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Two of the strongest teams will be playing each other in the second match of BBL 07. Brisbane Heat will be hoping that it can keep its best players from injury as they look to hope to have a great season while the Melbourne Stars will want to try and build towards that elusive first title. Both teams are packed with some of the most exciting T20 players in the world and should make for an excellent contest.
The entire cricketing world will be watching with excitement as Chris Lynn makes a comeback into competitive cricket after being out of the game for a long time due to a shoulder surgery. He says that his rehabilitation is almost complete and that he is stronger than he has ever been before.
While strength does not equate to form on the cricket field, it will definitely make the bowlers nervous who saw him smash 26 sixes from just five matches last season.
He is going to be paired up with Jimmy Pierson and Brendon McCullum in the top-3 making it easily the most powerful and explosive top-order in the Big Bash League.
Alex Ross had a poor season last time around but he too can be very dangerous with the bat and there is Joe Burns in the lineup as well to add further heft to the bating. Brisbane Heat needs to ensure that they do not become overly dependent on Lynn and McCullum for all of their runs and just collapse if they have an off-day.
The bowling for Brisbane is going to test the opposition as well with Shdab Khan in the lineup. The young leg-spinner from Pakistan is very difficult to get away in T20 cricket and has already found success in leagues around the world.
With Ben Cutting, Mitchell Swepson, and Steketee also in the squad, Heat will be a difficult team to face.
Billed by many as the pre-tournament favorites, the Melbourne Stars have always had a team full of T20 superstars. This year, though, their addition of Ben Dunk to the top order which also boasts of Luke Wright, Kevin Pietersen, Marcus Stoinis, Rob Quiney, and Peter Handscomb has people very excited about their chances going forward.
Ben Dunk was the highest scorer in the tournament last year and has proven himself to be very bankable in T20 cricket. We are not too sure about the form that Kevin Pietersen brings with him because he has been out of the game for so long but suspect that this could be the year where Pieterson finally starts to fall behind his team-mates in terms of contributing to the team.
The Stars also added fast bowler Jackson Coleman to the squad and will add pace to what is probably the best bowling lineup in the competition. James Faulkner and John Hastings are death bowler specialists while Adam Zampa and Michael Beer are two of the best spin bowlers in the shortest format of the game.
Then there is Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis to pitch in wherever required.
We are not sure how the spinners will fare against the six-hitting prowess of Lynn and McCullum but that could be one of the key battles of the match.
The Gabba will throw up a pitch that will offer bounce and carry to the fast bowlers while the batsmen will end up enjoying scoring through the line as well. The spinners have done quite well at the Gabba in the past and that is something that Daniel Vettori (the Brisbane Heat coach) is looking to exploit with the addition of two leg-spinners.
The head to head between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars is 4-2 in favor of the Heat. This also includes the last three matches that they have played against each other. AT the Gabba, though, the Stars have won 2 out of the four matches that they have played.
For this match, we are predicting a close match but are just leaning towards the Brisbane Heat because of their awesome batting strength.
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