BBL Finals race: Fates hanging on the Bash Boost point
One team will book their spot in the final five, the loser faces an anxious wait to learn their fate, with the Bash Boost point set to play a defining role in how the BBL|10 playoffs shape up
25 January 2021, 11:43 AM AEST
A single Bash Boost point could make or break the top-five hopes for teams heading into the final round of KFC BBL|10 action.
With just four games to play in the regular season the order of the top five – and hosting rights for the finals – is far from set.
Only two teams are currently guaranteed a spot in the finals – the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers – with the winner of tonight's Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder clash also to be locked in to the top five.
But the losers will face a nervous wait for the results from Tuesday's triple-header of action that features Heat v Scorchers, Renegades v Hurricanes and Stars v Sixers matches.
The introduction of the Bash Boost point – a point awarded to the team that has the higher score at the 10-over mark of their innings – complicates the various scenarios for the top five, and it could yet to prove the difference between making the top five or not, or even who finishes top of the ladder.
With one game left for each club, here's a club-by-club look at how things stand and the various possibilities:
1st: Perth Scorchers (32 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 8 | Lost: 4 | NR: 1 | BB pts: 6 | NRR: 0.949
The run home: Jan 26 v Heat @ Adelaide Oval (12.30pm AEDT, Foxtel & Kayo)
Perth Scorchers are locked in to the top five and will be fired up against the Brisbane Heat to ensure they claim maximum points and give themselves every opportunity to host the Qualifier final on January 30 at Optus Stadium. Their net run rate is far superior to the Sydney Sixers, so even if those teams finish locked at the top of the table, they should remain ahead with NRR being the first tiebreaker.
While a top two finish seems certain, there remains a faint possibility they could finish as low as third. For that to happen, Adelaide must claim maximum points tonight against the Thunder and Perth would have to lose outright to the Brisbane Heat. Even then, it would require a monumental turnaround in NRR to have Perth sweating (although they might consider third a better result than second, given they would host the Knock-Out final on January 31. If the Sydney Thunder win tonight, Bash Boost point or no, Perth and the Sixers are locked into the top two and only the order will be determined on the final day.
2nd: Sydney Sixers (32 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 8 | Lost: 5 | Bash Boost points: 8 | NRR: 0.259
The run home: Jan 26 v Stars @ MCG (7.30pm AEDT, Seven Foxtel & Kayo)
The defending champions have been the team to beat all season but have just stumbled in the last few games, losing both to the Thunder and, last night, to the Hurricanes. A lack of penetration with the new ball is an issue as teams have made fast starts against them, and they will get an answer from Mitchell Starc if he will join them for the BBL Finals in the next 24 hours. Those defeats make Tuesday's regular season finale an absolute blockbuster. The result of tonight's Strikers-Thunder game will make things clearer for the Sixers.
If the Sydney Thunder win tonight, regardless of who takes the Bash Boost point, the Sixers cannot fall from the top two. In either scenario, the Sixers will be hoping the Brisbane Heat can at least take the Bash Boost point off Perth in their clash at the Adelaide Oval in Tuesday's first game. If that happens, and the Sixers claim maximum points against the Stars, they will be top of the ladder and host the Qualifier final (expected to be at Manuka Oval) rather than face at trip west to Optus Stadium.
3rd: Adelaide Strikers (28 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 7 | Lost: 6 | BB pts: 7 | NRR: 0.170
The run home: Today v Thunder @ Adelaide Oval (7.15pm AEDT, Seven, Foxtel & Kayo)
Another outright win for Adelaide tonight in the second of their back-to-back clashes with the Sydney Thunder would guarantee the Strikers a spot in the top five and put them level with the Scorchers and Sixers on 32 points at the top of the table.
But even so, a top-two finish appears remote, with both those teams in action on Tuesday, and boasting superior NRR. Adelaide's best chance of a top two finish in this scenario would be hoping the Melbourne Stars can inflict a heavy defeat on the Sixers tomorrow night.
If the Strikers do take all four points, they can finish no lower than third, which would mean another game at the Adelaide Oval with the Knock-Out final on Sunday evening.
If they win without the Bash Boost point tonight, they must hope Hobart either drop at least a point – or don't win by a large enough margin to overtake them on NRR – against the Renegades tomorrow afternoon to hold onto third spot.
If Adelaide lose the match tonight but do snare the Bash Boost point, they could still finish outside of the top five, but only if the Heat take all four points off the Perth Scorchers, and overtake them on NRR.
But if Adelaide fail to win even the Bash Boost point against the Thunder tonight, they will need results to go their way on Tuesday but could end up finishing as low as seventh on NRR if the Heat, Hurricanes and Stars all have big wins tomorrow.
4th: Sydney Thunder (27 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 7 | Lost: 6 | BB pts: 6 | NRR: 0.931
The run home: Today v Strikers @ Adelaide Oval (7.15pm AEDT, Seven, Foxtel & Kayo)
Win tonight and the Sydney Thunder will lock in a finals spot. But lose and they could finish as low as seventh. This is why collecting the Bash Boost point will be so vital tonight. Should the Thunder lose the match, banking the Bash Boost could well keep them in the top five.
