The two most successful BBL franchises face off in what is set to be an incredible BBL10 final. The Sixers come into the Final after thumping the Scorchers in The Qualifier, whilst the Scorchers beat the Heat by 49 runs in The Challenger to book themselves a spot in the final.
It’s the Scorchers sixth appearance in the BBL final, for the Sixers, it will be their fourth appearance as they look to go back to back. Can the Scorchers knock off the reigning champs at home to claim their fourth BBL title? Or will the men in pink cap off a dominant season with their third title?
The Sixers come into the clash as favourites after dismantling the Scorchers in The Qualifier, however, the Scorchers will be confident against a side they’ve had success against. The Scorchers lead the head to head battle 11-8, including a victory over the Sixers in the BBL04 final. The Scorchers powerful batting unit got back into form, smashing 1/189 off just 18 overs against the Heat on Thursday, and that was without Jason Roy. Liam Livingstone (77 off 39 balls) and Mitch Marsh (49* off 28 balls when the rain hit – don’t talk to me about losing out on the Bison hitting 50 at $8.50) bounced back from poor performances in The Qualifier, to dismantle the Heat bowling attack.
The Scorchers will carry plenty of momentum from their win on Thursday, whilst the Sixers haven’t played since last Saturday which could prove to be an advantage for the Scorchers. It’s also hard to see the Scorchers bowling anywhere near as badly as they did against the Sixers last week, if they can get through Philippe and Vince early it will go a long way towards the Scorchers winning the game. In their victory over the Sixers on the 6th of January, Philippe was dismissed for 5 and Vince was dismissed for 0 as the Scorchers won by 86 runs. Jason Behrendorff was on fire on Thursday as well, taking 2/19 including the prized scalps of Chris Lynn and Joe Denly.
The Sixers haven’t played at the SCG this season so the home ground advantage won’t be much of a factor in this one, in fact, the likely slower pitch won’t suit the likes of Philippe, Vince and Christian. As the top side and at home, the Sixers will be under plenty of pressure as the favourites, which will suit the Scorchers nicely. The Scorchers have a fearless batting lineup that can take away the game from the Sixers within a few overs, paired with an experienced bowling attack that has gotten the job done on the big stage. The continuity of playing on Thursday will also be a big advantage for the Scorchers.
Philippe was named player of the tournament during the week, after scoring 499 runs at a strike rate of 150. Philippe has scores of 45, 84, and 81 not out in his past five matches against the Scorchers. Philippe’s aggressive nature at the top of the order will be crucial in a final where most players tend to stay in their shell. Philippe has torched the Scorchers twice this season and his battle with Jhye Richardson looks to be crucial after Philippe took the league’s leading wicket-taker to the cleaners en route to a big Sixers win in The Qualifier.
Despite being just 23 years old, Philippe is no stranger to the big stage. Philippe was the player of the final last season, after making 52 off just 29 balls to lead the Sixers to their second title. With a strong record against the Scorchers and another opportunity to shine on the big stage, expect a big score from the BBL10 player of the tournament.
With limited opportunity at number five, Mitchell Marsh has put together a very solid season. Scoring 304 runs at an average of 43, with a strike rate of 149. Marsh is hitting form at the right time of the season, with scores of 54 not out off 26 deliveries and 49 not out off 28 deliveries in his last three games. Marsh scored 57 not out off just 27 balls in the Scorchers victory over Sixers on January 6th.
Marsh has been an excellent performer in BBL Finals, with scores of 77 off 57 vs the Sixers in the BBL01 final, and 37 off 12 against the Hurricanes in the BBL03 final. Marsh’s experience will be crucial in the high pressure situations that the Final will throw up, and his strong performances in past finals will give him a massive confidence boost. If Livingstone and Roy get off to a hot start, expect to see Marsh up the order, like he did on Thursday against the Heat.
Same Game Multi
Leg 1: Scorchers H2H
Leg 2: Livingstone 20+ runs
Leg 3: Scorchers to score more than 160 runs
Leg 4: Philippe 20+ runs