BBL|13 finals preview: Heat out to break Scorchers’ streak

FINALS time has arrived in BBL|13, with four contenders set to battle it out for ultimate glory. Brisbane Heat is the team to beat having topped the table, while Perth Scorchers will be gunning for an unprecedented third-straight title. Find out all you need to know about each side in the mix.


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The condensed nature of BBL|13’s 40-game regular season has translated to its finals structure, which will include the four top-ranked teams. The top two clubs will earn double chances in a four-game finals format, first playing off in the Qualifier for direct passage into the Final. Third and fourth will meet in the Knockout, with the winner to advance to the Challenger and compete for the second decider spot.


The Qualifier: Heat vs. Sixers | January 19 @ Carrara Stadium
The Knockout: Scorchers vs. Strikers | January 20 @ Perth Stadium
The Challenger: Qualifier Loser vs. Knockout Winner | January 22
The Final: Qualifier Winner vs. Challenger Winner | January 24

via: Cricket Australia


1. Brisbane Heat | 7-1, 2 N/R | 0.972 NRR | 16 points
2. Sydney Sixers | 6-2, 2 N/R | 0.339 NRR | 14 points
3. Perth Scorchers | 6-3, 1 N/R | 0.725 NRR | 13 points
4. Adelaide Strikers | 5-4, 1 N/R | 0.331 NRR | 11 points

5. Hobart Hurricanes | 4-6 | -0.268 NRR | 8 points
6. Melbourne Stars | 4-6 | -1.051 NRR | 8 points
7. Melbourne Renegades* | 2-6, 1 N/R | -0.288 NRR | 5 points
8. Sydney Thunder* | 1-7, 1 N/R | -0.652 NRR | 3 points

Key: Win-Loss | N/R = no result | NRR = net run rate
* Note: Final fixture (Thunder vs. Renegades) yet to be played

>> By the numbers: BBL|13 finalists


Record: 1st | 7-1, 2 N/R | 0.972 NRR | 16 points
Finals appearances: 5
Grand Finals/Titles: 2 / 1

The Heat have been the benchmark in BBL|13 having streaked to a seven-game winning run. Their only loss came in what is regarded as the competition’s toughest road trip, Perth, on the eve of finals. Amid ongoing preparations for the Gabba Test, unfortunately Brisbane will have to play its home finals on the Gold Coast. Still, the right to a double chance is in the Heat’s back pocket, and they were the first team to lock in a finals spot this season.

Record: 2nd | 6-2, 2 N/R | 0.339 NRR | 14 points
Finals appearances: 10
Grand Finals/Titles: 6 / 3

The Sixers snatched second spot and a double chance in finals by beating Perth on the road yesterday, which is no mean feat. They sit only behind the Scorchers in terms of titles and finals appearances, with the gap there to be bridged this season. Sydney’s road to the finals has had peaks and troughs, having stuttered in the middle of the campaign but bookended its two losses with separate three-win streaks. With an even side full of experienced heads, the Sixers can go all the way.

Record: 3rd | 6-3, 1 N/R | 0.725 NRR | 13 points
Finals appearances: 11
Grand Finals/Titles: 8 / 5

They may sit third on the back of three losses in five games, but the Scorchers remain one of the competition’s most potent sides. All three losses have come against fellow finalists, and they were undefeated at home until last night’s final ball thriller. In a positive sign of their credentials this season, the Scorchers have also beaten two other finalists – Adelaide and Brisbane – as they set out to claim a record sixth title, and third in a row. They’ll have to win away to do so.

Record: 4th | 5-4, 1 N/R | 0.331 NRR | 11 points
Finals appearances: 7
Grand Finals/Titles: 1 / 1

Somewhat akin to Brisbane’s BBL|12 run, Adelaide has stormed into finals this season on the back of four consecutive wins. The Strikers were planted to bottom of the ladder at 1-4 just before the New Year, but turned things around in a flash. Skipper Matt Short is on track for another Player of the Tournament nod and while key departures will impact them, they are as dangerous as any other side in contention. Like Perth, they’ll have to win on enemy territory for a chance at the title.


As has been common knowledge since the start of the tournament, a host of star players – particularly imports – will become unavailable during finals. Brisbane will be buoyed by Matt Renshaw‘s availability despite being in the Australian Test team, but Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne will miss.

The Heat will also have to cover for a pair of star imports. Opening batter Colin Munro and dashing keeper-batsman Sam Billings carried the drinks for their side’s final home-and-away game, before farewelling the competition to play under different T20 banners overseas.

The Sixers are a touch more settled, but will miss Englishman James Vince atop the order nonetheless. Steve O’Keefe is set to return after missing Sydney’s previous clash in Perth, while Steven Smith was a flash-in-the-pan inclusion for only two games. Gun allrounder Tom Curran is also unavailable.

Laurie Evans had a fitting farewell for the Scorchers after fellow English batter Zak Crawley also departed the team. Opening batter Stephen Eskinazi is in doubt after injuring his finger in last night’s loss to Sydney, making Marcus Harris‘ recent inclusion all the more crucial.

Mitch Marsh remains part of the Australian setup, while Jhye Richardson will not partake in finals after picking up another knock. The latter loss has seen stand-in skipper Aaron Hardie take on more bowling overs, and leadership responsibility with usual captain Ashton Turner also injured.

Adelaide will sorely miss the likes of Chris Lynn, Jamie Overton and Adam Hose, which will test the side’s reliance on opening batters Matt and D’Arcy Short. Australian Test squad members Alex Carey and Travis Head are also set to miss as they feature in the red ball format.

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