If the Thunder win and take all four points, they only way they could lose third spot is a massive win for Hobart against the Melbourne Renegades that would see the Hurricanes overtake them on NRR.
If the Thunder win tonight without the Bash Boost point, the Hurricanes could overtake them for third with an outright win.
If the Thunder win only the Bash Boost point tonight, they must hope their NRR stays above the Heat, Hurricanes and Stars if they all have wins tomorrow.
If the Thunder don't pick up any points tonight, they could still make the top five – and finish as high as fourth. Such a scenario would require the Scorchers to firstly beat the Heat (regardless of Bash Boost point), then the Rengades and Stars to win their matches but NOT the Bash Boost point, and not overtake the Thunder on NRR.
5th: Hobart Hurricanes (27 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 7 | Lost: 6 | BB pts: 6 | NRR: -0.159
The run home: Jan 26 v Renegades @ MCG (3.50pm AEDT, Seven, Foxtel & Kayo)
The Hurricanes really blew open this top five by toppling the Sixers for an outright win on Sunday evening. A win against the Melbourne Renegades at the MCG tomorrow afternoon will lock them into the finals.
Hobart's could yet finish as high as third, but their negative NRR is likely to count against them.
If there's an outright result in tonight's Strikers-Thunder clash, Hobart can finish no higher than fourth, but if tonight's winner drops the Bash Boost point, Hobart could sneak third on NRR.
But fourth will still see them host the Eliminator final on Friday night.
If Hobart lose against the Renegades, they could still make the five, but they'd need the Thunder and Heat to also lose outright, and the Stars to not win the Bash Boost point, and then overtake all those clubs on run rate.
6th: Brisbane Heat (25 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 6 | Lost: 7 | BB pts: 7 | NRR: -0.334
The run home: Jan 26 v Scorchers @ Adelaide Oval (12.30pm AEDT, Foxtel & Kayo)
The Brisbane Heat have given themselves every opportunity to make the Finals, but even if they can topple the table-topping Perth Scorchers on the final day, they may not make the top five.
Any loss, even with the Bash Boost point, and it's season over for the Heat.
But if they win… well, even then, they'll need some other results to go their way. Let's break it down:
If the Heat win, with the Bash Boost point, they go to 29 points. That will be enough to secure them in the top five if Adelaide OR the Renegades also win their matches, irrespective of the Bash Boost point.
If the Heat win without the Bash Boost point, they need either Adelaide and the Sixers to take maximum points; or if the Thunder snag a Bash Boost point and the Stars win outright, the Heat need to stay ahead of both on NRR, which may prove a bridge too far.
7th: Melbourne Stars (24 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 5 | Lost: 7 | NR: 1 | BB pts: 7 | NRR: 0.171
The run home
Jan 26 v Sixers @ MCG (7.30pm AEDT, Seven, Foxtel & Kayo)
Last year's runner's up have a tough task to even make the top five this summer, but it can be done.
Much like the Brisbane Heat, any loss, regardless of the Bash Boost point, means season over.
If they beat the Sydney Sixers – handing the defending champions a third successive loss in the process – and they do it by claiming the Bash Boost point, they will still need some help to make the top five. Here's how:
If Adelaide take maximum points tonight, and Perth beat the Heat, the Stars will know taking maximum points will see them finish fifth.
If Adelaide win but drop the Bash Boost point, then the Stars need to beat the Thunder's imposing NRR if Hobart win, or hope the Renegades beat Hobart. If Hobart picks up a point, it will come down to NRR between the Stars and Hobart.
If the Thunder take maximum points tonight, and Perth beat the Heat, the Stars will need the Renegades to beat the Hobart and take maximum points of the Sixers to make the top five. If Hobart snare a Bash Boost point against the Gades, the Stars will need to overtake one of Hobart or Adelaide on NRR to make the five.
If the Stars win but do not claim the Bash Boost point the must rely on the Renegades taking maximum points off the Hurricanes, and then being able to beat Hobart on NRR.
8th: Melbourne Renegades (13 points)
Played: 13 | Won: 3 | Lost: 10 | BB pts: 4 | NRR: -1.911
The run home: Jan 26 v Hurricanes @ MCG (3.50pm AEDT, Seven, Foxtel & Kayo)
The only team officially out of the BBL|10 Finals race, the Renegades' will take this season's wooden spoon regardless of results on the final day. But they can still play a spoiler role for the Hobart Hurricanes.
If the Renegades win, Hobart's fate will hinge on other results, and then come down to NRR.
BBL|10 Finals Series (venues tbc, all matches will screen on Channel 7, Fox Cricket & Kayo)
Friday Jan 29: The Eliminator (Fourth v Fifth)
Saturday Jan 30: The Qualifier (First v Second)
Sunday Jan 31: The Knock-Out (Third v Winner of The Eliminator)
Thurs Feb 4: The Challenger (Loser of The Qualifier v Winner of The Knock-Out)
Sat Feb 6: The Final (Winner of The Qualifier v Winner of The Challenger)