It is Friday and it is time for some blockbuster cricket encounter. Adelaide Strikers will be taking on Melbourne Stars in the second match of the KFC Big Bash League (BBL) 2015-2016 at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Stars have a dangerous lineup as usual and the expectations are pretty much similar just like the previous seasons. But there is one aspect that the Stars will be looking forward to change. They have consistently made it to all the four semi finals of the previous BBL editions, but they had never managed to win one. In the fifth season of the BBL, Melbourne Stars will be looking to take a stride further and lift the BBL trophy.
Strikers, on the other hand, have roped in the services of Sri Lankan batting legend Mahela Jayawardene to strengthen their middle order. Strikers did not have the best of seasons in the past, but in the current edition they want to make it count. Strikers head coach Jason Gillespie is confident that his boys will step up to the occasion and he also went on to laud Jayawardene.
"Mahela is a champion of the game and is without a doubt one of the greatest batsman to play cricket in the modern era. Having played against him myself, I'm fully aware of the type of damage he can do, so it'll be exciting to have him on our side this time," Gillespie was quoted as saying by Associated Press on Thursday.
In this riveting encounter with the Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Stars will be missing their star batsman Kevin Pietersen as he has flown back to England for the birth of his second child. They have enough firepower in their batting line-up otherwise to light things up at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
After managing Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Stephen Fleming has arrived at Melbourne to manage the Stars. He took CSK to a level where the opponents had to plan a lot before they took the field against the men in yellow in the IPL. Fleming will be assisted by David Hussey, who is also the skipper of the Melbourne Stars.
"I reckon it's actually pretty good. To be in the best (four) over four years, while there's the disappointing aspect of not being to convert one, the fact they've been that consistent is a positive. That's not to take away from the fact the franchise would love to get a championship. But I think what we've got to be wary of is we don't expect it'll just happen again. We've got to earn the right to have another crack at it," Strikers head coach Stephen Fleming told reporters ahead of Friday's clash against Strikers.
"We're very experienced and we've got some absolute game-breakers. When you look at the batting order right through from the top with (Luke) Wright, Stoinis, (Kevin) Pietersen, (Glenn) Maxwell, Faulkner, Hussey — there's a number of players there who can on their day go pretty close to winning a match on their own."
Adelaide Strikers: Brad Hodge, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Mahela Jayawardene, Hamish Kingston, Ben Laughlin, Tim Ludeman, Michael Neser, Adil Rashid, Kane Richardson, Alex Ross, Craig Simmons, Greg West.
Melbourne Stars: David Hussey, Michael Beer, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Marcus Stoinis, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa.
Where to watch live:
The second game of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2015 between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars is scheduled for a 7:30 pm local time (2pm IST, 9:30 am BST and 8:30 am GMT) start. T20 fans in India can tune into Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1. The live streaming option will be available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.com.
Viewers in UK can switch to Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1 to watch Adelaide Strikers vs Melbourne Stars. The live stremaing option will be availabel of Watch Sky Sports.
Audience in Australia can tune into Fox Sports for the live action of the Big Bash League. Fans can also stream the BBL match between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars on Tenplay, Bigbash.com.au and cricket.com.au.