BIG BASH SF #2
BRISBANE HEAT v SYDNEY SIXERS
Perth Scorchers have raced past Melbourne Stars to book their home final and now the onus is on the second semi-finalists. Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers have taken contrasting routes to the semis and will look to make it count when it matters at the Gabba on Wednesday, January 25.
Heat – road to the semis
The story of Heat this season has been two-fold – one with Chris Lynn and one without. Lynn was in blazing form and Heat notched four wins out of five matches. But once they lost their talisman to international duty and then to injury, their form dropped to two losses from three games.
Brendon McCullum looked to have regained the form in the final league game while Joe Burns is enjoying a reincarnation of sorts in this format. With the ball, the return of Samuel Badree is a huge bonus for the hosts.
Sixers – road to semis
There’s very little separating the Sixers in the final analysis from the Heat but that doesn’t tell the entire story. They have been consistent in the tournament but the loss of Jason Roy and Sam Billings is a big blip. True that Michael Lumb and Colin Munro are able replacements but they haven’t yet fired in the same range.
Daniel Hughes is doing the star turn for the Sixers and in Sean Abbott they have the tournament’s leading wicket-taker. And if you have time to look beyond, check out Ben Dwarshius who isn’t far behind with 12 wickets.
Story of the season
Heat’s three league defeats have come at the Gabba – no wonder they are feeling edgy than happy about the home semi-final. That included a loss to Sixers who become double threatening when they are chasing.
The loss of Lynn is a huge factor too although Heat would like to feel that McCullum is their answer.
It would be an understatement to say that McCullum is the guy to watch out for the hosts. How much can the Kiwi actually balance out the absence of Lynn would determine their chances in this match.
Hughes has proven his mettle already this season and is one of the players to watch for the Sixers. His aggression at the top has already won them a couple of matches and the visitors would be hoping for an encore.
Not much to choose between the two teams but Lynn’s absence keeps raking up and you end up wondering about Heat’s chances. Sixers looks solid without being spectacular and give a better feel ahead of the match. Punt on the Sixers at odds of 2.00.
Abbott has had a great season so far and is a worthy candidate to top the bowling charts. One more effort from him in the semis? Not a bad punt in any angle – back him to be the Sixers’ best bowler at odds of 3.50.
While you are at it, punt on McCullum topping the charts for Heat at odds of 3.25.