Tim Ludeman has been a revelation at the top of the order. Picture: Sarah Reed/News Limited
The Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars will both be looking for a fourth win from five outings when the two sides meet at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night. While a last ball defeat to Brisbane is the only blemish on the Strikers record during the current campaign, Melbourne has won three on the trot since losing to the unbeaten Renegades in the season opener.
Wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman will be looking to continue his fine form as an opener against Melbourne after being moved to the top of the order for the last two matches. Since being asked to open, the 25 year-old has scored 46 and an unbeaten 71 to lead his side to victories over both Sydney teams and has formed a dangerous opening partnership with skipper Michael Klinger . The pair put on 85 against the Thunder before combining in a 125 run stand against the Sixers and have given the Strikers middle order a solid platform to work from. 39 year-old former Australian spinner Brad Young played his first competitive match for nine years when debuting for the Strikers on the weekend and should retain his place in the XI as part of a three pronged pace attack after collecting 1/11 from his three overs.
The Melbourne Stars welcome Luke Wright back into their side after the Englishman missed the match against the Sixers on international duty in India. While he is sure to slot straight back in at the top of the order, how they juggle the other batsman remains a question. Scott Henry replaced Wright for the last match and is the man most likely to make way, but Rob Quiney - who was playing Test cricket last month - could come under scrutiny after reaching double figures just once in the tournament. Glenn Maxwell blasted 82 from 50 balls after being promoted ahead of David Hussey and Cameron White last time out and skipper Shane Warne will want to ensure that he gets as much time at the crease as possible again. John Hasting will press for selection after recovering from injury.
The Stars won by six wickets when these sides met at the MCG last season and the result this time around could be similar if the Strikers home record in anything to go by. Sunday’s nine wicket win against the Sixers was just the second home win that the Strikers had recorded at the Adelaide Oval, and the first in the past four outings.
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