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Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades
Brisbane Cricket Ground, January 27, 2018
Match 40 - KFC T20 Big Bash League 2017/2018
|Melbourne Renegades 1st Inn||3/187|
|Brisbane Heat 1st Inn||161 all out|
|Brisbane Heat won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|Melbourne Renegades win by 26 runs|
|Brisbane Heat||Over: 19.5 RR: 7.26|
|Last Wicket:||M.J. Swepson, 2 (b. Bravo) - 10/161|
It’s do or die for the Brisbane Heat in the final game of the BBL07 home-and-away season, with nothing short of a big win over the Melbourne Renegades enough to see them through to an unlikely finals berth. Join The Roar for live scores and analysis from 7:20pm (AEDT).
It’s been a year of ups and downs for the Heat, but with three straight losses since their last victory, over the ladder-leading Perth Scorchers no less, they have fallen from definite title contenders to likely also-rans in BBL07.
Notably, all three of these losses have occurred since talismanic batsman Chris Lynn went down to a calf injury, and with the master blaster clubbing 83 from just 28 balls in a recent practice match, his return for this match could tip the scales in the Heat’s favour.
However, thanks to their poor net run rate – in no small part caused by being bowled out for just 73 against the Sydney Sixers last week – just a win won’t cut it for the Heat. They must win big, or it’s curtains for their tournament.
Much like the Heat, the Melbourne Renegades began their campaign in dominant fashion, with four wins from their first five matches entrenching them in the top four.
But the loss of captain Aaron Finch and leading batsman Cameron White to international duties has proved disastrous for the men in red, with a pair of defeats to the Melbourne Stars and Adelaide Strikers putting their finals spot in jeopardy, before a win over the Sydney Thunder steadied the ship.
Nevertheless, with neither White nor Finch playing once more due to Australian commitments, and veteran batsman Brad Hodge in doubt for the rest of the season with appendicitis, they’re not quite out of the woods just yet – although it would take a seriously disastrous loss to tip them out of the top four.
In front of a home crowd and with the dynamic Lynn back in the team, the Heat should prevail – although whether it will be by enough for them to leapfrog either the Renegades or the Hobart Hurricanes into the top four is another matter entirely.
Heat by 6 wickets or 25 runs
With the Lynn-less Heat top order failing miserably against the Sixers in their most recent match, a familiar face has been named in the squad for this crunch game – former Australian opening batsman Matt Renshaw – but with the team needing to swing for the fences for that finals berth, where he bats or even whether he plays remains to be seen.
Can the Heat make one last stand for BBL07 and triumph by enough to force us to take out our calculators? Or will the Renegades end the discussion with an away win to guarantee themselves place on the table?
Tune into The Roar’s live coverage from 7:20pm (AEDT), and remember to leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.