Strikers v Stars
Tuesday 9 January
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide – 7.10pm local (WBBL from 2.20pm)
Head to head
Adelaide Strikers: 2
Melbourne Stars: 4
The Stars scraped home in a cliffhanger at the MCG in BBL|06.
Sent in to bat first, the Strikers stumbled to 8/152 after losing a string of wickets in the final three overs, but foguth back to have Melbourne reeling at 5/84 at the midway mark of the Stars’ innings.
Ben Hilfenhaus was the unlikely hero for the hosts as he blasted 32 runs from just 24 balls to steer the Stars home with just three balls remaining and two wickets in hand.
Ben Laughlin was the standout for the Strikers, claiming an efficient 3/19 from his four overs boasting a match-best economy of just 4.75.
How will the Stars react to news of Kevin Pietersen’s retirement?
It’s been a season to forget so far for the Stars, who are without a win at the halfway mark of the tournament. They’ve been a powerhouse of the competition since its inception having qualified for Big Bash finals every single summer.
Pietersen has been a big reason for the Stars’ success in recent seasons. The big-hitting right-hander, who played 104 Tests over a ten-year period for England, finished as the club’s leading runscorer in all three of his BBL seasons in green.
The 37-year-old hit a powerful 40 from just 30 balls in his side’s loss to the Renegades on Saturday before announcing that BBL|07 would be his final Big Bash campaign.
Will the news spur or spoil the Stars against the Strikers on Tuesday night?
Striker to watch – Travis Head
The captain will want to go out with a bang if this proves to be his final Big Bash match of the summer.
Head has been called up into Australia’s ODI squad to take on England later this month and could also feature in the T20I series in February.
The 24-year-old has looked likely in all his innings this season, but hasn’t gone on to make a monster score everyone knows he’s capable of. Head’s averaged 27 in BBL|07 with a high score of 44 against the Hurricanes in Hobart.
The lethal left-hander is also tantalisingly close to becoming the Strikers’ all-time leading runscorer and needs just 99 runs to take over the mantle from ex-teammate Tim Ludeman.
Head will be eager to sign off his first season as Strikers skipper with a match-winning performance at home on Tuesday night.
Danger man – Glenn Maxwell
Maxwell is one of the most dynamic batsmen in the country and has all the weapons to win a match off his own bat.
The 29-year-old missed selection in Australia’s ODI squad, but could yet put his hand up as a replacement for injured Brisbane Heat batsmen Chris Lynn with a big score against the Strikers on Tuesday night.
Maxwell is slowly building his way back into some form with scores of 50 and 33 in his past two BBL outings. The narrow mid-wicket boundaries of Adelaide Oval could suit the right-hander, who can target any area of the field with his unique range of shots.
He’s one man the Strikers need to keep quiet on Tuesday evening.
Travis Head (c)
Alex Carey (wk)
John Hastings (c)
Peter Handscomb (wk)