Strikers v Stars
Friday, 11 January
Adelaide Oval – 6:30pm local
Head to head
Adelaide Strikers: 3
Melbourne Stars: 4
The Strikers chased down 151 with eight balls remaining in a convincing eight-wicket win at Adelaide Oval.
Alex Carey led from the front with an unbeaten 59 at the top of the order alongside captain Travis Head who smashed a quickfire 53 off 32 balls, which included eight boundaries, to put the result beyond doubt.
With the ball, the Strikers’ bowlers shared the spoils as five players snared a wicket each through the Stars’ innings. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowling group with figures of 1/23.
Glenn Maxwell was the most threatening with the bat for the Stars, blasting 60 off 39 balls, before he was undone by the bowling of Peter Siddle in the 18th over.
Which team will adapt best to the loss of key players to Australian ODI duties?
Adelaide will be without Billy Stanlake, Alex Carey and Peter Siddle but regain Travis Head in a handy boost for the home side, while the Stars have lost batting power in Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb as well as spinner Adam Zampa.
The underrated Jon Wells holds the best batting average of any batsman in BBL|08 to score more than 100 runs.
Wells, who is in the discussions to open the batting alongside Jake Weatherald on Friday night given Alex Carey’s absence, boasts an average of 67 with four not out innings so far this summer.
His experience, busy batting style and quick running between the wickets have made him a valuable contributor for the Strikers this season.
Striker to watch – Travis Head
Skipper Travis Head returns to the side after the completion of Australia’s Test series against India in a welcome boost to the Strikers’ top order.
Head will play his first game in blue since the BBL|07 final after he was a somewhat surprising omission from the Australian ODI squad.
The skipper played nine matches last season and scored a mammoth 374 runs at an average of 53.42, showcasing his explosive power in the shortest form of the game.
Head’s leadership will also be a huge bonus for the Strikers given the loss of experienced trio Carey, Stanlake and Siddle to ODI commitments.
Danger man – Dwyane Bravo
New Stars recruit Bravo is one of the world’s leading T20 performers.
The dangerous allrounder took an equal league-leading 18 wickets in BBL|07 and already has nine scalps from six matches so far this summer, including best figures of 3/27 against his former team, the Melbourne Renegades.
Bravo’s skill with the ball coupled with his explosive power with the bat means he can change a game in a matter of overs and will need to be watched closely by Jason Gillespie’s men on Friday night.
Travis Head (c)
Nic Maddinson (c)