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After a long tussle in the Big Bash League, we have finally reached the penultimate match of the competition. The Challenger match is to be played between Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers on 4th February at Manuka Oval. Earlier the match was scheduled to be played at Perth, but a lockdown there has moved this fixture to Canberra, handing a bit of an advantage to Brisbane Heat. Having said that, both sides have done incredibly well in the tournament thus far and the battle between these two should make-up for a mouth-watering spectacle. A cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards.
Scorchers have had a roller-coaster run in the tournament so far. They started off pretty poorly, losing most of their matches in the first half, but bounced back hard to reach the top of the ladder. After finishing second on the points table, they suffered a defeat in the first qualifier at the hands of Sydney Sixers. Going by the statistics, the Scorchers were arguably one of the better teams of the tournament, finishing with 32 points and a net run-rate of 0.851.
Perth Scorchers haven't had too many matches to play in recent times. Considering that they lost both of their last two matches, a break this long should help them. Against the Sixers, the Scorchers suffered a massive reality check as they were defeated by a colossal margin of nine wickets. The Sixers chased down the set target with nine wickets in hand and three overs to spare.
Barring Josh Inglis, all the Scorchers' usual suspects failed to get going as the team aggregated to score a total of only 167. Considering that the match was a high-pressure one, the total could have been enough. However, the Scorchers' bowlers were all over the place and handed Sixers a win on a plate. Barring Liam Livingstone, none of the Scorchers' bowlers conceded at an economy rate of less than 9.00.
On paper, the Scorchers have a terrific team but a couple of back to back losses has clearly set them back. In addition to that, they'll be playing this match away from their home ground and that is certainly going to add to Heat's advantage. Considering that, the Scorchers will have to use all their experience and they have that in plenty. The likes of Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye, and Fawad Ahmed, the Scorchers have a bowling attack that is second to none. However, as we saw in the previous match, the lack of a settled fifth bowler can come back to haunt them if one of their main bowlers isn't at his best.
Just like the bowling, the Scorchers have a terrific combination of batsmen. They have a couple of the best T20 batsmen in the circuit and a lot will rely on those to do the business in the upcoming match. The performance of Scorchers' batsmen is what will probably govern the outcome of this match. If they contribute well, the Scorchers should have a good time in this upcoming match.
Josh Inglis, Colin Munro, Mitchell Marsh, AJ Turner, CT Bancroft, Liam Livingstone, Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, AJ Tye, Fawad Ahmed, Jason Behrendorff.
Not many gave Brisbane Heat a chance to get to where they are currently at. They were one of the lesser fancied teams when the tournament started and with some fantastic outings, they have certainly proven their mettle. They narrowly sneaked into the playoffs after finishing fourth on the ladder with 29 points to their name. They have been spectacular in their last four matches, which includes a win over Perth Scorchers as well.
Another aspect of how Brisbane Heat have defied the logic is that their turnaround began when they had most of their leading players missing. Jimmy Peirson played a massive role in scripting the turnaround for the Heat and he is likely to play a huge role tomorrow as well. With Labuschagne coming back to the playing eleven, Brisbane Heat have gained in strength in both departments of the game.
With the return of Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, Joe Denly, and Marnus Labuschagne back in the team, Brisbane Heat now have a stronger middle-order. Add to that lineup the finishing prowess of Jimmy Peirson and that leaves Brisbane Heat with a well-balanced team. In addition to the balance, they have the momentum that will add to their advantage in the upcoming match. Given that their four recent wins include a win over Perth Scorchers as well, Brisbane Heat will be brimming with confidence walking into this match.
Jimmy Peirson, Chris Lynn, Sam Heazlett, Joe Burns, Joe Denly, Marnus Labuschagne, Lewis Gregory, Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Mitchell Swepson, Ben Laughlin.
This is a high-pressure fixture and having runs on the board are always of massive advantage in such fixtures. However, the recent stats clearly shows how important the toss is at this venue. In all of the last six matches played here, the team batting second has emerged victorious here. Also, we expect dew to have an impact and that will be taken into consideration while making a decision at the toss. For all those reasons, we expect the captain winning the toss to have a bowl first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Going by what we have seen in the recent matches played at this venue, the surface and the conditions play a massive role in governing the outcome of the matches played here at Manuka Oval. It is a high-scoring venue where the least total of the last eleven matches is 149. There are chances of rain on the match-day, but we don't think that it will have any impact and we should be able to get a full game in. Although the par score here is more around 170, the team batting first will be looking to put a total of at least 185 runs on the board to feel comfortable.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the Big Bash League Challenger match between Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
During the league stage, there appeared to be a day and night of difference between the two sides- the Scorchers and the Heat. However, in the end, the difference between the two sides remained to be of just three points. Having said that, player to player, Perth Scorchers certainly look a superior side. They have one of the best batting lineup coupled with a bowling attack that has picked the most number of wickets in the tournament. Although it can be dangerous to form conclusions based on the recent form, momentum certainly does play a massive role in the shortest format of the game. Furthermore, Brisbane Heat are playing at a familiar venue and that will play to their advantage. For all those reasons, betting on a Heat win should be the way to go in this knockout contest.
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