BBL – Who Will Be in the Finals
The final round of games kicks off in the BBL with the make-up of the top four yet to be confirmed. There will be some emotion for Kevin Pietersen this week as he makes his final appearance for the Melbourne Stars. Who do you think could feature in the finals? Give us your thoughts?
TUESDAY 23/01/2018 – 6.40PM
SYDNEY SIXERS V MELBOURNE STARS
The Sixers are on a roll after thumping the Brisbane Heat in Sydney. The Sixers may not be featuring in the finals this season, but look determined to continue their winning run. Nathan Lyon continues to enhance his white-ball reputation with each game. Lyon has given the Sixers a real edge, taking six wickets at an economy rate of 4.92. Nic Maddinson has 230 runs with the bat and has come into good form towards the end of the season. The Stars have a single win for the season. The pre-season favourites have struggled for consistency. Glen Maxwell has carried the Stars batting this season, striking the ball at 146.26. Kevin Pietersen will be eager to make an impression in his last trip to the SCG. The Stars have struggled for runs, while the Sixers bowling attack has made a real impression over the last few games. The Sixers will be confident of taking the points in a tough clash.
WEDNESDAY 24/01/2018 – 6.40PM
SYDNEY THUNDER V MELBOURNE RENEGADES
The Renegades and the Thunder head to Canberra in a crucial clash for both sides. The Renegades will be able to secure a finals berth with a win over the Thunder. Kieron Pollard provides the x-factor for the Renegades. The West Indies all-rounder has the potential to provide some fireworks with both bat and ball. Dwayne Bravo’s bowling will be a key weapon for the Renegades. Bravo’s bowling at the end of the innings will be crucial in restricting the Thunder. The Thunder will be without Callum Ferguson for the remainder of the season. Ferguson suffered a hamstring injury in the field against the Stars. Usman Khawaja remains under an injury cloud with a bruised thumb. The Thunder need to win remain in the hunt for the finals. The Renegades have the goods to grab the points on the road.
THURSDAY 25/01/2018 – 4.40PM
PERTH SCORCHERS V ADELAIDE STRIKERS
The problem for the Scorchers will be trying to fit Shaun Marsh into the batting line-up. Marsh is a good chance of making his first BBL appearance after overcoming injury. The Scorchers have the chance to secure a home semi-final with a win over the Strikers. The Scorchers will be looking to Turner and Agar to provide the fireworks. Ashton Turner hit an explosive half-century for the Hurricanes, while Ashton Agar picked up two wickets with the ball. The Strikers will be looking to square the ledger with the Scorchers after losing their last clash in the top end. Alex Carey will want to continue his good form at the top of the order. Carey hit his maiden BBL century against the Hurricanes. The match is the last time the Scorchers will play at The Furnace before moving to Optus Stadium. The orange army will be expecting a big performance. With a home semi-final on the line, the Scorchers will be too strong at home.
SATURDAY 27/01/2018 – 4.10PM
MELBOURNE STARS V HOBART HURRICANES
The Hobart Hurricanes will be determined to seal a finals berth with a win in Melbourne. D’Arcy Short has destroyed the competition with the bat. Short has set a new BBL record this season with 504 runs at a strike rate of 148.24. Jofra Archer has been equally as impressive with the ball. Archer has been a one-man wrecking ball in the field with 15 wickets. The night will be an emotional occasion for the Stars. Kevin Pietersen will be looking to go out with a bang in his final match for the Stars. KP has been striking the ball at 133.33 this season but has struggled for consistency. The Hurricanes are a side on the rise. Ben McDermott and Matthew Wade are striking the ball nicely. George Bailey has the big match experience to get his side over the line. The Hurricanes will be good enough to spoil the party with a win.
SATURDAY 25/01/2018 – 6.25PM
BRISBANE HEAT V MELBOURNE RENEGADES
The Brisbane Heat have lost Joe Burns for the season, but should have Chris Lynn back in the line-up. Lynn has struggled to overcome injuries this season and will be desperate to make an impact on the field. The Heat’s finals hopes are hanging by a thread, after losing to the Sixers in Sydney. Brendan McCullum will need to find some form to give his young side a chance. Spinners Yasir Shah and Mitchell Swepson will be key to the Heat’s chances. The spin duo will need to put the brakes on the Renegades top order. The Renegades will be wanting to make a statement before the finals with a win. Marcus Harris has the potential to do the damage with the bat. Harris has been striking the ball at 123.33 and has the potential to get the Renegades off to a fast start. The Renegades have the experience of Brad Hodge and Dwayne Bravo in the middle order. If results go their way the Heat are still a chance of finishing in the top four. To get to the finals they’ll need to get past the Renegades. If Chris Lynn is fit and firing then anything is possible. The Heat will be good enough to close out the season with a win.