The final round of the BBL08 season is finally upon us! While the Hurricanes have locked up top spot on the table and a home semifinal with it, the remaining three positions in the finals are still up for grabs! Check out our preview and betting tips for all of the Round 14 games below!
The Brisbane Heat will look to round out a disappointing BBL08 season with a home win on Friday night. Technically, the Heat can still make the top four, but they’ll need to win their Round 14 matchup against the Stars and hope that the Thunder lose their game against the Hurricanes and the Stars lose their 2nd Round 14 matchup against the Sixers on Sunday. It’s definitely not out of the question for the Heat, who have won their last two games against the Scorchers and Strikers respectively.
The Melbourne Stars are in the enviable position of getting to decide their own fate in BLL08. They remain the only team with two games still to play in the regular season, and they currently sit in fourth place with 12 points through 12 games. One win would cement a spot in the top four and it’s unlikely that they can move into third with a pretty ordinary net run rate.
The Heat’s top order failed once again in their last game but were revived by a brilliant 90* from Matt Renshaw to help them get the win over the Strikers. They are a dangerous team at home but the Stars have been fantastic when they have had their key players in the line-up. We think they travel north here and secure their finals berth.
The Strikers have had an extremely disappointing season after winning their first BBL title last year. They currently sit in 7th place on the BBL table and will not be playing finals this year. The batting line-up for the Strikers has been the main concern, with so much riding on Alex CArey and Colin Ingram at the top of the order, the Strikers middle-lower order has been well below par. They posted a defendable total of 176 against the Heat in their last game but were ultimately chased down in just over 18 overs.
The Scorchers sit last on the BBL08 table and have also lost their chances of playing finals this season. The home field advantage that has seen them become the most successful team in BBL history over the first seven installments of the tournament was absent in the Scorchers first season at their new home ground, Perth Stadium, and they have had a revolving door of players coming and going on international duty throughout the season.
The Strikers have been the better team of the two so far this season and have the home field advantage. We have no reason to stray away from that after the performance of the Scorchers in their last few games.
The Sydney Thunder will need to win this game and win big to give themselves any chance at making the top four in BBL08. They currently sit in sixth place on the table, two points behind the fourth placed team as well as a significant difference in net run rate. The Thunder have lost their last two games in a row to the Renegades and Sixers after they were in a comfortable position a few weeks ago.
The Hobart Hurricanes have locked up top spot on the ladder and will be using Saturday night's game as a tune up for the finals starting next weekend. Matthew Wade was once again fanastic in the Canes last game, scoring 58 off just 30 balls to help Hobart to a win over the Renegades.
The Canes won't be taking this game as seriously knowing that they have already locked up top spot, and could even tinker with their batting line-up to give the middle-lower order a bit of a hit before the finals series kicks off. The Thunder have been good at home this season and we like them to get a win here.
Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Sixers (Sunday Feb 10th 2.45pm AEDT)
The Melbourne stars find themselves in a must win clash in the final game of the BBL08 season if they have any hopes of making the top four and playing finals. They currently sit in 6th place, just one point outside the top four, and can leapfrog the Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat with a win on Sunday. A win on Friday night against the Heat would have been enough for the Stars, however, they were convingcingly beaten, with the Heat passing their total of 156 in just 10 overs, losing no wickets in the process.
The Sixers are in the enviable position of having sewn up their finals spot and home final before this match is set to take place. They would have to lose by a massive margin to the Stars on Sunday to slip from 2nd place to 3rd and could try a few different things with the line-up in preparation for the finals series.
Extremely tough match to call here. The Sixers have been one of the form sides in the compeition all year, however, its a must win game for the Stars who have generally been pretty good in clutch situations over the year (despite their glaring lack of a BBL title). Back the Stars to get the job done at the MCG where they have been pretty good this year.
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