BIG BASH GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
PERTH SCORCHERS vs SYDNEY SIXERSThis Saturday we’ll be treated to what should be a spectacle of a Big Bash finale as the Perth Scorchers host the Sydney Sixers at the Furnace. The Scorchers and the Sixers ranked 4th and 6th in total runs scored which is a sign that even though fans go to the games to see the ball get belted into the crowd, it doesn’t exactly correlate to success.
ROAD FOR THE SIXERSThe Sixers came into this season with many fans having written them off before the first ball of the season had been bowled. The Sixers finished with the wooden spoon in last year’s competition and hadn’t inspired much confidence in punters coming into this season. The Sixers opened their campaign winning the Sydney derby against the Thunder by 9 wickets. After alternating wins and losses for the first four rounds of the competition, the Sixers went on a stretch that was comprised of four wins and only one loss. Brisbane played host to the second Semi Final as the Heat hosted the Sixers. This was a game in which some Henriques magic lifted the Sixers past the Heat in the super over and saw Brisbane’s poor home field performances continue. The Sixers boast a class bowling line-up. Steve O’Keefe finished as the most economic bowler averaging 5.83 runs per over, Sean Abbott finished as the highest wicket-taker of the competition on 20 with Ben Dwarshuis finishing 5th in this category with 13. The Sixers have never been the best team with the bat in hand but some smart bowling and forcing teams to really come at them have seen the Sydney outfit really play to their strengths and earn a deserved berth in the competitions final fixture.
ROAD FOR THE SCORCHERSThe Scorchers are back where we expected them to be. Arguably the most successful BBL team, the Scorchers finished as Runners-up in the first two seasons of the competition, were Champions of the next two years and finished as semi-finalists last year. Perth won three of their first four games, with the sole loss coming at the hands of the Sixers. Perth has been a very consistent team although they’re 2-2 regular season home record may be a cause for pause. Perth dismantled the Melbourne Stars in the first Semi Final. Anyone watching that match could see within the first 6 overs that Mitchell Johnson had terrorized the Stars batsman bowling three overs, for three runs and taking three wickets. Perth is a well-balanced squad. They’re 4th in terms of runs scored but also have some quality bowling in Johnson and Tye. Perth is a complete team that also ranks 2nd in fielding in terms of catches taken.
WHERE IT WILL BE WONThis matchup should come down to the wire. The Scorchers surprised the Stars last week and definitely won’t be having as easy of a time against a scrappy Sixers outfit that can play diverse cricket. The team who bowls the smartest should come away with the victory in this one. Perth’s bowlers are in scorching form (pun intended) whilst the Sixers struggled to close out a Brisbane Heat team who they had on the ropes early in their Semi-Final encounter.
WINNERThese teams have played in the Final twice with the Sixers winning in 2012 and the Scorchers winning in 2015. I see this pattern continuing. The Sixers will be wary after being taken to a super over by the Heat. Sydney can change their game to suit a variety of conditions and the lack of expectations will help them. SYDNEY SIXERS to make it back-to-back Sydney victories in the BBL.
TOP SIXERS BATSMANThe Portuguese 'Man-O-War' Mozzie certainly declared his intentions big time up in Brisbane this week, securing the final berth for the Sixers with a meaty Super Over that yielded 22 runs. If Moises gets beyond the first 10 or so balls he faces, he invariably goes on to make a decent score. He is in red hot form, has the weaponry to blunt Johnson, Tye and others, as well as the big cannon to pepper the grandstands of the furnace with the white ball.
TOP SCORCHERS BATSMANKlinger has been rock solid for the Scorchers this season and loves to play an anchor role for his side. This often sees him there deep into the last 10 overs, and can score at a pretty solid rate as well. Has a far better balanced noggin on his shoulders than a few of his team mates, he is a deserved 9/4 fave to be top Scorchers bat as the bloke often plays the perfect T20 innnings.
TOP SIXERS BOWLERNiiiice Gary. Anything else need to be said? The Sixers will want to blunt the big hitters and by taking the pace off the ball via Lyon and Botha, they could cause some real problems for the home side. Gary is a legend and legends are born in furnaces. Step up Gary, your time has come.
TOP SCORCHERS BOWLERThis brutal human being showed his Ashes carnage best this week, when absolutely routing the Stars with a devastating 3-3 from 4. Outstanding figures in a game where anything less than 6 an over is good going for a bowler. He will be fired up and sometimes the top of the Sixers order look nervous and unstable. Who would want to be a Sixers opener this Sat night?
MAN OF THE MATCHWe are vouching for a SYDNEY SIXERS victory so it will make sense to angle the investments towards the Sixers players here. HENRIQUES and 'Garry' LYON will play their part and are double-figure odds, and SEAN ABBOTT is also worth a small speculator as he has had a season to remember.