Melbourne-S will take on Sydney-S in the last league-stage of the season in Australia T20 League 2020-21. It’s a must-win game for Melbourne-S to qualify for the playoffs.
Match Timings: Dec 26, 2 PM IST
Last season’s finalists, Sydney-S and Melbourne-S, will face each other to end the league-stage on Tuesday. Defending champions have already qualified for the playoffs, and they are going to face Perth in the qualifier encounter on January 30. In the last game, they suffered a close defeat of 6 runs against Hobart. Bowlers put some good skills in death overs when they picked eight wickets off the last 34 balls. Despite a late effort, Hobart managed to post 188 on board. The early blows hurt Sydney's chase, but Moises Henriques and Jordan Silk took charge. They kept losing wickets and fell short of 7 runs.
Sydney-S had a glorious campaign, and defeat doesn’t matter for them. They need one bash boost point to secure a top finish. If they get full points, they can finish the league stage on top. Jordan Silk’s 78 in the last game was a big boost to its batting unit, and Moises Henriques have batted very well in the last two outings. Sydney-S have the best team combination, and Henriques would try to enter into the playoff with a win. Josh Philippe has been a key figure in Sydney’s batting unit with scoring 453 runs at an average of 34.84. The inclusion of Henriques has been a big boost as Sydney already have two quality all-rounders like Brathwaite and Christian. They’re the most balanced and most experienced side of the season.
Meanwhile, Melbourne-S are entering as the underdogs, and the current scenario puts them in trouble. Brisbane’s victory in the morning encounter gave them a big headache for this game. In the last game, Maxwell’s troops lost to Perth in a high-scoring affair. The bowlers allowed easy runs to Perth and the visitors put 182 on board. The chase looked unsettled when they lost its top-order batsmen early. Nick Larkin fought for Melbourne, but his lone effort couldn’t help the side to earn three points. They fell short of 11 runs, and now the equation is quite difficult for them.
Melbourne-S have to take full four points to assure its qualification as they have a better net-run-rate than Brisbane. They also have to rely on Hobart's match and if Hobart loses, they are alive in the tournament. Only win will not be enough for them to make it into the top four. The task is not so easy for Melbourne as they haven’t defeated Sydney-S in the last two editions. Maxwell hasn’t delivered much with the bat in the second half of the tournament. Stoinis was also off the colors, and he has to step up tonight for a better start. Larkin’s approach looks solid in the last couple of games.
MCG’s surface is a pure batting track, and this match will be played on the used surface. Batting will be slightly easier, and the chasing sides will have an advantage due to the dew factor.
Josh Philippe (wk), James Vince, Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques (c), Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Ben Manenti, Jake Ball
Marcus Stoinis, Seb Gotch (wk), Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Clint Hinchliffe, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan
Season so far – M: 13, Runs: 453, Avg: 34.84
Season so far – M: 13, Runs: 203, Wickets: 13
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 384, Avg: 34.90
Season so far – M: 10, Runs: 264, Avg: 44