Brisbane Heat, Perth Scorchers secure home advantage in knock-out stage
As the group stages in the Big Bash League have come to the conclusion, we saw some dramatic turnarounds in the fourth week of the tournament which decided the top four teams to feature in the semi-finals.
Brisbane Heat, Perth Scorchers enjoy home advantage
The 28th match of the tournament between Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars had significant impact despite both teams had already qualified for the knock-out stage. Having entered the game with eight points each, a win would have guaranteed them a home semi-final and despite without Bredon McCullum in the line-up, it was Brisbane Heat, who came up with a good all-round performance to first restrict Stars to 138 and then chased it down with seven wickets in hand.
With one semi-final already grabbed by Brisbane Heat, five other teams were fighting for the remaining three spots and we saw a special bowling performance from Perth Scorchers in the 31st game against Hobart Hurricanes, where they reduced them to 134 for six in the 20 overs and reached the target in just 13.5 overs to secure the pole position in the table and more importantly a semi-final at WACA.
Sydney Sixers make dramatic chase to make it to top four
Sixers came to their final league game against Melbourne Stars with a must-win situation. After a brilliant final five overs, Sixers restricted Stars to 156 despite they were 130 for two at one stage. In the chase they looked down and out, until the death overs which was dominated by Johan Botha and Sean Abott after they put on 59 runs from just 28 deliveries to put Sixers on course of a win and also a semi-final spot. Despite, losing the game, Stars also made it to the semi-final.
Renegades unlucky to miss out on semi-finals
The most unfortunate team to miss out on the boat to the semi-finals were Melbourne Renegades. They were in contention with three last ball results, which saw them win two of it to keep them in race for the knock-out. With eight points and a better net-run-rate, they were placed third until the final two games of the stage where Scorchers and Sixers won their respective encounters to push Renegades down.
Match Turning performance of the week
Sean Abbott: He came to bat down at number eight when Sixers needed 60 runs from final 34 deliveries. He responded with an unbeaten 33-run knock which came off just 17 deliveries and had three boundaries and two sixes included in it to help his team win the game with three wickets in hand. He also picked a wicket earlier in the game.
Best Batting Performance of the week
Michael Harris: Harris scored 85 runs off 53 deliveries in the 27th game for the Renegades against Adelaide Strikers. His knock came off just 53 deliveries and had six boundaries and four sixes in it. The Renegades went on to post 171 for nine in an innings where the second highest score was just 26, speaking the importance of Harris' knock. The Renegades managed to sneak past the Strikers by just six runs.
Bowling Performance of the week
Ish Sodhi: Hard to look beyond the New Zealand leg-spinner. He bowled the best figures for an Adelaide Strikers bowler as he ended up with figures of 11 for six in 3.3 overs to dismiss Sydney Thunder for 101 in a chase of 179 runs.
© Cricket World 2017