The finals for BBL|12 have almost been set with just one more match on Wednesday night to determine the five remaining teams.
The sixth-placed Sydney Thunder now need to beat the Melbourne Stars at the MCG (7.15pm AEDT), to make the finals after a dramatic result earlier in the day.
Brisbane Heat appeared to be cruising to a win over the Hobart Hurricanes that would’ve knocked out the latter, until a late capitulation changed everything.
Needing 19 runs from 24 balls with six wickets in hand, the Heat somehow lost by two runs to see the Hurricanes climb up to fifth.
A Thunder win will now see the Western Sydney outfit knockout the Hurricanes again, and climb into fourth behind the Melbourne Renegades, who is set to finish third on NRR. A loss will end the Thunder’s season.
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Nonetheless, the Heat still had a remarkable run to the finals despite Wednesday’s implosion. Having only won two of their first nine matches, they won four in a row to make the post-season.
Conversely, the Adelaide Strikers started the season with three straight wins, and then only claimed two more in their next 11 matches, including five-consecutive losses to close out the regular season.
Elsewhere, it’s been tightly run with only two points separating the third-placed Renegades and the Sydney Thunder in sixth.
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The outliers this season were the Scorchers and Sixers — who are head-and-shoulders favourites to win the title — while the Melbourne Stars have been rooted to the bottom on six points.
Starting on Friday with The Eliminator, the finals series will consist of five matches, culminating in the final on February 4.
The final will be hosted by either the Perth Scorchers or Sydney Sixers, who will fight for the honour in The Qualifer on Saturday.
The three other teams to reach the final get no second chances and will be fighting to stay alive.
BBL|12 FINALS FIXTURES
Friday January 27, The Eliminator: TBA vs TBA
Saturday January 28, The Qualifier: Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers
Sunday January 29, The Knockout: Melbourne Renegades vs winner of the Eliminator
Thursday February 2, The Challenger: Loser of The Qualifier vs winner of The Knockout
Saturday February 4, The Final: Winner of The Qualifier vs winner of The Challenger