The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips as Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers square off in the Qualifier.
History: Played 18: Scorchers 11 V Sixers 7
Last meeting: January 16, 2021: Sixers d Scorchers by 7 wickets at Manuka Oval
Final Thoughts: The first BBL|10 Final spot goes on the line as the top-seeded Sydney Sixers and second-placed Perth Scorchers square off at Manuka Oval.
Both teams grabbed a home win over the other during the BBL|10 regular season.
The Scorchers demolished the Sixers by 86 runs in Perth. Mitch Marsh (57* off 27) and Colin Munro (50 off 34) steered the home side to 4/183, before Andrew Tye (4/20) and Jhye Richardson (3/15) combined to skittle the Sixers for just 97.
But the Sixers responded 10 days later in Canberra, beating the Scorchers by seven wickets. Liam Livingstone (67 off 38) guided the visitors to 7/163. But a brilliant 84 off 52 from Josh Philippe and a James Vince half-century saw the visitors home with seven balls to spare.
Contrasting last-day fortunes for heavyweights
The Scorchers won their next three games to surge into the competition lead. But they gave up home-ground advantage for the qualifier via a six-run loss to the Heat in their last regular-season assignment.
Slumping midway through their chase of 182, Mitch Marsh (54* off 26) almost pulled it out of the fire for the Scorchers. Imports Colin Munro (411 runs at 34.25) and Jason Roy (352 at 35.20) led the Scorchers’ regular-season runscoring, while Jhye Richardson (27 wickets) is the BBL’s most potent bowler.
The Sixers lost their subsequent two matches after beating the Scorchers, but they regained the competition lead with a five-wicket victory over the Stars. Superb late hitting from Dan Christian (49* off 23) and Jordan Silk (35* off 25) got the Sixers to their target of 178 with one ball to spare.
Sixers opener Josh Philippe (454 at 32.42) is second in the BBL’s runscoring standings, with Silk (365 at 36.50) his next best teammate. Ben Dwarshuis (19 wickets) and Carlos Braithwaite (15) have been their most potent bowlers. Mitchell Starc’s mooted inclusion for the playoffs now looks unlikely to happen.
The Scorchers are $1.80 favourites, with more top-order batsmen in form and the Richardson’s strike providing a slight edge. Roy, with 54 and 41 in Perth’s last two matches and only two scores of less than 20 this season, shapes as a pivotal figure. Sixers counterpart Philippe, meanwhile, has scored 20 or less in his last three outings and needs to explode.