T/20 BBL - Stars Shining Ahead of Scorching Semi While Strikers Set to Sink Sixers
January 22, 2015
4 teams, 3 finals but only 1 champion! The fourth edition of the Big Bash League has been a superb summer of Cricketing fun but now it’s time for the finals and time to get serious. The Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers are all vying for the trophy as the curtains close on another entertaining season. Perth and the Sixers have lifted the silverware before while the other 2 contenders will believe it’s their time to taste success. While claiming the title is the ultimate glory, there’s a massive reward just for making the Grand Final with the top 2 sides earning a spot in the Champions League Twenty20; a tournament featuring the world’s best T20 domestic teams. Adelaide host the Sixers while Melbourne meet Perth in the west, with the 2 victorious then battling to be Big Bash League Winners.
Adelaide after First Title
Adelaide opened Big Bash League Season Four with a dominant victory over the Stars as the pre-tournament favourites were put in their place. The Strikers 8 wicket triumph was due mainly to wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman’s ridiculous 92 off 44 balls. 4 successive wins to begin their campaign had the Strikers sitting pretty before the Scorchers evened the ledger with Adelaide after the Strikers won their round 2 meeting. It was the South Australian’s only loss as they finished with 2 more victories, including one over Semi Final opponents the Sixers in their penultimate game. All-rounder Johan Botha was man of the match in Sydney after making 40 with the bat and taking 2 wickets, as the away side secured a comfortable 23 run win. Ludeman also contributed against Sydney, hitting 31 off 15 balls and the men in magenta know they’ll need to stop the inform batsman. He’s been one of the tournament’s best bats racking up 238 runs so far at an average of 34 and strike rate of 143.
Silky Sixers to Send Binga off in Style?
Jordan Silk has been the Sixers chief destroyer with the bat. He’s nailed 266 runs from 7 innings at an average of almost 89. 69 of those runs came in his side’s last match against rivals Thunder. Silk was awarded man of the match honours thanks to incredible catch in the field and a final ball boundary to win the game. He’s certainly a man in form heading into the finals. Brett Lee’s been Sydney’s leading wicket taker with 9 from 8 matches and he’d love a fairytale finish after announcing his retirement from all forms of the game. Sydney’s dramatic win in their final match saw them finish the regular season fourth with 5 wins.
Perth Scorching Yet Again
Reigning Champions Perth could just be the first team to win back to back Big Bash Leagues. In veteran Michael Klinger they’ve got the competition’s highest run scorer. The opener hit a ton against the Melbourne Renegades and has clocked nearly 300 runs at an average of over 40. The Scorchers also have the tied leading wicket taker with Jason Behrendorff on 13 scalps. He’s been well supported by Yasir Arafat who’s one behind on 12 while Andrew Tye’s taken 10 wickets. Perth’s all round team performances helped them finish second and earn the right to host a semi despite losing their last match against Sunday’s opponents.
Stars Aligning for Melbourne
Melbourne may hold a psychological advantage over Perth after their dramatic win just a few nights ago. In one of, if not the game of the tournament, Peter Handscomb hit a 6 on the third ball of the final over to help the Stars chase down 179. The 23 year old’s unbeaten century means he’s yet to be dismissed in 7 innings. It wasn’t the first nail-biting victory for the Stars. They required a Super Over to earn the Points against the Sixers after that match ended in a Tie. Still they’re the league’s form team having won 5 straight games after losing their opening 3. The hype surrounding Kevin Pietersen hasn’t bothered the former England star; he’s hit 3 fifties so far on his way to notching up 262 runs. While fast bowler John Hasting has done the business with the ball. He’s the other man at the top of the leading wicket taker board, also on 13.