Friday’s Twenty20 Big Bash Final match is between Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes. The opening ball is set to commence at 19:45pm with the game to be played at TheFurnace. The home team Perth Scorchers are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes.
When: 19:45 | Friday 07/02/2014
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
Perth Scorchers T20 Squad
Marcus North(w), Ashton Agar,Tim Armstrong, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff,Nathan Coulter-Nile,Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, Ben Edmondson, Herschelle Gibbs, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich,Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Alfonso Thomas, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges, Albie Morkel
If we’re completely honest, the Big Semi Finals have been a bit rough on the nerves. The undefeated and highly fanciedMelbourne Stars couldn’t do it when it mattered the most, against the Hobart Hurricanes in Big Semi 1, and then persistent rain very nearly reduced Craig Simmons’ incredible innings for the Perth Scorchers to nothing, before it finally stopped and allowed the minimum five overs to be bowled.
The finals format, particularly the perceived lack of reward for the teams finishing highest and the topic of reserve days for the Finals matches, has become a major talking point in social, online, and broadcast medium forums over the past few days. They’re all discussions worth having, but they’ll have to be put off for another day. The Big Final is upon us, and the Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes can’t change the way they qualified.
After Simmons’ incredible 112 from 58 balls helped Perth add 126 from their last ten overs to reach 5/193, the Scorchers’held their nerve superbly in defending their Duckworth-Lewis reduced target of 54 from just five overs against a gallantSydney Sixers outfit . Jason Behrendorff got them going with two wickets in the second over, before the fourth over produced a run out and two Pat Cummins wickets. Needing 17 from the last over, Nic Maddinson smashed two fours off Nathan Coulter-Nile before he was also run out, leaving Brett Lee to swing for a six from the last ball. Lee missed, and the Scorchers pulled off their second SCG thriller of the summer.
The Hurricanes, similarly, were undaunted by their opponents’ superior record throughout BBL|03, and bowled sensationally well to keep the Stars to 8/141 in Big Semi Final 1 on Tuesday night. On the back of an off-field distraction and an Eddie McGuire tirade, Tim Paine showed his quality with the bat to lead the Hurricanes chase with a classy 65, and Australian T20 Captain George Bailey closed out the chase with kind of clean hitting that we’ve become accustomed to from him this summer.
Perth have named Shaun Marsh in their 13-man squad for the Final, though admitted earlier this week he’s a “long shot” of being fit. Craig Simmons didn’t field in the Semi in Sydney, but will be right to face the Hobart attack as the Scorchers aim for what they’ve dubbed ‘#ThirdTimeLucky’.
The Hurricanes have had some unexpected change forced upon them, though, with key players Ben Laughlin and Shoaib Malik both ruled out of the Final. Laughlin suffered a quadriceps strain in the first semi, while Malik has been recalled to Pakistan for their domestic T20 competition. Both have been key members of the Hobart bowling attack, and will be heavily missed.
The Big Final probably does comprise some unexpected teams, and it’s certainly being played at an unexpected venue, but both Perth and Hobart richly deserve their place in the decider, and with it the chance to be crowned BBL|03 champions.
Key Battle: Brad Hogg v Cameron Boyce
The old stager against the young bull in a battle of the best wrist-spinners in the BBL. Both have been vital cogs in their respective teams’ bowling attacks; taking the pace off the ball while also being able to attack with the ferocity of the spin they impart on the ball. Hogg’s wrong’un remains a thing of beauty to watch for fans, but of mystery to pick for batsmen, and Boyce’s natural flight and turn is not going unnoticed. As is the case with James Muirhead, it’s great to see another promising young ‘leggie’ arrive on the scene.
Dark Horse: George Bailey
He’s had a couple of rollicking overs against the England quicks this summer, in the Test creams, the One-Day greens, and the T20 blacks, and Bailey’s innings against the Stars on Tuesday night was every bit as devastating. When he came to the wicket to join Paine, the required run rate was more than 7rpo, but over the course of the next seven overs, that was reduced to a comfortable 5rpo. Even when Paine was run out with the win in sight, three Bailey boundaries from four balls in the 18th over erased what slim hopes the Stars had of winning through to their first Big Final.
January 7, 2014 @ the WACA: A useful opening stand from Simon Katich and Shaun Marsh, and then a fifth wicket partnership from Mitch Marsh and Ashton Turner pushed the Scorchers out to 7/153 from their 20 overs.
In reply, the Hurricanes looked well in control courtesy of Shoaib Malik and Owais Shah, and needed 21 from the last three overs when Yasir Arafat came into the attack. Yasir promptly took 2/5 in the 18th over, and Nathan Coulter-Nile followed this up with 2/2 in the 19th over to leave Hobart looking shaky, requiring 14 from the last six balls.
Yasir did the job again in the final over, conceding just seven, and the Hurricanes fell seven runs short of a target they probably should’ve chased comfortably.
Scorchers: Played 5; won 3, lost 2. Best finish: in their third consecutive BBL Final, though beaten in BBL|01 and BBL|02.Hurricanes: Played 2; won 1, lost 1. Best finish: this season: as BBL|03 Finalist.
Scorchers: Simon Katich (c), Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Brad Hogg, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Craig Simmons, Alfonso Thomas, Ashton Turner, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman.
Hurricanes: George Bailey ©, Tim Paine, Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Xavier Doherty, Ben Dunk, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Joe Mennie , Jon Wells.
Facts and Figures
With the 2013/2014 Big Bash League the raging success it was, it’s worth looking at some overall points from the entire BBL|03 tournament.
Of the top five batsmen in BBL|03, it’s the presence of Simon Katich and Michael Hussey among the power hitters in Player of the Tournament Ben Dunk, Renegades and Australian opener Aaron Finch, and England allrounder Luke Wright pricking up the rears. It’s almost a nod to the fact that experience still has a place in what was thought to be a young man’s game.
Of the top scorers, it’s the Craig Simmons and Ben Dunk show, with the two occupying the top four places. Simmons provided the only two centuries of BBL|03, including the fastest in BBL history, coming off just 39 balls against Adelaide. Dunk compiled three 50s on the way to become the leading run-scorer.
Before this season, there had only been two completed innings top the 200 mark in the Big Bash League, and they both came in BBL|01. In BBL|03, there were six scores over 200. Brisbane set a new record of 3/209, only to have Hobart better that with 7/210 in the same match at the ‘Gabba (Game 7). The Melbourne Renegades equalled this mark, making 3/210 against Brisbane just two days later (Game 9).
In the bowling department, young Brisbane quick Cameron Gannon shone through with 18 wickets, including two four-wicket hauls, followed by the crafty Ben Laughlin (Hobart) and the promising Josh Hazlewood (Sydney Sixers), both on 14 wickets.
Gannon’s 4/10 against the Sydney Thunder was the best bowling of BBL|03, followed by Test quick James Pattinson(Renegades), Gannon again, and Yasir Arafat (Scorchers) all claiming 4/24 at different points. Brett Lee and Jackson Birdboth finished with a ‘4fa’, too.
In BBL|03, the average score batting first was 159.2 runs for the loss of 6.5 wickets. Aside from the washout in Round 1, the Melbourne Renegades in Game 23 were the only team batting first not to see out their full 20 overs. Batting second, the average score was 140.4 runs for the loss of 6.3 wickets.
Overall, the team batting first won 19 of the 34 games played thus far, with 14 won by the team batting second, and the aforementioned washout. This is a complete turnaround from BBL|02, where the team bowling first won 22 of the 35 games played.