Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder Big bash Betting on Tuesday 17 January, 2012 at Gabba at 6.30pm.
Game 1 – lost to Sydney Sixers by seven wickets (with eight balls remaining) at SCG (16/12)
Game 2 – lost to Melbourne Stars by eight runs at Gabba (20/12)
Game 3 – lost to Perth Scorchers by 10 runs at WACA (29/12)
Game 4 – lost to Adelaide Strikers by 31 runs at Gabba (3/1)
Game 5 – defeated Hobart Hurricanes by three runs at Gabba (6/1)
Game 6 – defeated Melbourne Renegades by 12 runs at Etihad Stadium (12/1)
v Sydney Thunder at Gabba (17/1)
Game 1 – defeated Melbourne Stars by six wickets (with six balls remaining) at MCG (17/12)
Game 2 – defeated Adelaide Strikers by six wickets (with nine balls remaining) at ANZ Stadium (23/12)
Game 3 – lost to Melbourne Renegades by six runs at ANZ Stadium (30/12)
Game 4 – lost to Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets (with eight balls remaining) at Blundstone Arena (1/1)
Game 5 – lost to Sydney Sixers by 17 runs (under D/L method) at ANZ Stadium (8/1)
Game 6 – lost to Perth Scorchers by nine wickets (with 35 balls remaining) at ANZ Stadium (11/1)
v Brisbane Heat at ‘Gabba (17/1)
In the peak of his career, Matthew Hayden was as about as intimidating as they get. Like a lion jumping on its prey, the burly left-hander would have no mercy and would tear bowling attacks to shreds. The 40-year-old has probably been the Heat’s standout player in a disappointing campaign, scoring 195 runs from his six innings. Hayden’s 76 against the top-of-the-table Hurricanes nearly a fortnight ago was breathtaking and helped his team secure its first victory for the tournament. Hayden will be keen to bow out of the tournament in fine style and prove that he is the best opening batsmen in the competition – not his opposite number Chris Gayle.
Ben Dunk is one of an exciting breed of young Australian cricketers who have a golden opportunity to make a name for themselves in the Big Bash League. The 24-year-old wicketkeeper hit the Australian domestic scene exactly two years ago and impressed early on with the bat. Dunk hit a blistering 70 not out off 40 balls to give Queensland a chance in the 2009-10 Big Bash preliminary final. The attacking left-handed batsman has been in good knick over recent months, which included a wonderful innings of 115 not out against Western Australian in November last year. However Dunk has had a poor BBL campaign to date, scoring just 53 runs from five innings. He will be keen to finish the tournament on a high though, so if he gets to 20 in quick timing, watch out!
1. Andrew Robinson
2. Matthew Hayden
3. Chris Lynn
4. Peter Forrest (C)
5. Dan Christian
6. Roelof van der Merwe
7. Daniel Vettori
8. Michael Neser
9. Chris Hartley (WK)
10. Nathan Hauritz
11. Alister McDermott
1. Chris Gayle
2. Daniel Smith (C)
3. Usman Khawaja
4. Ben Dunk (WK)
5. Jason Floros
6. Sean Abbott
7. Luke Butterworth
8. Tim Armstrong
9. Luke Doran
10. Scott Coyte
11. Trent Copeland
The final round of the Big Bash League kicks off with teams who have had complete opposite form lines over the tournament.
To put it bluntly, Brisbane stuffed up its chances of making the finals when it lost its opening four games of the tournament. However the Heat have looked a like a completely different team over the past two matches, beating the in-form Hurricanes at home and the Renegades in unique conditions under Etihad Stadium’s roof.
A big reason for the Heat’s good form is the inclusion of New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori, considered by many as the best T20 bowler in the world. Vettori may have only taken one wicket in two games, but his experience in the dressing rooms, as well as his handy lower order hitting, has obviously had a major impact on the team.
While the Heat rose in recent matches, the Thunder froze. After winning its first two games, Sydney has dropped its past four consecutive games, with its latest a nine-wicket thumping at the hands of the in-form Scorchers.
The Thunder’s heavy reliance on Chris Gayle has finally become unhealthy, with the left-handers low scores corresponding with his team’s poor scores and consequent losses. Due to the losses of David Warner and Phil Hughes, unfortunately the Thunder do not have many batsmen they can rely on now.
Going on the past two games, the Heat should win this one comfortably at home. They have depth and an impressive list of genuine all-rounders who can do a job with both bat and ball. While the Thunder have, well – not a lot, really. Heat easily.
Brisbane Heat to win ($1.70 – Sportingbet)
Matthew Hayden Heat High Bat ($3.75 – Centrebet)
Daniel Vettori Heat Most Wickets ($4.75 – Centrebet)