Rauf returns for Stars, Clarke named despite hamstring worry, Thunder praise for Sangha and Sams

Haris Rauf has returned to the Melbourne Stars squad for the first time this season, while Joe Clarke is named despite being under an injury cloud and Sam Billings praised Daniel Sams.

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The Melbourne Stars named a 16-man squad to play the Perth Scorchers on Thursday night, with Haris Rauf ($151k BWL) returning for the first time.

The Pakistani speedster comes into the squad to replace the departed Andre Russell ($160k BAT/BWL), while Joe Clarke ($85k BAT/WKP) is named despite a hamstring worry.

The Scorchers were yet to declare their side at the time of writing.

Stars: Maxwell (c), Qais Ahmad, Burns, Cartwright, Clarke, Couch, C-Nile, Elliott, Hinchliffe, Larkin, Nevill, Rainbird, Haris Rauf, Stoinis, Webster, Zampa

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The Sydney Thunder enjoyed a good win over the Scorchers on Tuesday and batsman Sam Billings heaped praise on in-form top-order batsman Jason Sangha ($92k BAT).

Billings said: “He’s very technically correct. Got a great technique and temperament. The credit has to go to him as he’s had to wait a long time for his opportunity. He’s played proper cricket shots.”

The Thunder gloveman also praised all-rounder Daniel Sams ($168k BAT/BWL) for a return to form.

He said: “A return to form for Dan Sams was brilliant to see, especially closing out those defensive overs. We saw how good he is. Moving forward he’s a great asset for us.”

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