Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder – Big Bash League, Friday, December 10, 2021
The Melbourne Stars suffered a humiliating 152-run loss to the Sydney Sixers in their BBL|11 curtain-raiser. Unfortunately, Team Green could not have dreamed of a worse way to start the new season.
Meanwhile, the Sydney Thunder kicked off their campaign with an easy win over the Brisbane Heat. Trevor Bayliss’ men claimed the seven-wicket victory with 17 balls to spare.
The two sides clash at the MCG this Friday, December 10. Keep reading to discover my Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder prediction and betting pick.
Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder Odds
In the eyes of the top-ranked online cricket sportsbooks, the Stars and the Thunder are evenly matched. Yes, the Thunder is the marginal favorite. But the odds gap for this matchup is extremely narrow.
The Stars beat the Thunder by 22 in their opening game of the previous campaign. However, the Sydneysiders claimed a mammoth 75-run victory in the reverse fixture.
Who will come out on top this time around? Let’s take a closer look at the teams before locking in a prediction for Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder.
The Stars Will Be Eager to Bounce Back
When the Stars won the toss and decided to field last weekend, they could not have imagined how their opening match would unfold.
Granted, they were facing the back-to-back champions at the SCG. But the manner in which they lost on Sunday was massively disappointing.
Sam Rainbird conceded an inexcusable 59 runs off his four overs, ending up with an economy rate of 14.75. Syed Faridoun (0-37) and Adam Zampa (0-34) were very expensive, too.
Despite the best efforts of Brody Couch (2-36) and Glenn Maxwell (1-14), the Stars were blown away by Josh Philippe (83), James Vince (44), and Moises Henriques (76).
Thankfully for Team Green, reinforcements are on the way. The imminent signing of Andre Russell could prove to be huge, while the addition of Haris Rauf bolsters the bowling attack.
The Thunder Will Be Keen to Win Again
The Thunder faced a potentially tricky opening match against the Heat on Monday. However, they ended up making light work of Brisbane’s batting line-up.
Daniel Sams (3-22) was the pick of the bowlers, dismissing the lethal Chris Lynn – as well as Sam Heazlett and James Bazley. Not only did Sams clinch three wickets, but he also notched an eye-catching economy rate of 5.50.
Gurinder Sandhu (2-17) and Nathan McAndrew (2-33) also impressed with the ball, leaving Tanveer Sangha (1-22) to claim the scalp of Jimmy Peirson.
Alex Hales – last season’s top run-scorer – registered a rare duck, while Sam Whiteman was dismissed for 11. But Matthew Gilkes, Sam Billings, and Alex Ross secured the win for their side.
Gilkes smashed an impressive 20 off just ten deliveries, Billings finished on an unbeaten 45, and Ross sealed the deal with an outstanding 61 not out off 46 balls.
My Prediction for Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder
It is difficult to imagine the Stars performing as poorly as they did in their opening game. Still, even if they up their game on Friday, they will likely struggle to compete with the Thunder.
The Sydneysiders were immense against the Heat. Sams, Sandhu, and McAndrew starred with the ball, leaving Gilkes, Billings, and Ross to complete the job with the bat.
With Russell and Rauf on their way, I expect Team Green to improve as the tournament unfolds. But as it stands, the Thunder should be too strong for the Stars.
The Best Bet for Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder
Sydney Thunder to Win1.83
I’m going with the away win for my Melbourne Stars vs. Sydney Thunder betting pick.
The Stars were totally outclassed by the Sixers in their first game of the season. Meanwhile, the Thunder produced a dominant display to dispatch the Heat.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out my Adelaide Strikers vs. Melbourne Renegades prediction and pick.