In their last game, Melbourne Stars would have been overmatched against Perth Scorchers even at full strength. The fact then that 10 of their first-choice players and the entire coaching panel were missing in this game due to a Covid outbreak made their job almost impossible.
Batting first, they conceded 180 to the Scorchers. Fan favourite Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf played his first game for the Stars this season and bowled with pace and verve but his 2 for 40 was on the expensive side.
Apart from Afghan leggie Qais Ahmed, few found joy as Perth amassed a big total without even having to work too hard.
The Stars, in reply, had a brilliant start, racing to 78-0 inside 9 overs, with their openers Joe Clark (52) and Thomas Rogers (32) flying. From that point on, they lost their all 10 wickets for an addition of a mere 52 runs. In all, despite the super dramatic collapse, it was a decent effort – all things considered.
Melbourne Renegades’ last match was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain, which netted them 1.5 points.
Considering their poor form, they would probably wish that all their matches get washed out as without the heavens opening up, they would have most likely lost to a powerful Sydney unit. They had lost five straight matches prior to that.
They do have reasons to be optimistic ahead of this Melbourne Derby. While the Stars are severely depleted, there is good news for the Gades, who are getting back veteran batter Shaun Marsh.
James Pattinson is a concern though, with his fate hinging on a clean Covid test. Captain Nic Maddinson is also expected back. Reece Topley is expected to leave by Jan 7 due to international commitments but will be available for this game.