It will be the Hobart Hurricanes taking on the Brisbane Heat in the last league game at the Big Bash League 2012-13 at the Bellerive Oval on Saturday with the winner going through to the semi-finals.
We’ll bring you the live scores of the action throughout this game, with the match starting at 7pm AEDT.
Three semi-finalists have already been decided in this season’s Big Bash League and the final spot will decided by this game.
Currently the Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes have eight points (with NRRs of -0.162 and -0.287) while Brisbane Heat are on six points and an NRR of 0.129.
This implies a couple of things. Irrespective of the result of this game, the Strikers are going to be overtaken by one of these two teams, meaning that they are already out of the competition.
Secondly, a win for Brisbane Heat will be enough to take them through to the semi-finals, given their positive net run-rate while a rained-off game or a Hobart victory will see them through to the last-four stage.
The last time Hobart and Brisbane played was earlier in this season and it was a high-scoring contest that the Hurricanes won with eight wickets and an over to spare.
After allowing the Heat to pile up 172, each of Hobart’s Tim Paine, Jonathon Wells, Travis Birt and Owais Shah got starts and led them to an easy win.
Since then, while Birt and Shah’s batting has fallen away, Paine has gone from strength to strength while Ricky Ponting’s retirement from international cricket has added an extra pillar in the top-order.
Ponting’s already slammed a couple of half-centuries and has one of the better strike-rates in the team.
Ben Laughlin’s 13 wickets this season takes him joint-top of the wicket-taking list and with Lasith Malinga not expected to return, the Hurricanes bowler could easily surpass him today. Hurricanes will miss Xavier Doherty, who is away with his national commitments.
The Heat haven’t been able to string together a decent length of good performances and enter the game on the back of a crushing loss at the hands of the Sixers.
Their batting has relied heavily on Luke Pomersbach but more vitally, have lacked in partnerships at crucial times. Thisara Perera’s absence at the end of the order takes away the edge to their back-order acceleration.
Their best bowler in the competition Ben Cutting has only eight wickets but will miss this game after being selected in the Australian squad which puts the onus on Daniel Christian to deliver.
Christian’s seven scalps this season has seen five of them come in a single game and he will hope to provide more incision than otherwise.
The Hurricanes enter the game after they had a three-match winning streak halted by the Adelaide Strikers but a break of six days since then would have given them a chance to reflect on what is expected out of them.
The Heat also had a couple of victories before they went down to the Sixers and will look to overturn that result.
We will bring you the live coverage throughout the game from the Bellerive Oval in Hobart and hope to receive your opinions as the action unfolds.