After suffering back-to-back defeats, Melbourne-S will start the New Year with meeting Hobart-H in Saturday’s clash in Australia T20 League 2020-21.
Match Timings: Jan 02, 11:35 AM IST
Melbourne-S and Hobart-H will resume its campaign in 2021 by facing each other at Bellerive oval. Both sides have lost two games so far, but Hobart are in a better position with four wins out of six matches. After losing to Brisbane in the first reverse fixture, they avoided the consecutive defeat by clinching the victory in a last-ball thriller. Hobart let down in the batting and struggled against the spin. Mujeeb got a fifer to restrict Hobart on 150. Bowlers shined yet again and picked three wickets in the first 3-overs. The middle-order constructed the chase and took this game in the final over. On the last ball, when Brisbane needed two runs to win, Ingram got Steketee run-out with a brilliant throw, and with the narrowest margin, Hobart emerged the winner. Riley Meredith picked a three-wicket haul, and Boland scalped two. Dawid Malan scored the highest 39 for Hobart, and their batting unit didn’t deliver in Gabba. D Arcy Shot had a disappointing season with the bat, scoring one half-century.
Tim David is giving big relief at the finishing end, and he scored a vital 36 off just 17 balls to take Hobart to 150. Some issues against the spin occurred for Hobart, and they have to sort it out before Saturday when they will face Adam Zampa. Peter Handscomb would expect some fire from Dawid Malan at the top who had a terrific T20 career for England. Surprisingly, Tim David, who bats at number 6, scored the runs with a better strike rate and average. He aggregated 181 runs at an average of 45.25 and a strike rate of 163.03. McDermott will be the key figure for Hobart in the absence of Mathew Wade. The right-hander has amassed 155 runs with two finest knocks of 46 and 89. Meredith is doing his job very well with the new ball, and he has scalped ten wickets from 6 matches at an average of 16.50. Hobart is a balanced side, and they need to fix its middle-order issues to extend the winning run.
Meanwhile, Melbourne-S suffered two consecutive defeats after a brilliant start to the campaign. In the first defeat, the defending champions snatched the victory in the last over, and in the second defeat, they have been outplayed in all departments. The defeat of 71 runs is a big setback to Glenn Maxwell’s troops, and they desperately need a win here to find the rhythm. The runner-ups of the last edition conceded 219 runs against Sydney-T, the third-highest total in tournament history. The bowling has been so poor in the absence of Rauf and Coulter-Nile. Zampa and Maxwell both have conceded more than 10 runs per over in the last two matches.
Zampa will also serve a one-match suspension due to the second offense of the year. Maxwell has no idea to reform the side with these issues. The batting unit is boosted by Pooran, but other batsmen would have to step up with a weak bowling setup. The captain has batted brilliantly, but he is giving more issues with the bowl. The lack of an extra bowling option is making him fill that spot. Things are not great for David Hussey’s men, but they have the match-winners like Stoinis, Maxwell, and Pooran who can change the game within few balls. Stoinis didn’t bowl yet, and he is playing as the complete batsman. This is not less than an issue when an all-rounder leaves his one job. The task wouldn’t be easy for the Green outfit, but they have the caliber to attack against Hobart.
Bellerive Oval’s surface is a batting-friendly wicket, and in 6 matches this season, batting first sides had the upper hand. Pacers can take early help, but spinners have nothing much to gain from this track.
D Arcy Short, Ben McDermott (wk), Dawid Malan, Peter Handscomb (c), Colin Ingram, Tim David, Keemo Paul, Nathan Ellis, Scott Boland, Wil Parker, Riley Meredith
Ben Dunk, Andre Fletcher, Marcus Stoinis, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Nic Maddinson, Clint Hinchliffe, Liam Hatcher, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan
Season so far – M: 6, Runs: 181, Avg: 45.25
Season so far – M: 6, Wickets: 10, Avg: 16.50
Season so far – M: 5, Runs: 179, Avg: 59.66
Season so far – M: 5, Wickets: 9, Avg: 14.33