Perth Scorchers bid to breath fire into their BBL08 campaign when they take on the Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Wednesday.
The Scorchers sit bottom of the standings after winning just one of six games, including losing all four away games. The have won three in a row since losing their opening two games of the season and are a team in form.
Head to Head
There has been nothing to split the Stars and the Scorchers down the years with six wins each from 12 previous meetings. The Scorchers won the only fixture in BBL07, but that was at the WACA. In four games at the MCG, the Stars lead the head to head 3-1.
Melbourne Stars have won five of the last eight H2H matches.
The Stars have also won three of the four matches played at this venue.
The Stars have won four of their last six BBL matches.
Perth Scorchers have lost six of their last seven BBL matches.
The Scorchers have lost their last four away BBL matches.
Three-time champions Perth Scorchers have never failed to make the BBL playoffs, but they face a fight to maintain that record after winning just one of six games and looking like a disjointed side.
Unlike the previous seasons, only Ashton Turner (197 runs) has produced the goods with the bat consistently. The expected return of the Marsh brothers from national duty could provide a much-needed boost.
The fast bowling duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff have impressed with eight wickets each, but the Scorchers attack has only looked like the unit of old in the single win over Adelaide Strikers.
The Stars have turned their season around after starting with back-to-back defeats and the all-round returns of Marcus Stoinis, who has impressed since promoted to the top of the order, has been key.
Peter Handscomb could be available for the game and his inclusion would adds more depth to the batting line-up. Bowling superstar Sandeep Lamichhane (eight wickets) will be missed, although Dwayne Bravo (seven wickets) and Scott Boland (five wickets) have stepped up in the recent games.
For the Scorchers, it is not yet do-or-die stage but this game has the feel of a must-win contest about it just to turn around fortunes. But the troubles are likely to deepen further.
Prediction: Stars win ($2.02 MadBookie)