BRISBANE Heat defeated Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Tuesday night to become the first team to book a spot in the 2016-17 T20 Big Bash League finals.
That result has seen the Queenslanders firm to $4 in the BBL06 outright betting at Sportsbet, where they share the first line with the Stars and Perth Scorchers.
The most promising sign for the Heat is that they downed the Stars without the suspended Brendon McCullum and the injured Chris Lynn, who will miss the remainder of the campaign with a neck injury.
Mitchell Swepson showed why the Australian selectors named him for the upcoming tour of India, snaring two wickets at a miserly 3.50 runs per over.
With 11 victims in seven games, the young leggy is not a bad shout at $6 odds to chase down Sean Abbott (15 wickets) in Sportsbet’s top Big Bash wicket-taker market.
Brisbane’s joy comes hot on the heels of Adelaide’s sorrow.
The defeat to Melbourne Renegades on Monday ruled the Strikers out of finals contention, yet their season-closing clash with Sydney Thunder on Wednesday night is anything but a dead rubber.
With one team qualified and one eliminated, the last round of league fixtures will see six teams fight over three playoff places in a battle royale with wide-ranging potential outcomes.
BBL06 finals scenarios
Each team has now played seven games and only two points separate second from seventh.
Who needs to do what to seal a spot in the 2016-17 Big Bash finals?
The Heat will secure a home final if they beat Melbourne Renegades on Friday night. However, a loss at the Gabba would open the door for the Scorchers and one of the Sixers and the Stars to knock them out of the top two.
The loss to Brisbane on Tuesday means the Stars could miss out on finals if they lose to the Sixers, but they will be safe no matter what if the Hurricanes, Renegades and Thunder each suffer defeats. Should Perth or Brisbane lose their final games, top two is still on the cards.
A win over the Hurricanes would seal a playoff spot for Perth and put them in the running for a WACA semifinal. A heavy loss, on the other hand, could see them slide out on net run rate if several teams wind up tied on eight points.
With the worst NRR in the comp, the Sixers may need victory to guarantee finals – especially if any of the Renegades, Thunder and Hurricanes pick up wins. If all three of those teams lose, they will already have qualified by the time they face the Stars on Saturday. Top two comes into the equation if the Heat or Scorchers lose.
Only victory will do for the Renegades. Even then, they could miss out on finals if the Thunder and the Hurricanes also win to create a multi-way tie on eight points. As the only one of the three live teams outside the four with a positive NRR, the ‘Gades have the upper hand in that scenario.
Even after starting the season with four straight defeats, the Thunder could make the playoffs if they down the eliminated Strikers on Wednesday. A win should put them through if the Sixers, Renegades and Hurricanes all lose, while a big win could see them eclipse Perth’s NRR – a handy situation in the event of a points tie.
The Hurricanes will be out of the equation if they can’t must a win over the Scorchers. Should they salute by a big margin, they could well progress past Perth and the rest on net run rate. Otherwise, they will have to hope the Sixers, Renegades and Thunder all lose.
Last year’s table-toppers are bound for the wooden spoon this time around, but they could still have a significant impact on the finals race. Victory over the Thunder would knock the Sydneysiders out of contention and give the likes of the Renegades and the Hurricanes a huge boost. If they sign off with a huge win and the others outside the four lose heavily, the Strikers could finish as high as fifth.
Big Bash outright betting markets
The Heat, Scorchers and Stars are locked together on $4 in the BBL06 outright market at Sportsbet, with the Sixers ($7) the only other team under double figures.
The Renegades and Thunder are paired together on $10 apiece, while the Hurricanes are offering massive outsider value at $21 odds.
It’s a four-way battle in the top tournament runscorer betting, although there remains the slimmest chance that Chris Lynn ($13) – still ahead of the pack with 309 runs from his four hits – could salute.
Sean Abbott is the runaway favourite at $1.50 for most wickets, although Mitch Swepson, Mark Steketee, Ben Hilfenhaus, et al will shorten drastically if the Sixers are knocked out this weekend.
BBL06 outright winner
Brisbane Heat, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers – $4
Sydney Sixers – $7
Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder – $10
Hobart Hurricanes – $21
Top Big Bash batsman
Ben Dunk – $4
Michael Klinger, Kevin Pietersen – $4.50
Aaron Finch – $5
Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, Luke Wright – $13
Daniel Hughes – $21
Rob Quiney – $34
Brad Hodge, Tim Paine – $41
George Bailey, Ian Bell – $51
Moises Henriques, Cameron White – $67
Top Big Bash bowler
Sean Abbott – $1.50
Mitch Swepson – $6
Ben Hilfenhaus, Mark Steketee – $8
Sunil Narine – $10
Scott Boland – $11
Andrew Tye – $13
Ben Dwarshuis – $21
Dan Christian, Fawad Ahmed – $34
Mitchell Johnson – $36
Samuel Badree, Stuart Broad, Brad Hogg – $67
Ben Cutting, Chris Green – $101
All prices courtesy of Sportsbet.com.au
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