After the victories on Monday, Brisbane-H and Melbourne-R will lock horns in the second clash of the day in Australia T20 League 2020-21. Both sides are sitting middle of the table and victory on Thursday can make its playoff chances strong.
Match Timings: Jan 07, 3:50 PM IST
The second half of the Australia T20 League started and the mid-table placed sides are stepping up for the playoff qualification. Brisbane’s campaign had more heartbreaks and they are the only side who lost its most of the matches in the last over. After the disappointing tale in December, Brisbane scripted happiness in 2021 with two back-to-back comfortable wins. The best part is, both wins came against the top sides, Sydney-S and Sydney-T. They are known for losing nerves in death-overs, but this time, they crossed the line comfortably.
Joe Denly and Joe Burns both were included in the squad on the new year and it worked for Brisbane. Chasing the target of 175, the duo added match-winning 90 runs for the third wicket and this partnership helped Brisbane to get one more win. Both batsmen scored a half-century for his side and the clinical approach boosted Brisbane’s batting unit. Chris Lynn is also back in the squad after the injury, and he scored 16-balls 30 in his comeback match. Mujeeb came out as the big relief for the Brisbane in middle-overs. The Afghan spinner is pretty economical and providing breakthrough at crunch time. In the last match, he went for just 26 and picked two wickets. He has accounted for 11 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 13.54. Steketee has also improved and delivering impact in both spells. He has 12 wickets so far at an average of 16.50. Brisbane is picking the rhythm and they would try to extend this run for the remainder of the tournament. The silly errors cost them playoffs last season but this year, they are in the race for the top five.
Meanwhile, Melbourne-S finally end its losing streak on Monday with a close victory against Hobart. They started the season higher with back-to-back wins but three consecutive defeats saw a downfall in the points table. Stoinis played a fine knock of 97 and Cartwright’s 36 helped Melbourne to get 183 on board. The top-order was again in the trouble but Stoinis saved them with late fire. McDermott almost took Hobart on the winning line with a fine 91 but the pressure of require-run-rate troubled its chase and Hobart fell short of ten runs. Stoinis got his 2nd half-century, and when he scores run, the top-order issues get solved. Maxwell is the leading scorer for them with 255 runs at an average of 51 and Pooran had also decent outings so far. Stoinis was seen bowling in the nets and it’s a good sign.
Haris Rauf might be back in the playing XI as the Pakistani pacer has started training with the team. Melbourne-S is not performing with the bowl and it’s a big boost to the pace-attack. Adam Zampa would have to take responsibility in middle-overs. He bagged 8 wickets this season but he is missing the spark from the last 3-4 games. Opponents are taking charge of him. Liam Hatcher is impactful in the absence of Coulter Nile with picking 10 wickets at an average of 20.10. David Hussey’s men would try to take full points on Thursday.
Carrara Oval is a pure batting track and it offers bit of bounce which helps pacers in the first half an hour. Spinners can control the game in middle-overs. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss.
Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Joe Denly, Jack Wildermuth, Jimmy Peirson (c & wk), Lewis Gregory, James Bazley, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Chris Lynn
Andre Fletcher, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Hilton Cartwright, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell (c), Seb Gotch (wk), Adam Zampa, Liam Hatcher, Sam Rainbird/Haris Rauf, Billy Stanlake
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Season so far – M: 6, Wickets: 11, Avg: 13.54
Season so far – M: 3, Runs: 119, Avg: 39.66
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 255, Avg: 51
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 196, Avg: 39.20