This is not the preview for the Big Bash Final. No, there is no such thing as the Big Bash Final. According to the Big Bash website it is in fact the Big FINAL.
After a couple of high scoring Big SEMIS rumbled through midweek we are left with a Big FINAL featuring 2nd v 4th from the regular season. It’s a battle of the high temperatures as the Perth Scorchers take on the Brisbane Heat at the Furnace. Incidentally the Furnace sold out in 12 minutes and of the six franchised era Big Bash finals, four of them have been at the Furnace. Amazing.
After coming through a gripping semi final with a last ball victory over the Melbourne Stars the Scorchers have secured their spot at the two week holiday that is the Champions League T20 (well that’s what the Marsh boys thought it was – that or an end of season trip by the sounds of things) The Scorchers will be forced to make one change with Hollywood Gibbs pulling a hammy in the semi.
One thing Perth is flexible with is its batting line up. To predict how it would appear on the night is folly as they shuffle it around to suit the circumstances (read: Katich to bat as low as possible at all times). However with the injury to regular opener Gibbs I think there will be a reprieve for Tom Triffit – the keeper who was dropped to make way for Mike Hussey. Mr Cricket kept in the semi but I expect the gloves to return to little Tommy Triffit who was said to be inconsolable after hearing he was 12th man for the TRUCK final. He hadn’t been so upset since the day Mark Cosgrove ate his ice cream during the tea break of a shield game at Bellerive one day. This is said to be one of the big reasons Triffit left Tassie. Some say he should have toughened up a bit as Cosgrove usually ate everyone’s ice cream in the tea break – each day, of every game.
So I’m going to guess: OUT: Gibbs IN: Triffit with Mike Hussey (what can’t this man do) to take the vacant openers spot. Marcus North is another candidate to open but has been in pretty ordinary form this season. Gibbs will be missed as he’s been one half of the dynamic Scorchers opening partnership but if anyone can replace him Mr Cricket can. I have to admit I was completely wrong about Shaun Marsh. He has bounced back and answered his critics with a terrific BBL season at the top of the order and was dominant in the ROAD TRAIN, I mean Big SEMI.
The rest of the batting order will consist of ‘The Sinker’ aka Captain Katich and The King of Northbridge, Adam Voges. Voges, of course, will be leading the after game rampage through the streets of Perth but if the game doesn’t go as expected for the Scorchers (read: a win) expect to see Voges throw out a few Perth handshakes to any team mates who have underperformed in the Big FINAL. (For those on the east coast or elsewhere a Perth handshake is a glassing) Pressure indeed.
I expect the bowling unit to remain the same. Pace from Nathan Coulter Nile, The Fonz and for variety the left armer Behrendorf plus spin form Hoggy & Beer. All got spanked by White and Hodge during the TRUCK FINAL but I expect them to bounce back and bounce back hard as only the toughest of the tough survive in the FURNACE. Coulter-Nile was said to be extremely hacked off by the late finish to the Big Semi as he’s an early to bed man from way back with his head hitting the pillow no later than 2130 WST. Even when he is playing on the east coast he makes sure he’s made an appointment with the Sandman by 2130 WST. Some say it comes from his boarding school master making him go to bed at 9:30pm when he was in his final years at his elite private school (look at the hyphenated surname – it’s got elite private school written all over it!). Mad.
After Pomersbach-ing the Renegades, Brisbane Heat are rewarded for the mediocrity of their season (4-4) with a position at the multimillion dollar Champions League. Fair? Perhaps not.
Pomersbach has been in fine fettle destroying the Hobart Hurricanes to get the Heat into the finals then in the TRUCK final he turned in the highest score of the season to get the Heat boys over the line. Conversely Pomers opening partner Peter Forrest has had an absolute stinker of a Big Bash making just 91 runs in 9 hits. Fortunately for him he has managed to take 4 catches so has taken home the prestigious “Brown Glove Award” for most catches by an outfielder in a season. It’s a bit like winning the Under 12s fielding award – The ‘Hey you’re not much good at cricket but you can catch, perhaps you should consider taking up keeping’ Award.
Fortunately for the Heat Joe Burns, Chris Lynn and Dan Christian have all chipped in with runs in the middle order over the course of the Bash with Burns being particularly impressive with 205 runs at an average in the forties. All rounder and prolific tweeter Dan Christian hit the twittesphere with his take on the rain effected Scorchers-Stars TRUCK final. He suggested there should be no Duckworth Lewis or reduced overs due to rain in T20. Just keep playing until both teams have faced 20 overs – even come back the next day if necessary . Australian Open night session schedulers would think this was brilliant – matches could be finishing at 4am!! Hopefully this idea could be taken a step further at park cricket level. One team could bat for twenty overs on the first day then everyone packs up and comes back next Saturday for the other team to bat for 20 overs – it works for me.
An injury cloud hangs over Heat skipper, Catfish Hopes, after he was a late withdrawal from the TRUCK final with calf soreness. His batting has been below par but he’s picked up 8 wickets this tournament and offers a lot more than he’s likely replacement, Sabburg. Sabburg’s sole contribution to the TRUCK final was dropping a soda. Some say this drop was caused by him not doing his pregame routine of ironing his team mates playing shirts for them – there were no irons available at Etihad – what a shit stadium! Some say this habit can trace its origins back to Sabbo’s mum who wouldn’t let him go out and play cricket unless he was wearing a crisp, freshly ironed shirt, others say it’s just part of his obsessive compulsive nature – just like how he makes everyone’s coffee cup handles point in the same direction in the change rooms . What is most surprising about this story is that the big tough Heat men, including renowned tough nut Peter Forrest, are latte sippers. Rumours circulate that rather than a Renegades style Big Bash Beards the Heat had a Big Bash Barista Off with a group of 6 players chipping in to buy a coffee maker for the Gabba change rooms and then each home game taking it in turns to brew up their best brew. All was going swimmingly until Nathan Hauritz made 7 coffees after Brisbane lost at home and not wanting the extra coffee to go to waste thought he was doing the right thing by offering the coach a conciliatory cupper. Well Boof Lehamnn was not amused at the offer of a coffee after a hard night’s cricket. In fact he was so pissedd off by the idea of a coffee competition amongst the players that he is said to have made all the players sit down and drink 3 warm VB stubbies each and chat about the game just played and give each other honest and constructive feedback. This is actually true except that he made the latte sipping crew microwave their beers first. Mad bastard that Boof Lehmann. In fact when he discovered the “Coffee Club” Boof was said to be angrier than when he saw Marlon Samuels bowling. Too soon? Probably
Bowling wise the star is fast bowler Ben Cutting with 11 wickets ably supported by paceman Ali McDermott and the two medium pace all rounders: Christain and Hopes. Windies paceman Kemar Roach has been more miss than hit and spinner Nathan Hauritz has flattered to deceive: 9 games for 1 wicket at an average of 157.
Scorchers to win in a super over.