About the Match
Brisbane Heat leads the table with 10 points after 7 matches and will host Melbourne Renegades, who are placed 6th with 6 points, on 20th January at Brisbane. While Heat defeated the Stars by 7 wickets recently after chasing down 139 runs, the Renegades tasted success against Strikers by a narrow margin of 6 runs to make a comeback. With the upcoming match being their last opportunity to make it through to the next stage, the Renegades will leave no stone unturned to win here. On the other hand, the hosts will be eager to keep their winning momentum going and continue being at the top while making a foray into the semi-finals with a won on Friday.
Spinner Swepson’s superb 2-14 helped the team make it to the playoff’s by restricting Stars to 138 runs and then going on to successfully chase it with almost 2 overs to spare. Speedsters Steketee, TS Mills, and Jack Wildermuth provided regular breakthroughs and they stifled hard-hitting batsmen like Pietersen and Hussey. Alex Ross and Joe Burns then posted 40+ runs each during the chase and steered the team towards a big victory.
Against the Scorchers previously, chasing a modest 157-run target became an uphill task as players like Peirson, McCullum, Heazlett and Reardon were dismissed cheaply; Ross and Burns tried to stabilize the innings but they fell short by 27 runs getting all-out by the start of the 20th over. Earlier, the bowlers had done well to restrict the opponent’s run-flow with speedster Steketee and spinner Swepson taking 2 wickets each but the batsmen put up a dismal show.
The team has done well to bounce back with a win and make it to the semi-finals; however, they could take a cautious approach here against Renegades, who are desperate for a win now.
Batting first against Strikers, Marcus Harris posted a brilliant 85 off just 53 deliveries to give them a solid foundation; others like Ferguson, Finch, and Cooper kept the scoreboard ticking to take the total to 171, which was successfully defended by the bowlers, thanks to a remarkable 4-25 by Thisara Perera’s fast-bowling skills. Spinners Tom Cooper, Sunil Narine and Brad Hogg bring depth to the attack and can combine well to outwit the hosts here.
Against Hurricanes, however, the bowlers put up a disappointing effort after failing to defend a gigantic total of 222 runs; although spinners Narine and Cooper put up a brave effort taking 5 wickets between them and bowling economically, others like Hogg, Perera, and Pattinson proved to be too expensive and lost the match by a heart-wrenching 2 wickets.
They have a good batting line-up with in-form players like Harris, Finch, Ferguson and all-rounders like Cooper and Perera; this will be a do-or-die match for the team and they could strategize well with bat and ball in order to keep their campaign going strong.
Having qualified for the playoffs, Heat could display more confidence here at their home turf; however, the Renegades have strong match-winners who could help their team survive the challenge. The contest could go down to the wire but we feel that the Heat bowlers could bring out their fire power yet again to win the match and stay at the top of the table.