Big Bash League Semi Finals Preview. After a season of exhilarating cricket, big crowds, close finishes and unpredictability, the semi-finals are upon us. Unbelievably the Scorchers and the Stars will play their fifth semi-final against each other in six seasons, while the Heat and the Sixers have never met in a final. The action starts Tuesday at the WACA before heading to Brisbane the next night.
The Scorchers (1.67) finished top of the ladder after a comfort victory over Hobart. Shaun Marsh finally got runs at the top and that will ease the pressure on his partner Michael Klinger. Perth rely on their openers to set a solid foundation and allow the hitters to do their thing late. Their bowling is always consistent and persistent. The Stars (2.20) finished fourth after losing their last two. They had some spectacular collapses and turned winning positions into losing ones. Kevin Pietersen looms large, while Luke Wright has found some form. The Stars middle order is still questionable and they have struggled finishing off games with the ball.
Perth has lost their last two home games to the Heat and the Stars, by 9 wickets and 7 wickets. The Stars historically don’t mind the WACA, however that record changes in finals. They have played three semi-finals at the Furnace and lost them all by 18 runs, 8 wickets and 11 runs.
Head to Head Record
These two teams met on 14 January and the Stars tore through the Scorchers top order. Michael Beer was sensational taking 2-12 off his 4 overs. He was ably supported by his quicks and they restricted the Scorchers to 7-134. The Stars comfortably chased down the total.
Brisbane (1.82) has been the surprise team in the competition and they have not had it all go their way. They lost Chris Lynn to international duties, Brendon McCullum through suspension and Sam Badree through injury. They kept winning under adversity including beating the Stars away from home and an engrossing 1 run win over the Renegades that secured their finals appearance. Sydney’s (2) story is just as enthralling as they were thumped by the Thunder and then rebounded against the Stars. They looked in trouble numerous times against the Stars before Sean Abbott and Johan Botha got them home.
The Heat split their four home games this season with 2 wins and 2 losses. The Sixers have never lost at the Gabba, which includes a 3 wicket win this season.
Head to Head Record
These two teams met on 3 January. The Heat posted 6-186 with even contributions. Sydney chased down the sizeable total with two balls to spare. Daniel Hughes was the hero with 85 off 55 balls. Expect the Heat to come hard at the Sixers again at the top, while Sydney will be hoping their all-round ability will prevail.
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