Big Bash League (BBL05) Final: Stars vs Thunder Betting Tips

January 23, 2016 by Posted in Cricket Tips

Usman Khawaja BBL05The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host the final of the KFC Big Bash 05 which promises to be an exciting way to end the season. There will be considerable heartbreak among the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers who will be bitterly disappointed to have missed the chance for a shot at the title. But, the format is such that teams need to complement their round-robin consistency with knock-out punches in the finals.

The finalists for this season are Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars. Incredibly, this is the first final appearance for both the sides which makes this final much more special. So, who will it be?

Jan 24, 7:20 PM AEDT: Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder at MCG

When the season started under new coach Stephen Fleming, the Stars had high hopes of doing better than reaching semis – which has been their only achievement thus far in the history of the BBL. The first target of reaching the semis was achieved with flair while the next target of scaling the summit remains in sight. All it remains is to overcome the Thunder one last time.

The presence of Stephen Fleming in the dug-out has been hailed as the difference for the Stars in their quest for the title. Their star import Kevin Pietersen has emphasized this time and again in a season that has seen power-packed performances from the English superstar. A fierce half-century from his blade helped them run past the double defending champions in the Scorchers in the semis and there would be expectations of an encore in the finals.

It is a testimony to their bowling strength that four of their bowlers, including Marcus Stoinis, feature in the top ten bowlers for best economy rates. The frugal Michael Beer may not turn the ball but is proving to be an expert at squeezing the runs. The absence of John Hastings and Scott Boland isn’t affecting them much even though they would’ve loved to have the duo released ahead of the final ODI against India on Saturday.

For the Thunder, it is a season of change that started with recruiting Michael Hussey as their captain and punting on the experience of Jacques Kallis. Both proved to be right as Thunder are now one step away from erasing the memories of five years of under-achievement.

The perennial laggards have Usman Khawaja and his runs to thank for the semi-final romp over Strikers. Khawaja is playing like a dream, irrespective of the format, and would be a key force in the final again. The return of Jacques Kallis after missing the semis with an injury would be another fillip. The bowling is an equally threatening proposition with Clint McKay and Andre Russell ably supported by the experience of Shane Watson.
Form book is thrown out in matches like this but it is difficult to see beyond the ‘whipping boys’ of yester year. In a battle of Stars bowling versus Thunder batting, the Thunder could end up lifting the title.

Verdict: Sydney Thunder to win the BBL05 title at $1.95 at Sportsbet

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