BBL 09: 5-team final series: Explainer and Match Predictions
The five-team final series of The Big Bash League 2019-20 is upon us. There is novelty, there is excitement and there is mild confusion.
Following up on the zing bails and the bat flip, Cricket Australia has now introduced a new system for the knockouts, which is a 5-match knockout series played across two weekends. Five teams - Melbourne Stars, Sydney Sixers, Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder- have qualified for this extravaganza.
While this is cause for excitement, it is also essential to understand the workings of this new system. The names that have been assigned to these knockout games include two new ones. 'The Knockout' and 'The Challenger'. The remaining 'Eliminator', 'Qualifier' and 'Final' are also there as is the case in playoffs as well.
As per this format, the teams finishing 4th and 5th after the regular season will play 'The Eliminator' on January 30 while the teams finishing 1st and 2nd will play 'The Qualifier' on the next day.
The winner of 'The Eliminator' will take on the third-placed team before 'The Knock-Out' on February 1. In 'The Challenger', the loser of 'The Qualifier' will go up against the victor of 'The Knock-Out' on February 6 to have a shot at advancing to 'The Final'.
The Final will be held on February 8 between the winners of 'The Qualifier' and 'The Challenger'.
Points table standing: 1st
Key Batsman: Glenn Maxwell
Key Bowler: Adam Zampa
Predicted playing XI: Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Seb Gotch (wk), Sandeep Lamichhane, Clint Hinchliffe, Dilbar Hussain
Points table standing: 2nd
Key Batsman: Steven Smith
Key Bowler: Sean Abbott (back from injury)
Predicted playing XI: Moises Henriques (c), Steve OKeefe, Steven Smith, Josh Hazlewood, James Vince, Nathan Lyon, Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Josh Philippe (wk)
Points table standing: 3rd
Key Batsman: Alex Carey
Key Bowler: Rashid Khan
Predicted playing XI: Peter Siddle, Michael Neser, Jonathan Wells, Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (wk), Matthew Short, Billy Stanlake, Philip Salt, Rashid Khan, Jake Weatherald , Wes Agar BenchHarry Conway, Liam O Connor
Points table standing: 4th
Key Batsman: Matthew Wade
Key Bowler: Qais Ahmad
Predicted playing XI: George Bailey, Matthew Wade (c), David Miller, James Faulkner, Scott Boland, Clive Rose, Ben McDermott (wk), D Arcy Short, Qais Ahmad, Macalister Wright, Nathan Ellis
Points table standing: 5th
Key Batsman: Alex Hales
Key Bowler: Daniel Sams
Predicted playing XI: Callum Ferguson (c), Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Chris Morris, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Tremain, Alex Ross, Jay Lenton (wk), Arjun Nair, Daniel Sams, Jonathan Cook
Here's a look at the finals series fixtures:
Eliminator: Jan 30 Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Thunder at Blundstone Arena 7AM
Qualifier: Jan 31 Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers at MCG.7AM
Knock-Out: Feb 01 Adelaide Strikers v winner of The Eliminator at Adelaide Oval. 7AM
Challenger: Feb 06 : Loser of The Qualifier v winner of The Knockout, 7:40pm AEDT at MCG or SCG.
Final: Feb 08 Winner of The Qualifier v winner of The Challenger, 7:15pm AEDT at MCG or SCG.
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