With the final two group-stage matches of the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup to be played on Wednesday, five teams still remain in the running for a top-three finish in what looms as an intriguing day for the tournament.
Western Australia take on New South Wales in a virtual playoff for an elimination final berth while South Australia will look to sneak into the top three in their final group match against Tasmania.
Barring a mammoth double bonus-point victory from the Warriors, Queensland have all but locked in top spot, seeing them progress straight to the final of the tournament, to be held at North Sydney Oval on Sunday (October 23).
Their challenger will be decided two days earlier at Drummoyne Oval, with the second and third ranked teams to play off in an elimination final for the right to play in the decider.
Should two or more teams finish level on points, they’ll be separated by number of wins first and then net-run-rate.
With a thrilling day in store, we’ve detailed what each of the five contenders need to do to keep their tournament hopes alive.
My FootDr Queensland Bulls
The Bulls have been the standout side in this year’s Matador Cup, and their win over the Bushrangers on Tuesday has most likely secured them a final berth.
Queensland recorded victories in each of their first four matches before a hiccup against NSW saw them defeated by four wickets on Friday.
But they bounced back with a commanding win in their final group-stage match and barring WA defeating the Blues with a double bonus point on Wednesday, the Bulls are through to the tournament-decider.
Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers
Despite losing three times this tournament, Victoria sit in second spot thanks to picking up a swag of bonus points in their three victories.
The Bushrangers threw away a chance to leapfrog Queensland into top spot with Tuesday’s loss.
Their destiny is now out of their hands; the winner of the WA-NSW game will overtake them and South Australia could too if they achieve a bonus-point victory over Tasmania.
But the Vics high net run-rate of 1.227 (the next highest is the Bulls’ 0.334) could prove decisive in keeping them inside the top-three.
Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors
Warriors allrounder Ashton Agar kept his side’s Matador Cup hopes alive on Monday, with his brutal 19-ball 47 helping WA reel in the CA XI’s 147 in 13.4 overs on the DLS method in the rain-shortened match.
The victory put WA in third and their match against the Blues is essentially a play-off for an elimination final spot.
WA could pinch top spot if they trounce NSW in the final group-stage game but a double bonus point against the title-holders appears unlikely.
New South Wales Blues
WA’s victory over the CA XI knocked the Blues out of the top three after they’d notched a vital win over Victoria on Sunday, but Moises Henriques’ men can get payback in Wednesday’s huge match against the Warriors.
The equation is simple for the reigning champions – defeat WA and progress to the elimination final, or lose and miss out.
West End Redbacks
The Redbacks’ chances of sneaking into the elimination final remain alive but WA’s win over the CA XI has made it difficult for Jamie Siddons’ men.
Currently in fifth spot, a win over the Tigers in their last group-stage match would put them level on points with the Bushrangers, but their poor net-run-rate – only the winless CA XI has a lower NRR – would likely count in Victoria’s favour.
To scrape through to the top-three, South Australia need to thrash Tasmania with a bonus-point to overtake Victoria and earn the right to play the winner of the WA-NSW match in the elimination final.