Cricket / melbourne stars

BBL Round 4 Review & Fantasy League Update - Sixers in Top 1%
Things are definitely hotting up in the BBL and in the fantasy league. This round of matches saw 2 of the games go right down to the wire with the Sydney Sixers sealing a 5 wicket win in the final over against Brisbane Heat and then Sydney Thunder hanging on to grab a 1 run win against the Perth Scorchers with Captain Ashton Turner unable to hit the boundary needed off the final ball of the game to get his team a much-needed win. It was a very nervy finish to the game as young all-rounder Daniel Sams sent down a couple of wide deliveries to give the Scorchers hope that they might pull off a thrilling run chase and Ashton Turner will be disappointed that he didn't make a better connection with the final ball. Watch the full highlights on the video below Stoinis Shines for the Stars: the value of high-quality all-rounders There is a lot to like about the cricket Marcus Stoinis, he can bowl at a decent lick and gives the ball a good whack. There's nothing particularly complex about his technique, Stoinis just stands tall and uses his ample forearms to muscle the ball to and very often over the boundary. In fact, he's probably one of those players who is at his best when he doesn't overcomplicate his cricket. The above poor performances had seen his fantasy league price decrease by over $80k with a slip of 32k after round 3 representing the single biggest loss in price that a player has experienced in this year's competition. I stated in my preview of the tournament that the Stars look a good bet to get into the knockout stages of the competition because they have a strong group of all-rounders. In the first few games those all-rounders (Bravo, Maxwell and Stoinis) had failed to really deliver the kind of match winning performances that the Stars would have been hoping for but over the last couple of games, things have begun to click into place. Bravo just misses out on entering the above graphic despite having taken 6 wickets this year. If Stoinis, who took his first 2 wickets of the competition this round and Maxwell, who has begun bowling more than he did in the first couple of matches can also enter this elite group then you feel that the Stars are in for a chance of winning BBL08. Stoinis' success with the bat yesterday was as much a result of him being moved up to open the batting and the attacking intent that he showed from the word go. Spin has dominated proceedings thus far in the tournament including the fact that most teams are choosing to use a 2nd string or part-time slow bowling option to start the innings. This over is becoming a bit of a get out of jail free card for captains who are banking on the fact that batsmen won't take too many risks very early in their innings and it allows the fielding side more options with the ball later on in their 20 overs. Stoinis' decision to attack Nabi at the start of the innings prompted Renegades to bring their seam bowlers back into the attack with the Stars top order including the out of form Ben Dunk looking far more comfortable with pace on the ball. From there it was a fairly comfortable run chase and the Stars will hope to keep their winning streak going as they entertain the Sydney Thunder at the MCG later this week. Fantasy League Update - Sixers Crushing It! This round saw my team top the 1000 point mark for the first time this season, placing me 705th worldwide out of 83,955 teams. My decision to rebalance the side in favour of all-rounders and include 4 Thunder players paid off with all of them adding over a 100 points apiece. Chris Lynn also came to the party with swash-buckling innings against the Strikers although his Heat team remain rooted to the bottom of the table without a win so far. With @birjudanak and I sharing 5 players across our teams it really became a 6 v 6 competition with us both choosing a Thunder opening batsmen for our captain. Buttler's 50 against The Scorchers as well as Sams overall performance and then Ash Turner's nearly winning knock saw me home comfortably 1018 v 788. While Shane Watson has generally struggled to go on and get a big score, he might yet be a player to look at for fantasy teams. Given that he has not bowled for the Thunder this season, he was overvalued at the beginning of the campaign but his price has now dropped by over $50k to $116k. He still has the ability to take a bowling attack apart and with several big name players likely to be unavailable in the coming weeks he could prove a decent replacement. Of those players who will not be around, I have already dropped Lamichhane who has returned to Asia to play in the Bangladesh T20 franchise league. Rashid Khan whose father died last weekend has decided to stay and continue to play but he is definitely one to watch as he was clearly very emotional at the end of the Strikers victory on New Year's Eve. Jos Buttler and Joe Root will soon leave to join up with the England squad and Australia will name an ODI squad that could well include players like Alex Carey, D'arcy Short and Chris Lynn to mention a few. I have replaced Lamichhane with Coulter-Nile who will have the advantage of playing on the seaming wicket at the Optus Stadium this round. On that same basis, I have replaced Ashton Turner with Ben McDermott who I am hoping is due a score and will play on the much easier batting track at Hobart. The only other change I have made is to bring in Ben Dunk to replace Tim Ludeman as sub-keeper because Ludeman was dropped for the Renegades last game and looks unlikely to get a look in again for a little while. I've gone with Bravo for my captain as I'm hoping that he will be amongst the wickets with batsmen struggling to clear the big boundaries at the MCG. This week I play professional analyst Harsha Boggle who is top of our head to head league. His team is very impressive and my boys will have to be at their best to get a result this round! @fraste will be looking to build on his opening win of the season when he plays @birjudanak this round while elsewhere we see @hassan, @rameesa and @jpm8341 go head to head with cricketing legends Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Mike Hussey respectively - good luck to them all!

More posts are coming soon. Write your own!