Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers

Sydney Thunder await the victor of tonight’s semi-final between defending champions and a team who has been knocked out at this stage every year for the last four years. The Scorchers lost out on crucial home advantage when they got smashed by Melbourne Stars last time out. The Stars made their traditional shocking start to the competition before returning to form, but as we know they’re missing many key players through international duty. We can’t take much from the previous meeting between these two teams, it was bizarre fixture, one where sixteen batsman were dismissed under 15.

Melbourne name an unchanged team for the semi-final which was expected because, quite frankly, they had no other option. They might have beaten the Scorchers easily with this team, however it’s the same squad that got thrashed by Brisbane Heat in the fixture beforehand, which will worry many Stars fans. There is no doubting they’ve got one of the best XI when everyone is available, but the question has always been how would they cope without Maxwell, Hastings, Faulkner and Boland. With Pietersen and Wright in the team they’ve still got match winners but lack depth in both batting and bowling.

Perth make two changes to the team that lost last time out, and they’re two pretty big changes. They welcome back both Paris and Behrendorff, two players who would get into any team in the competition and have taken 14 wickets between them. They have got Voges available for selection again but are still without the March brothers and Coulter-Nile. Perth have a lot more depth than the Stars but lack the explosive match winners.

It’s a choice of backing individuals to carry a team or do you back a complete squad, this time we’re going for the squad option. We feel the odds are slightly influenced by result last time these two met, but if Wright and Pietersen fail again the Stars are in big trouble. $1.91 looks a good price for a batting order which consists of Klinger, Voges, Bancroft, Agar, Carberry, Willey and Harris against a pretty ordinary bowling attack.
Perth Scorchers - 1pt @ 1.91

Top Perth Scorchers Batsman

We’re backing Voges to play a captain's innings for Perth to guide them to the Big Bash Final as Klinger’s early season from has diminished a bit of late. The Opener is averaging 40 still but we’re backing Voges to play a sensible innings and let others take a more attacking approach batting round him. We’re on him to Top Score for the Scorchers at $4.5.
Adam Voges - 1pt @ 4.5

Top Melbourne Stars Batsman

We tipped David Hussey to top score at a huge price last time these two faced up, it was a sensible choice for that game but I find it difficult to believe the top order will fail again. Spin has caused a few problems for this order in the competition, just look at the Heat game but Hogg hasn’t been his usual self, therefore we’re less worried about this factor. If the Stars are too win, they need either Wright or KP to fire. As a bit of insurance in case the Stars do get up we’re backing Pietersen to top score for them at $3.75.
Kevin Pietersen - 1pt @ 3.75

Top Perth Scorchers Bowler

The Stars have a few walking wickets in their order, including some who are meant to be batsman. David Willey will get a crack at the out of form batsman as well as the lower order at the death, this is why we think he’s a good price to back to be Perth’s top bowler. The Englishman is $4.5 at William Hill.
David Willey - 1pt @ 4.5