadium.

The game will be played on Sunday afternoon with the Marvel Stadium roof open.

Stars captain Glenn Maxwell said he will warn his players to account for the notorious Marvel Stadium shadows when they field.

The Renegades play their home games at night, meaning none of the players in Sunday’s final will be used to the troublesome shadows that go across the ground in sunny conditions when the roof is open.

© AAP