Melbourne-S will join Perth-S in the Wednesday encounter of the Australia T20 League 2020-21. Maxwell’s troops are coming off two straight wins in Canberra, while, Perth lost its season-opener against Melbourne-R.
Match Timings: Dec 16, 1:45 PM IST
After entering into the finals in the last two editions, David Hussey’s men started the season 2020-21 with a happy note. They appeared in two consecutive games at Canberra and Melbourne even didn’t miss out the Bash Boost Point to claim victories. After defeating Brisbane by 6 wickets riding on Nathan-Coulter-Nile’s 4-wickets haul, Maxwell’s unit edged past Sydney-T by 22 runs. Stoinis’s comeback was hard after securing a duck in the opening fixture. He smashed 61 off just 37 balls to give a blistering start. Despite the failure from the middle-order, they got 169 on board. Alex Hales and Ferguson managed to hold the chase but Zampa bowled an exceptional spell with two for 10 in four-overs. The batting collapse cleared full points for Melbourne as they are top of the table with 8 points.
Dilbar Hussain is now sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a moderate hamstring strain and it’s a big blow to Melbourne. Haris Rauf is already out of the squad due to national duty. Coulter-Nile will be back in the side. Zampa will have a big responsibility as Melbourne will miss one good bowler until Haris Rauf joins the squad. Liam Hatcher impressed in the previous game. The right-armer picked 3 wickets for 28 and was crucial to hold Sydney in the chase. There is no clear update on Pooran so Fletcher will continue playing in the top-order. Melbourne is a compact side and they have good depth in the bowling unit.
Meanwhile, Perth started the campaign with a pure failure against Finch’s Melbourne-R. The poor show started with the top-order failure as Perth lost its three wickets on 19. Wickets fall on a regular basis and the young gun, Aaron Hardie played a gritty cameo of 33 to took Perth 130. Melbourne-R dominated the chase and finished the game in 16.3 overs, riding on Shaun Marsh’ 47-balls 62. Perth also lost the Bash Boost point. Jhye Richardson was excellent with the bowl, picking two for 20.
On Bellerive Oval, Perth batted poorly and they have to break this attitude. Middle-order didn’t take charge when they lost the half team in 9 overs. Ashton Turner might go with the same XI. Liam Livingstone, and Jason Roy both are serving the quarantine period so Adam Voges would expect both to miss out one more fixture. Munro and Inglis will continue as the openers. Perth would hope to see some fire from two prominent T20 players. Josh Inglis amassed 405 runs last season with a strike-rate of 153.99 and Munro also had good numbers in league-cricket.
Aurora Stadium will host the consecutive match and it will be played on a used surface. The track is good for batting and offers early assistance to the pacers. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss.
Marcus Stoinis, Andre Fletcher, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nick Larkin, Ben Dunk (wk), Clint Hinchliffe, Liam Hatcher, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Nathan Coulter-Nile
Colin Munro, Josh Inglis (wk), Joe Clarke, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Cameron Bancroft, Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 17, Runs: 705, Avg: 54.23
Previous outing (vs. Sydney-T) – 61 (37)
White-ball series vs. India – M: 6, Runs: 245, Avg: 49
Season so far – 46 (26), 39 (29)
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 14, Runs: 405, SR: 153.99
Australia T20 League (last season) – M: 14, Runs: 382, Wickets: 05