About the Match
The Scorchers earned a home final in the ongoing BBL tournament after a thumping 7-wicket victory against Melbourne Stars in the first semi-final; they will take on Sydney Sixers in the BBL Finals at Perth on 28th January. The Sixers caused an upset by defeating hosts Brisbane Heat in the other semi-final match at the Gabba by winning the one-over eliminator and look motivated to overcome the challenge from the invincible Scorchers. The hosts on the other hand seem to be unstoppable and will leave no stone unturned to lift the trophy on Saturday.
A supercharged Mitchell Johnson put up an inspired bowling display, taking 3-3 in 4 overs and demolishing the Stars top-order in the semi-final match; thereon, his team mates followed it up with quick breakthroughs to restrict the opponents to 136 runs. Sam Whiteman and Ian Bell put up a superb batting display scoring 31 and 26 runs respectively while the in-form Shaun Marsh posted an unbeaten 56 to steer the team towards a fine victory with more than 3 overs to spare.
The batting line-up has experienced all-rounders like Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh and Andrew Tye while batsmen like Klinger, Whiteman and Bell could focus on building a solid foundation whether batting first or during chase. The bowling unit has ruthless fast-bowlers like Mitchell Johnson, Tim Bresnan, Richardson and Andrew Tye, who have been consistently taking wickets. Spinners Ashton Agar, Turner and Voges add variety to the attack and can contribute well to stifle the opponents.
When they met Sixers during the league stage, the batting line-up had fallen like a pack of cards against their pace attack, being able to muster only 130 runs; the Scorchers will definitely take a cautious approach here and try to strategize better to dominate on the field.
Chasing 167 runs in the semi-final against Heat, Hughes and Henriques came out all guns blazing as they posted 46 and 64 runs respectively to narrow the margin down for imminent victory. However, players like Lumb, Maddinson and Brad Haddin were dismissed for single digits causing some hiccups along the way. All-rounders like Botha and the lower-order however managed to level the scores; with the result depending on the one-over eliminator, Henriques came out once again to set up a tough challenge for the hosts with the bat and helped the team make it to the finals.
Earlier, spinner Nathan Lyon put up a tremendous show as he claimed 4-23 to topple the Heat top-order; paceman Sean Abbott also took 4-40 and is a vital asset for the team while others like Dwarshius, Bird and Botha bring depth to the attack. When they met Scorchers earlier in the league, spinners Somerville and Steve O’ Keefe had supported well with the wickets while Bollinger, Dwarshius, Botha and Abbott wreaked havoc on the opponents to restrict them to 130.
Batsmen Sam Billings,Haddin, Henriques, Hughes and all-rounders like Botha helped chase down the target with ease and they will draw inspiration to do so again. Overall, they have done well to oust a strong team like Heat and can pose a stiff challenge to the Scorchers too on Saturday.
The Sixers have just about managed to make it alive to the finals and will try to put up a better show against Scorchers here; the contest could be evenly fought but we feel that the buoyant Scorchers with an in-form pace attack and a strong batting contingent is better placed to win the finals.