Brisbane Heat knocks-out Melbourne Renegades in today’s Eliminator to advance to the Challenger where they will meet Sydney Sixers to secure a spot in the BBL final 2022/23.
Melbourne Renegades 162/5 (20 ov)
Brisbane Heat 164/3 (18.5/20 ov, T:163)
Renegades’ veteran opener Shaun Marsh scored an unbeaten half century (82* in 53 balls); however, the player of the match performance from fast bowler Xavier Bartlett (3/18 in 4 overs), a captain’s knock from Usman Khawaja (59 in 47 balls) and a last second cameo from Matt Renshaw (13 ball 27*) stole the match away from Renegades with an over to spare.
Looking back this year’s journey, Brisbane Heat lost 7 of their initial 9 games, but then manages into the playoffs with the return of Khawaja and Labuschagne from international duty. They have now won two playoff matches in a row where both Khawaja and Labuschagne played key roles; however, both batters will be missed in the Challenger on Thursday. Similarly Sydney Sixers will be without Steve Smith, arguably the most in-form batter in the tournament at the moment.
A serious discussion needs to be had about the scheduling of the BBL, particularly when the playoffs are placed in the calendar, if it means that the marquee Australian stars don’t participate to make the best product possible.
Perth Scorchers have already secured a spot in the finals after beating Sydney Sixers in the yesterday’s Qualifier match.