Euro 2020 Special

Big Bash League Final Preview: Perth Scorchers vs Brisbane Heat

The Big Bash League has come alive with a thrilling semi-final last night with Brisbane Heat pulling off a surprising upset win over Sydney Sixers.

A packed Perth stadium now awaits the fifth-place team of the tournament, where they will go on to face four-time champions Perth Scorchers to bring the current Big Bash League season to an end.

The final will take place in the absence of senior players for both sides with the Australian Test team starting their training sessions in India for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Ahead of the highly anticipated final, here’s all you need to know about Saturday’s game between Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat.


Perth Scorchers

Defending champions Perth Scorchers continued their dominance of the league this season, winning 11 of their 14 league games to finish the tournament at the top of the table.

The West Australian side now boasts of the best winning percentage of any domestic T20 franchise across the world with a win percentage of 62.1. Ashton Turner’s men have brushed aside a challenge from Steve Smith’s Sydney Sixers in the play-offs, booking their berth in the final directly.

Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, and Andrew Tye have been the key men for the defending champions this season, with all three players making it to the Team of the Tournament list.

Aaron Hardie had a breakthrough year with the bat, with the 24-year-old all-rounder scoring 443 runs in 14 games at an average of 44.30. Perth’s wicketkeeper Josh Inglis gave tough competition to Aaron Hardie with the bat, scoring 405 runs at an average of 36.82.

The success of both batsmen, along with contributions from Cameron Bancroft, has propelled Perth Scorchers to some of the highest scores in the history of the Big Bash League.

In the bowling department, 36-year-old Andrew Tye has been the star for the West Australian side, consistently picking wickets at crucial junctures and derailing the opponents’ innings.

Andrew Tye has picked up 25 wickets in 15 fixtures so far, bowling with a brilliant economy rate of 8.31 in the shortest-format of the game.

He is joined by Jason Behrendorff – who picked up 19 scalps in 13 games – and Lance Morris – who is touted as Nathan Lyon’s future replacement for Australia in Test cricket.

With Jhye Richardson’s recovery incomplete, Perth Scorchers are unlikely to make any major changes to their playing XI in the final.


Brisbane Heat

Brisbane Heat pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Big Bash League season last night, defeating Sydney Sixers in a low-scoring affair.

After finishing fifth in the table, Brisbane Heat qualified for the playoffs with just a point difference from Hobart Hurricanes. The Queensland-based side then turned around their season in a spectacular fashion, defeating Sydney Thunder, Melbourne Renegades, and Sydney Sixers in the play-offs to book their berth in the final tomorrow.

The form of Brisbane Heat in the play-offs is especially noteworthy as they lost some of their best players ahead of the games with skipper Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw, and Mitch Swepson all leaving the team because of a national call-up.

The trouble in the top-order was clear in yesterday’s game, with Brisbane Heat’s top and middle orders collapsing on the slow track of Sydney. Michael Neser, the top wicket-taker for Brisbane Heat in the tournament, came to their rescue with an unbeaten 48 to propel them to the final.

Brisbane Heat have now won seven of their last eight games and could pull off one of the biggest comeback stories in the history of the Big Bash League if they manage to win the title on Saturday.

The last time Brisbane Heat made it to the finals was a decade ago in 2012 when they won the title for the only time in the team’s history.


Head to Head

Perth Scorchers hold an advantage in the head-to-head statistics between both sides, with the four-time champions winning 13 of the 20 fixtures held so far.

Brisbane Heat prevailed seven times, but have failed to win both their games against the league leaders this season. Encounters between both sides are usually high-scoring affairs, with the scorecard breaching the 150-run mark in the last five games between the two sides.

Brisbane Heat managed to post a high total of 171/9 in their last visit to the Perth Stadium with Colin Munro and Josh Brown setting up the team’s platform for the innings. But a dazzling partnership between Cameron Bancroft and Aaron Hardie gave Perth Scorchers an easy victory.

In the reverse game at Brisbane, Aaron Hardie was once again the nemesis for Usman Khawaja’s side, scoring a half-century alongside Josh Inglis to deliver the victory for the visitors.


What to Expect

Perth Scorchers will be the overwhelming favourites entering into the final on Saturday. But Brisbane Heat created stunning upsets in their last three games in the playoffs, and a similar upset cannot be ruled out in Sydney. Most of the heavy lifting has to be done by the batsmen as the track at Perth offers little assistance to the bowlers.

After experiencing a dip in popularity over the last three years, the Big Bash League has roared back to life this season. Viewership numbers are soaring and packed stadiums have become a regular sight – mostly aided by the thrilling nature of the encounters.

Tickets for the final have already been sold out, and we can expect an exciting finish to the season tomorrow.




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