The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for a crunch clash between the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers.
History: Played 12: Heat 6 V Scorchers 6
Last meeting: January 1, 2020: Scorchers d Heat by 40 runs at Metricon Stadium
Final Thoughts: The BBL semi-finals race is heating up as the Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat square off for the second time this season.
The 4-3 Heat sit outright third on the BBL ladder, while the 3-4 Scorchers are sixth.
One of the Scorchers’ three victories came against the Heat on the Gold Coast on New Year’s Day. Cameron Bancroft (50 off 42) led the Scorchers to 6/149 and the Heat were never in the hunt. The Heat’s Zahir Khan (2/18) and the Scorchers’ Fawad Ahmed (3/16) were the undisputed stars of a bowler-dominated contest.
The Scorchers have recorded an eight-run home loss to the Hurricanes and a six-wicket away win over the Renegades since then. Liam Livingstone (59 off 39) spearheaded Tuesday’s victory in Geelong as they chased down the target of 176 with an over to spare, while Jhye Richardson (3/22) was also superb.
The Heat have bounced back with consecutive wins over the Hurricanes (31 runs), Thunder (16 runs) and Hurricanes again (5 wickets). Josh Lalor took 3/21 at The Gabba on Thursday, before Ben Cutting (43* off 29) rescued a shaky chase. Joe Burns’ return from Test duties garnered a second-ball duck.
Heat with recent edge
Brisbane have won four of their last six against Perth, including both encounters last season.
The Scorchers could only scratch together 6/135 at home, with Ashton Turner (47 off 30) top-scoring. Chris Lynn (33 off 34) and Cutting (26* off 16) steered the Heat’s wobbly chase to a five-wicket win with 10 balls to spare.
The Heat then downed the Scorchers by six wickets at The Gabba. Lynn (56* off 39) saw the hosts to their target of 129 with 15 balls left.
The home side will be without key all-rounders Ashton Turner and Ashton Agar, who are in India on ODI duty. The Heat’s only absentee is Marnus Labuschagne, who is yet to appear in this BBL campaign.
But the Heat have played four games in the past 10 days. And with the likes of Bancroft, Richardson, Ahmed, Mitch Marsh and Chris Jordan in their line-up, the Scorchers are more than capable of snaring a vital win at home.