BBL12 Finals race: Hosting rights up for grabs

BBL|12, With the Sixers’ victory against the Hurricanes on Monday night, three teams have now earned postseason positions, with the fight for the last two becoming more competitive. The Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers have earned the top two slots, but the Sixers’ victory against the Hurricanes in Hobart on Monday night has also given the Brisbane Heat a playoff berth.

Brisbane, which has 13 points and is now third with one game remaining, cannot be knocked out of the top five, however, their exact place remains uncertain. With three clubs already locked into the top five and three games remaining, the Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder, Adelaide Strikers, and Hobart Hurricanes face a dangerous scenario. This is how it works.

Games yet to be played in BBL12

  • Tonight, 7.15pm AEDT, the Renegades take on the Strikers at Marvel Stadium.
  • Tomorrow: 1.40pm AEDT, Hurricanes vs. Heat at UTAS, followed by 7.15pm AEDT, Stars vs. Thunder at MCG.

Perth Scorchers are ranked first (22 points)

  • 14 games played | 11 wins | 3 losses | 1.205 NRR
  • Perth has been declared the BBL|12 champions

And as such will host two finals, beginning with the Qualifier final on Saturday night against the second-placed Sixers. If they win, they will be the hosts of the BBL Final on February 4. If they lose, they will host the Challenger final on February 2. Jhye Richardson is anticipated to return from injury for the Qualifier, while Lance Morris will also be available after missing their previous regular season encounter due to sickness. They will, however, be without Ashton Agar, who has been summoned into camp ahead of the Australian Test squad’s upcoming trip to India.

Also Read: BBL: Super Smith stars again as Sixers topple Canes in Big Bash 2023, Match 53

Sydney Sixers are ranked second (21 points)

  • 14 games played | 10 wins | 3 losses | 1 tie | NRR: 0.846

The Sixers finished the regular season one point behind Perth with a victory against the Hurricanes in Hobart on Monday night. It means they’ll go west for the Qualifier final on Saturday night, encouraged by the news that red-hot Australian Test player Steve Smith will be available. Nathan Lyon has also been allowed to play, although the off-spinner has been dealing with a slight knee injury in preparation for the India Test visit.

Todd Murphy, who will spend the weekend at a spin workshop in Sydney ahead of the India Test visit, will be unavailable for the Sixers. If the Sixers win the Perth Qualifier, they will host the BBL Final at the SCG on February 4, but if they fail, they will host the Challenger final on February 2. In any case, the Sixers will have to figure out how to replace Smith, who will be in India by then after smashing 24 sixes and two hundred in four games to finish the BBL|12 season.

Also Read: BBL, Scorchers hang on to secure Home Final over Renegades in Big Bash 2023, Match 52

Brisbane Heat finished third (13 points)

  • 13 games played | 6 wins | 6 losses | 1 tie | NRR: -0.530
  • Home game: Jan. 25 vs. Hurricanes (UTAS Stadium)

The Brisbane Heat are peaking at the perfect moment, with four victories in a row, and have already earned a position in the finals after the Sixers’ victory against the Hurricanes on Monday. With 13 points already on the board, their lowest possible result is fifth, but they might still finish as high as third. The easiest way to take third place and host the Knockout final is to defeat the Hurricanes in Launceston. Even if they lose to the Hurricanes, victories by the Strikers and Stars in their next two games would still place them third.

If the Renegades defeat the Strikers and the Heat defeat the Hurricanes in BBL12, a win for the Stars in the final game would see Brisbane finish fourth and host the Eliminator final against the Hurricanes, whereas a win for the Thunder would see them finish fourth and host the Eliminator final against the Heat.

Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, and Matt Renshaw of the Heat have been allowed to participate in one or both of the Eliminator and Knockout finals in week one of the finals before heading to India. Mitch Swepson, the Heat’s leg-spinner, will be available if they play the Eliminator final, but will only be available if the Knockout final is held in Sydney since he is needed for the Test squad’s pre-tour spin-oriented training camp in that city over the weekend.

Also Read: BBL: Heat win thriller over Stars by 4 Runs in Big Bash 2023, Match 51

Melbourne Renegades finished fourth (12 points)

  • 13 games played | 6 wins | 7 losses | NRR: -0.083
  • Tonight’s game against the Strikers (Marvel Stadium)

Finals await for the Renegades after three seasons at the bottom of the league, but it might all be for nothing if they do not win tonight’s match against the Adelaide Strikers at Marvel Stadium. If they defeat the Strikers, they secure a place in the finals and a good chance of hosting a home final. If the Hurricanes win the Heat on Wednesday, the Gades will finish third and host the Knockout final at Marvel on January 29, regardless of the outcome of the Stars-Thunder game.

