The Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Sixers go head to head in the second semi-final of the KFC Big Bash this Wednesday.
The second semi-final of BBL06 will see the Brisbane Heat welcome the Sydney Sixers to the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Can Brendon McCullum guide his team to their second final or will the Sixers upset the applecart down at the Gabba? Let’s take a look:
Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Sixers | Wednesday 25 January | The Gabba, Brisbane | 10:25
To Win Match
Heat 8/10 | Tie 35/1 | Sixers 1/1
Had the Heat not made such a good start to the season, they may well have missed out on the play-offs altogether. With Chris Lynn in the side for the first five matches of the season, the Heat looked almost unbeatable.
The side has since started to wobble a bit since his call-up to the national side with the Heat losing two of their three games without their talismanic number three. Daniel Vettori’s men will need to put that behind them now and focus on getting past the Sixers – arguably the weakest team in the last four.
McCullum will need a bit of support from his middle and lower order teammates if the heat are to book their place in the final. He got them off to a magnificent start in their pursuit of the Renegade’s 199 in their last round-robin match, however, with number seven through 11 only adding a single run between them, the Heat would end up losing the match by one run.
I still don’t think there should be a place in the matchday XI for Ben Cutting. He’s proven time and again that he simply can’t keep batsmen quiet. Out of the top 34 wicket-takers in this season’s competition, he has the worst economy rate (10.11). He bowls far too many no-balls and wides, even being pulled out of the attack by the umpires against the Stars following two beamers in one over.
All in all, I think the Heat’s chances rest on the shoulders of McCullum. If he can get them off to another good start, they have every chance of piling on the runs and making life extremely difficult for an average Sixers batting line-up.
The Sixers have it all to do at the Gabba this Wednesday. They’ve not been at their best throughout the tournament but still managed to sneak into the semi-finals by virtue of their third-place finish.
Unlike most of the teams at BBL06, the Sixers have relied on their bowlers to deliver the results. Sean Abbott has been on fire for the Sydney side this season on his way to taking 16 wickets at an average of 15.62. He’s been supported well by the likes of Johan Botha and Ben Dwarshuis, but will need some of the fringe players to step up to the plate.
The Sixers are always going to struggle with the bat. If Daniel Hughes doesn’t get them off to a good start, they don’t stand much of a chance against a gun Heat top order. Hughes and Michael Lumb need to lay the platform at the top of the order for the likes of Moises Henriques, Brad Haddin and Johan Botha to launch from later on.
They’ll need to put in one of their best performances of the season to get past this Heat side. Don’t count them out, though. In Haddin they have one of the wiliest captains in the tournament. He’s more than capable of orchestrating a performance that could see the Sydney side go all the way to the final.
Verdict: Brisbane Heat 8/10
The Heat are in an excellent position to get through to the final. They managed to avoid the Stars and the Scorchers and will be confident in their ability to outscore a very weak Sixers batting line-up. There’s value here at 8/10 – get on!
Value Bet: Daniel Hughes to top score for the Sixers at 3/1
Hughes has been the standout batsman for the Sixers this season, grabbing 250 runs at an average of exactly 50. 3/1 is an excellent price and shouldn’t be missed out on, especially if you’re not happy with the 8/10 you’re getting on the Heat win.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.