Both the Melbourne sides are currently embroiled in a five-way battle for the last two playoff spots. The Renegades were late to join the race and did so only at the start of this month due to the plight of their Covid-hit opponents.
But even that advantage has worn off lately as after going unbeaten over the first three games of the New Year, they have now lost the last two, although those defeats were against the two highflying Sydney sides and not bottom dwellers such as the Stars whom they face here.
What’s worrying though is that the Gades have not even shown a fight in those last two defeats. Scores of 105 and 80 in those games scream of a side clearly out of its depth against top teams.
The Stars did lose the last Melbourne Derby played on Jan 3 but they had a number of players missing in that game due to a Covid outbreak. They are now finally beginning to get back their regular players so expect this game to be a lot more competitive.
So decimated they had been lately that their win over Adelaide Strikers on Monday almost seems miraculous.
In their last game, the Stars were beaten by Perth Scorchers but then there is no shame in a side leading the league and should be no indication of how they are going to fare in this game.
If anything, the Stars, chasing Perth’s 196, did manage 149, which is a lot more than the Gades have managed in their last two outings.
One bad news for the Stars is that their express pacer Haris Rauf is set to depart after this game as he has to play the Pakistan Super League.
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