If the Renegades and Heat both win, the Gades and Thunder will be in fourth and fifth place on the ladder, respectively. In this scenario, a Thunder victory against the Stars would put them on 14 points, with Net Run Rate determining who hosts the Eliminatorof BBL12. If the Gades lose against the Strikers, their destiny will be decided by NRR, with both teams tied on 12 points. In this scenario, if the Hurricanes win their last game, they will have 12 points.

With a victory against the Stars, the Thunder would jump into the finals on 14 points, leaving NRR to sort out the teams on 12 points. Peter Handscomb, a member of India’s Test team, will be eligible for the club if they play the Eliminator but will be unavailable for the Knockout final. Handscomb, who has recovered from a hip ailment, has been used sparingly by the Renegades this summer.

Also Read: BBL: Steve Smith hammers back-to-back tons as Sixers smash Thunder in Big Bash 2023, Match 50

Sydney Thunder is ranked fifth (12 points)

  • 13 games played | 6 wins | 7 losses | NRR: -0.813
  • Home game: January 25 vs. Stars (MCG)

The Sydney Thunder have only won one of their previous four games, but the good news is that by playing in the last game of the regular season, they will know precisely what is expected of them before they enter the field. If the Renegades and Heat win their games, the Thunder will be guaranteed a spot in the top five before the first ball is bowled at the MCG on Wednesday evening. However, if one of those teams loses, the Thunder will require a victory to get to the finals, and due to their low NRR, nothing less would suffice.

Incredibly, they have a chance to finish third if both the Strikers and Hurricanes win and then beat the Stars. David Warner has failed to light up the BBL this season, with scores of 19, 0, 26, and 16. He returns to the site of his Test double century this summer on Wednesday, and if the Thunder reach the finals, he will be eligible for either or both of the Eliminator and Knockout finals before heading to India with the Test team.

Also Read: BBL, Brisbane heat won by 12 runs over hurricanes in Big Bash 2023, Match 49

Adelaide Strikers are ranked sixth (10 points)

  • 13 games played | 5 wins | 8 losses | NRR: -0.108
  • Tonight’s game is against the Renegades (Marvel Stadium)

The Adelaide Strikers have a simple equation tonight: win to keep their season alive, or lose to end it. After seeming to be the team to beat in BBL|12 after three convincing victories to start the season, the Strikers went through a mid-season downturn and enter this match on the heels of four consecutive losses. Their most recent victory, though, came against the Renegades. If they defeat the Renegades again tonight, they will be tied on 12 points, with both clubs cautiously awaiting the outcome of the NRR scenario on Wednesday.

Adelaide will be looking for a large margin in their favor to at least pull ahead of the Gades. Adelaide will then bet on the Heat to win, therefore eliminating the Hurricanes from contention. A victory for the Hurricanes would bring them to level with the Gades and Strikers on 12 points, but the Canes have a terrible NRR.

The Thunder also have a low NRR, which means that if Sydney loses against the Stars, the Strikers will stay ahead, but if the Thunder win at the MCG, only the side with the highest NRR among those ending on 12 points will reach the playoffs. If the Strikers advance to the finals, Test players Travis Head and Alex Carey will be available for the Eliminator and Knockout rounds before departing for the India trip.

Also Read: BBL: Scorchers Beat Strikers By 7 Wickets in Big Bash 2023, Match 48

Hobart Hurricanes (7th) (10 points)

  • 13 games played | 5 wins | 8 losses | NRR: -0.373
  • Run home: January 25 vs. Heat (UTAS Stadium)

Despite being widely projected as one of the teams to beat in BBL|12 before the season, it has been an erratic season that will upset Ricky Ponting in his first season as head of the strategy. The Sixers’ setback on Monday night grabbed control of their fate. Of course, a defeat to the red-hot Heat in Launceston means the end of their season. Even if they defeat the Heat, they will still need other outcomes to go their way.

The Hurricanes will be rooting for Adelaide to win narrowly against the Renegades tonight because it provides them with their greatest opportunity. Assuming the Hurricanes defeat Brisbane – which they will need to do to strengthen their NRR – they will be equal on 12 points with the Gades and Strikers. The Thunder, who are currently on 12 points, may overtake them all with a victory against the Stars, meaning that only the Canes, Gades, and Strikers will compete in the finals.

Also Read: BBL: Thunders Won by 8 wickets over Renegades in Big Bash 2023, Match 47

Melbourne Stars are ranked eighth (6 points)

  • 13 games played | 3 wins | 10 losses | NRR: -0.270
  • Homecoming: January 25 vs. Thunder (MCG)

The Melbourne Stars have received yet another wooden spoon. They might still have an influence on the finals, and a victory against Sydney would give their home supporters something to rejoice about. If they succeed, the Thunder will be forced to rely on NRR to determine their destiny in the last five.

Also Read: BBL: Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes by 7 wickets, Aaron Hardie misses century in Big Bash 2023, Match 46


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *