Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars – Big Bash League, Sunday, December 12, 2021

| December 10, 2021 5:04 am PDT

The Sydney Thunder will be out for revenge when they welcome the Melbourne Stars to GIANTS Stadium this Sunday, December 12.

On Friday, the Stars claimed a four-run victory over the Thunder at the MCG. The teams looked relatively evenly matched last time out, so we are set for another close battle this weekend.

I share my prediction for Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars at the end of the post, along with a free betting pick. First, though, I break down the odds for Sunday’s clash before analyzing both sides.

Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars Odds

Sydney Thunder to Win1.91
Melbourne Stars to Win1.91

As you can see, the top cricket betting sites can’t seem to separate these two sides.

Although the Stars beat the Thunder last time around, Friday’s clash could have gone either way. The Sydneysiders appeared to be in control before Team Green turned things around.

It is worth noting that Trevor Bayliss’ men have the home-field advantage on Sunday. They will almost certainly up their game at GIANTS Stadium, making life more difficult for the Stars.

It’s time to analyze the teams.

Can the Thunder Make Amends?

The Thunder secured a straightforward victory over the Brisbane Heat in their first match. Despite a late surge from Brisbane’s tail-enders, Bayliss’ side ended up winning by seven wickets.

Alex Ross was the star of the show against the Heat, smashing an unbeaten 61 off 46 balls. Sam Billings impressed, too, scoring 45* off 36.

Daniel Sams was the pick of the bowlers in the first match. The big all-rounder notched figures of 3-22 from his four overs, leaving Gurinder Sandhu (2-17), Nathan McAndrew (2-33), and Tanveer Sangha (1-22) to complete the job.

The Thunder would have been confident of sealing back-to-back wins when they came up against the Stars on Friday. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Last time out, Bayliss’ men managed to take just four wickets. Sangha (2-29) claimed a couple of scalps, with McAndrew (1-27) taking one. Marcus Stoinis was run out by Chris Green.

Alex Hales and Sam Whiteman both fell for only ten runs, continuing their iffy form. However, a half-century from Matthew Gilkes (56) and a solid knock from Billings (43) put the Thunder in the driver’s seat.

The Stars finished strongly, though, bowling economically while stemming the flow of runs. The Thunder required five off the final delivery to win the match, but Adam Zampa bowled a dot ball.

The Sydney Thunder’s Game Changer: Alex Hales

The Thunder needs Hales to find his best form sooner rather than later. The Englishman was the top run-scorer in BBL 10, but he has managed to chalk up just ten runs across two innings this season.

Will the Stars Beat the Thunder Again?

We all know that the Stars are renowned for their big-name players, but it was one of their lesser-known names that made the difference last time out.

Stoinis (13), Joe Clarke (13), and Glenn Maxwell (16) all fell cheaply before Nick Larkin (52) came to the crease and registered a classy half-century to put his team on the front foot.

Hilton Cartwright (42) produced an eye-catching knock, too, while Andre Russell chipped in with 17 runs off nine balls on debut.

Team Green’s bowlers were notably economical on Friday. Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-27), Qais Ahmad (1-23), and Brody Couch (1-23) all managed to frustrate the Thunder’s batters, allowing Zampa (1-31) to bowl the winning ball.

In their first match, the Stars were totally outclassed by the Sydney Sixers. Not only did they allow the defending champions to reach 213/4, but they were also bowled out for just 61 runs after 11.1 overs.

It goes without saying that David Hussey’s men produced a much-improved performance against the Thunder.

The Melbourne Stars’ Game Changer: Andre Russell

Of course, guys like Maxwell, Stoinis, and Zampa are capable of winning matches for the Stars. But the arrival of Russell has changed everything. If the West Indies legend is at his best on Sunday, the Thunder will struggle.

Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars Prediction

These two sides produced a tight encounter on Friday. The Thunder looked set to chase down the target, but the Stars managed to subdue the Sydney franchise and claim their first win of the season.

I expect the teams to dish up another close match on Sunday, but I can see the Stars coming out on top again.

The addition of Russell strengthens the Stars in both the batting and bowling department. Stoinis and Maxwell are powerful all-rounders, too, so I’m confident that Team Green will come out on top.

Best Bet for Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars

Pick
  • Melbourne Stars to Win
    1.91

The away win is my Sydney Thunder vs. Melbourne Stars betting pick. The Stars showed glimpses of real quality on Friday, so I’m backing them to secure successive victories on Sunday.

There are two Big Bash matches to bet on this Saturday. If you’re planning to wager on the BBL this weekend, be sure to check out my other previews.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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