The Stars have had a season to forget winning just the one of their nine matches to date. The Hurricanes on the other hand have fought back from the ignominy of ‘winning’ the wooden spoon last season to be genuine title contenders with a win/loss record that reads 5-4. However, Melbourne shouldn’t be written off completely here and the franchise will take solace from their overall record against Hobart (5-2) which includes a big seven-wicket win the last time the sides met. Melbourne also have the added incentive of sending Kevin Pietersen off on the right note given the former Test batsman retires from all forms of the game later this year. In any event, this match could be somewhat of an arm-wrestle given four of the last six matches between the pair have had a match-total of under 285 runs.
Key stat: In Melbourne’s four matches at home this season, the side that batted first has only managed to post a total of 150+ on one occasion.
Hard as it is to overlook D’Arcy Short after his awe-inspiring season to date, George Bailey is well worth considering at generous $7 odds. Against the Stars, the former Test batsman has racked up 191 runs in five matches at an imposing average of 63.67. Importantly he’s also be able to accumulate those runs at a more-than-respectable strike-rate of 132.64. For the Stars, KP is an attractive proposition in his final game in green. Although Pietersen hasn’t had a particularly memorable BBL|07, the 37-year old has scored 1000+ runs in his 32 games for the Stars at an average of 36.68.
Key stat: Kevin Pietersen scored 62* in his final T20I innings for England
Tip: Stars to upset the Hurricanes