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Heat host Sixers with spot in BBL final on line

Tue, Jan 24, 2:54pm by Senior Writer

Preview: Big Bash League Semi-Final – Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers

Date and Time: Wednesday January 25, 7:45pm AEDT

Venue: Gabba, Brisbane

TV: Channel Ten

It’s been a rollercoaster BBL06 for Brisbane Heat but they find themselves with a home semi-final and an excellent opportunity to win their second title should things fall their way over the next five days.

The Heat began the season with three wins and with Chris Lynn in remarkable form, but ended the season without Lynn, and losing three of their last five. Even then, it was enough for them to take second spot.

They go into this match as slight favourites at $1.85, with the Sixers, who got into the semis thanks to a last round win over the Melbourne Stars, at $1.95.

These two teams met at this venue just three weeks ago, with the Sixers chasing down a big target of 186 with two balls to spare thanks to a six from Sean Abbott. Sixers opener Daniel Hughes won man of the match honours thanks to an excellent 85, while Abbott’s efforts with the ball saw him claim 3-38.

In fact, Abbott has been the dominant bowler of the entire BBL when it comes to wickets. His eight matches have seen him take 16 wickets at a reasonable economy rate of 8.33. He has had plenty of support from Ben Dwarshuis, who took 12 wickets in the eight group games, including 3-25 in that crucial final match.

It’s no surprise then that Abbott ($3.75) and Dwarshuis ($4.50) are favoured to take most wickets for the Sixers here.

However, they confront the highest scoring team in the finals in Brisbane, who averaged over 170 per match. While Lynn has not been available for the second half on the competition, skipper Brendon McCullum has stepped up with 277 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 171. In his most recent knock, he brought up his 50 off just 18 balls before finishing with 64 off 40.

He is $2.80 to top score for the Heat and that price reflects both the form that he is in and the support he doesn’t have. Sam Heazlett looked good for his 12-ball 28 in that most recent match and is $5 second pick with opener Jimmy Pierson at $5.50 despite being in a bit of a rut.

But the Heat fell away dramatically late in that game, which ended with Mitch Swepson run out off a wide.

Thankfully, Swepson’s efforts with the ball have been a lot better. He has earned a trip to India with the national side thanks to a series which has yielded 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.46. He is $3.75 to claim the most wickets, the same price as fellow spinner Sammy Badree, who has not played since injuring his hamstring earlier in the series. Mark Steketee, the Heat’s leading wicket takter with 13, is $4.

The Sixers have just one batsmen in the top 19 runscorers for the series, Hughes, who has batted well at the top of the order to compile 250 runs in just six matches. The rest of the Sixers’ top order haven’t been great or consistent and that presents them with a challenge given the Heat’s relative firepower in that department. Unsurprisingly, Hughes is $3.75 top pick for Sixers’ hi-bat.

This promises to be a real clash of styles with the Sixers conceding 130 fewer runs than Heat across the eight matches, but scoring 209 fewer. Abbott is crucial and he has to get wickets early if the visitors are a hope of stemming the flow of runs, particularly from McCullum.

The concern for me is the Sixers’ lack of batting depth. Regardless if they bat first or chase, they don’t seem to be capable of trouble the Heat in terms of the speed in which they score their runs. With that in mind, the Heat at the $1.85 head to head is the one to be on.

Suggested Bet: Back the Heat to win at $1.85

Sportsbet Match Market

Match 

Brisbane Heat $1.85

Sydney Sixers $1.95

Top Heat Runscorer 

Brendon McCullum $2.88

Sam Heazlett $5

Jimmy Peirson $5.50

Alex Ross $6

Alex Doolan $7

Joe Burns $8

Marnus Labuschagne $12

Ben Cutting $15

Others: $36 or longer

Top Sixers Runscorer 

Daniel Hughes $3.75

Michael Lumb $4.50

Colin Munro $5

Nic Maddinson $5

Moises Henriques $5.50

Brad Haddin $8

Ryan Carters $9

Jordan Silk $9

Others: $18 or Longer

Top Heat Wicket Taker 

Mitch Swepson $3.75

Samuel Badree $3.75

Mark Steketee $4

Ben Cutting $4.50

Josh Lalor $5

Jack Wildermuth $5.50

Marnus Labuschagne $9

Joe Burns $13

Top Sixers Wicket Taker 

Sean Abbott $3.75

Nathan Lyon $4.50

Ben Dwarshuis $4.50

Jackson Bird $5

Doug Bollinger $5

Johan Botha $5

Joe Mennie $5.50

William Somerville $5.50

Henry Thornton $6

Moises Henriques $8


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