Perth and Brisbane will fight out in the challenger game to earn the place in the final of Australia T20 League 2020-21. The winner of this game will face Sydney-S in the final.
Match Timings: Feb 04, 2:10 PM IST
Brisbane surprised everyone and won two playoff games to earn the qualification for the knockout stage. They are just two wins away to win the second title in Australia T20 League. Chris Lynn’s troops defeated Adelaide in the eliminator and edged past Sydney-T in the knockout game to reach here. In both games, Brisbane chased down the target convincingly. In the last knockout game, they restricted Sydney-T on 158, and later, Sam Heazlett played a fine knock of 74 to guide Brisbane home. The chase started with two early blows, and in middle-overs, they also lost Labuschagne, but Peirson joined Heazlett to cross the line.
Brisbane looks dangerous with every game, and they are unbeaten from the last four games. Their all victory came with ease, and after the inclusion of Labuschagne and Swepson, they are the balanced side. Marnus has been a standout performer for Brisbane. He has scored 161 runs at 32.20 and also scalped 10 wickets at an average of 11. Heazlett’s performance has boosted the middle-order, which has been tested earlier. Lynn cannot sit silent, and he may fire in the challenger game. Swepson has delivered a good spin option to control the runs in middle-overs. He has bagged eight wickets so far. The best bowler of the season, Steketee has 24 wickets to his name, and he has been a consistent pacer for Brisbane. Morkel is using his experience with picking 5 wickets in 5 matches. Brisbane now have the match-winners, and they are not dependent on Lynn this time. The collective brilliance can book their place into the second Australia T20 League final.
Meanwhile, Perth were thrashed by the defending champions in the qualifier game, but they got one more chance after securing the second spot in the points table. There was too much drama in the qualifier game when bad umpiring cost them Marsh’s wicket, and Perth finished on 167. Sydney-S chased down this target like a cakewalk, courtesy of 98 from James Vince. From the last ball drama, Turner would move on where one unintentional wide-ball denied Vince a century when the Englishman required two and Sydney needed one to win. The controversy dragged Andrew Tye on social media, and it can affect his performance in this must-win game.
Perth has one win and one loss against Brisbane this season. The top-order is in good form, and the English duo has been consistent. Colin Munro has played some good knocks this season, and his performance would really matter if Perth needs a big score. Munro has aggregated 441 runs at an average of 33.92, and he got four half-centuries so far. Perth’s batting unit is in top form, and its four batsmen scored more than 300 runs this season. Each top and middle-order batsman has scored at least two half-centuries, which is a big positive. Jhye Richardson has marked a huge impact for Perth with the bowl, and he is the leading wicket-taker with 27 wickets. Tye and Jason Behrendorff have added a bit of strength in the pace-attack. Fawad Ahmed has the charge of spin and bagged 12 wickets so far. This challenger game should be a cracking contest, and toss will be important.
Manuka Oval is a decent T20 surface. It offers good assistance to batsmen. As the later match progresses, spin might control the game. Any score above 160 would be a competitive total, and chasing sides will have an advantage.
Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Colin Munro, Josh Inglis (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed
Sam Heazlett, Chris Lynn (c), Joe Denly, Marnus Labuschagne, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Joe Burns, Lewis Gregory, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Ben Laughlin, Morne Morkel
Season so far – M: 14, Runs: 441, Avg: 33.92
Season so far – M: 15, Wickets: 27, Avg: 14.59
Season so far – M: 12, Runs: 441, Avg: 36.33
Season so far – M: 15, Wickets: 24, Avg: 21.21