Back on the previous confidence-boosting win, Melbourne-R will take on Brisbane-H in Australia T20 League. Both sides are still out of the playoffs race, and they desperately need a win here.
Match Timings: Jan 14, 1:45 PM IST
Melbourne-R and Brisbane will face off each other in the important bottom-table clash of Australia T20 League. The second stage of the tournament is going on, and each game will play a vital role in the playoff qualifications. The bottom side, Melbourne-R, finally broke its losing pattern to get a much-needed victory in the previous game. Mohammed Nabi took the game away from Adelaide with a blistering knock of 71 off just 41 balls. At one stage, Adelaide were heading towards a big total, but bowlers conceded just 41 in the last 5 overs to set the target of 178. Chase was on a similar way as we have seen before. They were struggling at 68/3 at one stage, but Nabi took charge with an aggressive approach and sealed the game on the penultimate ball.
This one win was a big relief in Melbourne-R’s camp. This attitude will release the pressure for the side. Melbourne-R are still at the bottom in the points table, and they have to take more winning steps to catch the playoffs qualification. Shaun Marsh’s availability is in doubt, and if he comes in top-order, Melbourne can back themselves for the playoffs. The main improvement is required in the batting setup, and someone has to fire from the start. Finch’s form is a big concern who has aggregated just 146 runs at an average of 18.25. If Melbourne don’t deliver back-to-back wins, they cannot prove its worth. One more defeat will shut the doors for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Brisbane suffered a defeat against defending champions in the previous outing, and it ended Brisbane’s 3-matches winning streak. Brisbane picked the momentum from the starting of this year, and they were going stronger with defeating Sydney-S, Sydney-T, and Melbourne-S. The previous defeat has distracted Chris Lynn to eye playoffs. Chris Lynn played a gritty knock of 56 off 44 balls, and he never plays with this strike rate. The pressure pushed him to bat like this. Brisbane could manage 148 while batting first. Brisbane’s bowlers managed to take the game in the final over. They bowled tight overs in the middle and got wickets on a regular basis, but Christian still rescued Sydney-S with a last-ball four. It was another close defeat for Brisbane, and they have no idea how to recover from these kinds of losses. Mujeeb will miss this fixture due to national duty and it will be a big blow to Brisbane.
Manuka Oval has a good bounce, and it offers good assistance to batsmen. The temperature is getting higher in Canberra, and we expect some help to spin middle-overs. Chasing might be a tricky call. Any score above 160 would be a fighting total.
Aaron Finch (c), Mackenzie Harvey, Sam Harper (wk), Beau Webster, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mohammad Nabi, Imad Wasim, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Peter Hatzoglou, Noor Ahmad
Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Joe Denly, Joe Burns, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Lewis Gregory, James Bazley, Jack Wildermuth, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Kuhnemann
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 149, Wickets: 4
Season so far – M: 9, Wickets: 12, Avg: 22.58
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 233, Avg: 44.60
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Season so far – M: 8, Wickets: 14, Avg: 13.42