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Brisbane Heat succeeded in the clash of the two teams placed at the bottom of the table and managed to just stay alive in the tournament of yet another match. Right above them are Adelaide Strikers, who, too desperately need a win to keep hanging in the tournament. The upcoming contest between Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat which is to be played at Adelaide Oval on 3rd February will act as a virtual eliminator of the tournament. The team losing the match will join Perth Scorchers, who are currently the only knocked-out team in the tournament. The winner, on the other hand, will still have a steep hill to climb in order to ascertain their qualification for the next round.
The Strikers are just one point ahead of Brisbane Heat in the points table and they, too, are in a similar situation as far as qualification for the next round is concerned. Their dismal net run rate of minus 0.508 will have a vital role to play if Strikers somehow manage to tie with Stars in the points table.
It was surprising to see Adelaide Strikers, who have not had a tournament worth remembering, dismiss Hobart Hurricanes with utter dominance in their last encounter. It was Hobart's only the third loss of the season in 12 games.
After an ordinary effort from their bowlers who conceded 169, it was the opening pair of Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey which really laid the foundation of a much-needed win for the Strikers. The duo scored 84 runs in the first six overs after which the Hurricanes' bowlers failed to bounce back. The Strikers will be pretty relieved to see Rashid Khan back to his usual best after looking out of color in the last two matches. Along with Laughlin's three dismissals, Rashid Khan's two important wickets and his decent economy rate of seven helped Strikers pull the things back towards the end of the first innings.
Although Carey's knock of 54 off just 35 deliveries was not slow by any means, the 82-run knock from Jake Weatherald was the primary reason that the Strikers got home with some many balls to spare. The Strikers were going through a poor run of form in their last few matches and many times, all it takes is just one slice of luck to change the fortunes and the Strikers will be hoping that their game against Hurricanes was just that.
Jake Weatherald, Alex Carey, Jake Lehmann, Colin Ingram, JW Wells, Harry Nielsen, Michael Neser, Cameron Valente, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin.
Although just by a thin thread, Brisbane Heat have managed to keep themselves alive in the competition with a win against Perth Scorchers. Up next, they'll not only have to win all of their remaining games, but they'll also need Melbourne Stars to lose all their games.
The Heat will be ruing the mistake they made a week ago against Melbourne Stars. The late collapse not only robbed their two points but also awarded to the Stars. Against Scorchers, however, Chris Lynn ensured that they get home safely and keep themselves still in the hut, more theoretically than practically, though.
Even though it was Chris Lynn who guided the chase with his well-compiled fifty, their win was set up in the first innings by their bowlers. Mujeeb ur Rahman was the stand-out performer with the ball as he picked up three key wickets of Shaun Marsh, Cameron Bancroft, and Ashton Turner early in the game to rock Scorchers. Josh Lalor ensured no leakage of extra runs as he wrapped up the tail with three wickets on three consecutive deliveries. Skipper was impressed by the performance of Matthew Kuhnemann who picked up two for 22 in his four overs on his debut match.
Although Brisbane Heat experienced a few hiccups during their chase, Chris Lynn remained not-out till the end for his 56 as the Heat won the match by chasing the target of 129 with six wickets and 15 balls to spare.
Brendon McCullum, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn, Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Jimmy Peirson, Ben Cutting, Jack Prestwidge, Josh Lalor, Mitchell Swepson, Matt Kuhnemann.
The upcoming context is a vital one in context of the qualification with fortunes of both Strikers and Heat hanging on this Sunday's encounter. Both the sides will certainly have gained in confidence after registering important wins in their respective encounter. The Strikers have a good batting lineup which did incredibly well to chase a reasonable total against the world-class bowling lineup of Hobart Hurricanes. With both Afghan spinners doing reasonably well, the performance of the two spinners could have a big say in who emerges on top. The Strikers are playing at home and have a better-rounded batting attack as compared to Heat, who appear to be a little over-reliant on Chris Lynn at the moment. Therefore, we think that Adelaide Strikers are better placed to emerge victorious on Sunday.
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