A hugely successful fourth edition of Australia’s Big Bash League concludes at the Manuka Oval in Canberra as the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers do battle.
The Scorchers have now reached the final in every season since the tournament’s inception and are favoured for victory.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
The Scorchers are a bowling juggernaut
Over the course of the tournament, Perth, the 8/11 favourites for glory, have honed their ability to defend low scores thanks to a varied, well-balanced and highly-skilled bowling unit.
Andrew Tye, Yasir Arafat and Jason Behrendorff are all tied for second in the competition’s leading wicket-taking stakes, while 43-year-old wrist spinner Brad Hogg boasts an economy rate of under six an over.
Australian ODI international Nathan Coulter-Nile joined them for the semi-final against the Melbourne Stars and was instrumental, taking the wicket of Kevin Pietersen.
Just when you thought the Scorchers’ attack couldn’t gain any more potency, it has.
Sixers hit 150 consistently
Sydney are able to directly oppose their Western Australia opponents’ strength with the ball because of their reliability with the bat.
During the group stage the Sixers regularly compiled totals around the 150 mark (the only time they failed was when they were skittled for 99 by the Scorchers) and they exploded for a mammoth 181-4 in their semi-final.
Jordan Silk, Nic Maddinson and Michael Lumb, all of whom are in the top five runscorers in the competition, are a huge part of that and have received able support from Riki Wessels and Moises Henriques.
If the Sixers are to deny their opponents consecutive Big Bash crowns, at odds of 11/10, this lineup must bat first and launch Perth’s feared bowling unit out of the stadium.
The neutral venue could decide to root for Brett Lee in his last game
Before the Sixers played their semi-final against the Adelaide Strikers the fearsome blonde-haired quick announced he would be bowing out of professional cricket.
That penultimate match, his last on his home ground, brought with it a fantastic atmosphere as the crowd willed on their local hero for a final fling.
The neutral Manuka Oval for the BBL final is only two-and-a-half hours from Sydney, meaning Lee could have another big crowd cheering on his swansong.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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