Second spot in the table is on the line in the penultimate regular season match at the Big Bash League on Tuesday when the Perth Scorchers play host to the Sydney Sixers in what is a huge game for both teams.
They will head to Optus Stadium knowing fullwell that the winner will get two goes at getting through to the final of the competition should they need them while the loser will be playing knockout cricket from Saturday onwards.
The Perth Scorchers probably haven’t been as strong this season as we are used to them being but the absences of Mitch Marsh and Ashton Turner for the majority of the competition certainly hasn’t helped them. They did become the only team to beat the Brisbane Heat in the regular season last time out though which is important both from a confidence point of view going into this game but also it is the Heat they’ll face in the Qualifier should they win this game.
I think it is fair to say that Perth weren’t at their best in that win over Brisbane but they recovered from 54-4 in the ninth over to post a score in excess of 160 and that was more than enough for their bowlers to defend. I still think if the Scorchers are going to win the tournament they are going to need their top order to come to the party but the one thing we know about Perth is that they have a bowling attack which can get their batters out of trouble.
The Sydney Sixers haven’t really got going this season either. They haven’t been helped by the schedule and the weather which has stopped them getting a flow going but they have won their last two matches and like champion teams generally do they look like they are coming good at the business end of the season. A win here would make life much easier for them in terms of making the playoffs as not only do they get two goes at it but they would host the second of those matches if they need it.
The Sixers are largely in the same boat as the Scorchers in terms of the fact that their batting hasn’t really got going either. They have won their last two matches with a high score of 160 and if they don’t improve on that you would imagine they will come up against a team in better form at some point. As with the Scorchers though, they have a bowling attack that can get their batters out of trouble but they might only be able to do that for so long.
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Andrew Tye replaced Jhye Richardson for the last match and he delivered figures of 4-14 to win the Scorchers the game and the experienced seamer will be called upon to get his side over the line in this one as well.
Steve O’Keefe announced that he will be retiring from the competition at the end of the season but he might be asked to rethink that decision if he keeps bowling like he did in the previous game where he took 3-13 to turn the Sydney derby on its head.
This should be a cracking match with a serious reward for the winner at the end of it but I think based on what we’ve seen this season we should be siding with the bowlers over the batters in this one. I would do that in the run department but each time the Perth Scorchers get themselves in trouble with the bat someone down the order fires and gets them out of trouble so that puts me off a little. Instead I’ll turn to the wickets.
The wicket line for this match comes at 12.5 and that has been covered in three of the four matches here, with the one game it didn’t cover being the first Perth game where they had Ashton Turner in their side and when the Hobart Hurricanes were very light with the ball. I’m not surprised it covers because the bowlers get rewarded fully for their efforts on this ground and we have two of the best bowling attacks in the competition on show here. You can’t say either top order are functioning how they can do I think wickets will fall regularly here. I’ll play the over on that line.
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