The Thunder moved ahead of the Strikers and Hurricanes into fourth place on Thursday night thanks to a decisive victory over the Renegades that ended a three-game losing streak.
However, due to their weak net run rate (NRR), the Thunder must win at least one of their next two BBL|12 matches in order to qualify for a fourth straight finals series (depending on other results).
Chris Green’s team needs victory in Saturday’s Sydney Smash, which will feature Steve Smith and David Warner for the first time on Australian soil since a memorable Coogee Oval day in 2018.
Whatever the outcome of that highly anticipated match, the Thunder’s final game of the regular season against the Stars in last place will be a tight one with a chance that they need a strong win to increase their NRR and go into the finals BBL Final rankings.
The Heat moved up to fifth place and put themselves back in charge of their own finals fate thanks to an outstanding bowling performance against the Hurricanes last night at the Gabba.
After three wins in a row, the formula is straightforward: defeat the Stars on Sunday and the Hurricanes once more on Wednesday, and the Heat will play in the championship game for just the fourth time in the competition’s twelve seasons.
The Hurricanes or Renegades must lose one of their remaining games before the Heat and Canes meet in Launceston in order for the Heat to go to the finals, even if they defeat the Stars in their final game and fall With a critical last over to travelling power-hitter Tim David that went for just five runs to seal a key victory, Spencer Johnson has emerged as one of the Big Bash’s emerging stars.
Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, and Matthew Renshaw have just been added to their lineup, and Renshaw was the hero on Monday against the Stars. Michael Neser has consistently displayed good ball control throughout the season.
Josh Brown’s “X-factor” has also been a plus; at times, the explosive opener lit up the Gabba, but the Heat have found it difficult to consistently score winning totals.to the Hurricanes.
The Strikers are now depending on other results to go their way following a poor performance against the Scorchers at home on Friday afternoon. The Scorchers defeated the total in 11.1 overs as the home team was bowled out for 92 on a beautiful Adelaide day, without ever launching a shot.
The Strikers are now mired in sixth place with one game remaining against the Renegades at Marvel on Tuesday. They must first defeat that team, and then they must count on losing at least two of their remaining two games against the Renegades, Thunder, Heat, and Hurricanes.
The Strikers went through a mid-season downturn after starting the BBL|12 season with three impres Matt Short (458) and Chris Lynn (416) are still the competition’s top run scorers, but if they make it to the finals, their batting lineup would be severely depleted by Lynn’s departure for a UAE T20 tournament.
When they leave for Australia’s Qantas Tour of India, Strikers mainstays Travis Head and Alex Carey will be unavailable should they advance to the finals. They have struggled to find their T20 groove since returning from Test duties.
Henry Thornton and Wes Agar have been dynamic players with the ball and were instrumental in the Strikers’ 15-goal upset of the Thunder earlier in the season, but they have subsequently lost steam, with the result that their team has won only two of their last six games. sive victories and looking like the team to beat.
Surprisingly, the Hurricanes’ fate in the championship game is in in their own hands despite Friday night’s thrilling final-over loss to the Heat.
They can still win their first BBL championship if they defeat the Sixers on Monday and the Heat on Wednesday.
Both games are in Tasmania, with the first taking place in Hobart and the second in Launceston, thus they may both be attended.
The Hurricanes, who were widely predicted to be one of the BBL|12 teams to beat, have struggled to establish consistency thus far this season.