BBL06 - Second Semi Final
MATCH UP STATS
BBL06 - Second Semi Final
Big Bash League formBrisbane Heat: L W L W LSydney Sixers: L W W L W
Top batsman picksBrisbane Heat: Brendon McCullum - $3.25 at William HillSydney Sixers: Moises Henriques - $5.50 at Sportsbet
Top bowler tipsBrisbane Heat: Samuel Badree - $3.75 at SportsbetSydney Sixers: Sean Abbott - $3.75 at Sportsbet
Others have stepped up with the bat, including captain Brendon McCullum – perhaps the most significant of all the big-name inclusions in BBL06.
But much of the credit must go to a plucky bowling attack that was widely considered to be the weakest in the competition.
Mitchell Swepson’s impressive form has earned him a spot on Australia’s Test tour of India, while few seamers have bowled as consistently well as Mark Steketee.
Now the Heat can also call on star Caribbean spinner Samuel Badree, who missed the back half of the league phase with a hamstring injury.
It is too soon for Lynn and his injured neck, but the Brisbane coaching staff are hopeful their big hitter will be available for the final.
That will only come into the equation if the Heat can see off Sydney Sixers on Wednesday.
The SCG side looked in real trouble as Melbourne Stars blasted their way to 0/59 in under six overs.
But they pegged it back, kept the Melburnians to 156 on a good batting wicket and gave themselves a chance.
Then they waded into danger again, losing six wickets for under 100 runs and leaving 60 to get from less than six overs.
But Sean Abbott backed up his excellent bowling returns with a vital batting cameo, smashing 33 off 17 balls to get the Sixers home.
A lack of firepower and form in the top order is Sydney’s weakness, so they often struggle if even one or two of their first five fail.
They do have some handy closers, however, especially in the wily and well travelled Johan Botha.
Yet they are the least fancied of the four finalists, out to $4 for the title in Sportsbet’s Big Bash outright betting.
Brendon McCullum betting specials
How good has this guy been for the Heat?
McCullum’s cool captaincy and signature slogging have turned Brisbane from also-rans into title threats.
He is one of those special players who doesn’t always need to make runs, take wickets, or hold catches to have a huge influence on the field.
That said, the Kiwi star is Brisbane’s best bet to smash a big score and put them in the box seat for a Big Bash final spot.
He has 277 runs at 46.16 in BBL06 thus far and may well have his sights on passing Ben Dunk’s high mark of 364.
Top Heat batsman – $3.25 at William Hill
To score 50 – $3.75 at William Hill
Most sixes – $5 at Bet365
Man of the match – $8 at Bet365
Heat vs. Sixers BBL match tips
Although top of the pops, the Heat aren’t exactly charging into the finals with red hot form.
They have won two of their last five and went down to Melbourne Renegades on Friday after losing three wickets in a chaotic final over.
But they have McCullum, they have some heavy hitting from Alex Ross and Ben Cutting, and they have a maturing Joe Burns doing some very nice work in the middle order.
Badree’s return should lighten the load on Swepson and add another element to Brisbane’s excellent bowling attack.
How can the Sixers get this done?
Abbott is taking wickets for fun this year, while Nathan Lyon was especially good in the MCG win with two victims at under five runs an over.
But that top order remains a worry.
It works when every man hits a solid 20 or 30, but they aren’t putting up enough big individual scores.
It is hard to see them chasing down anything beyond 185, if that’s what is required.
Match result – Brisbane Heat ($1.85 at Sportsbet)
Most Heat runs/wickets – McCullum/Badree ($12 at William Hill)
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