BBL|11 finals race to go down to the wire
After a chaotic second half of the season, there's just nine games left in KFC BBL|11 and every team is still a chance of playing finals. Here's how your team shapes up with five days to go
14 January 2022, 03:47 PM AEST
With just nine games to go in KFC BBL|11 every team is still a chance of playing finals.
The top four appears locked in, but the order is still to be determined, meaning there's all to play for in the remaining games for the Scorchers, Thunder, Sixers and Hurricanes.
Fifth place – and the last finals spot – is set to got down to the wire and could possibly be decided in the final game of the regular season between the Stars and Hurricanes at the MCG on Wednesday night.
There are just five points separating the Strikers, Stars, Heat and Renegades in the battle for fifth with three of those side to play on the final day of the regular season.
With every team still in the running to take out the BBL|11 title, it sets up an exciting final five days, which includes a triple-header on Wednesday as a chaotic home and away fixture draws to a close.
1st: Perth Scorchers (38 points)
Played 13 | Won 10 | Lost 3 | NRR 0.95
Monday v Heat (Marvel)
Despite being on the road for the entire campaign, the Scorchers look destined to finish top and play off against second for a spot in the decider unless they lose their final game and the Thunder win both with the Bash Boost point. Despite a dismal showing in their last start against Adelaide, they've barely put a foot wrong this year – and that's despite losing the sensational Mitch Marsh and wicketkeeper-batter Josh Inglis as cover for Australia's Ashes squad. They've also had their own COVID problems as well with Colin Munro, who is second on the season's run scorers list, Jason Behrendorff, back-up keeper Cameron Bancroft and Matt Kelly all missing games. In another worry, Ashton Agar missed Friday's game with a shoulder complaint, while Laurie Evans faces scans to determine the extent of an injury to his big toe after a blow while batting kept him off the field in the run chase. Interestingly, their previous two slip ups came against the second-placed Thunder either side of the New Year. They've also beaten the two-time reigning champions the Sixers in both grand final rematches from last season. The depth of their squad and ability to win from anywhere has the Scorchers firmly entrenched as the team to beat in BBL|11 but with COVID hitting their squad and a long time away from home, can they keep it together for the remainder of the season.
2nd: Sydney Thunder (31 points)
Played 12 | Won 8 | Lost 4 | NRR 1.109
Saturday v Sixers (SCG)
Wednesday v Renegades (MCG)
The loss against the Hurricanes on Thursday afternoon hurts as it gives cross-town rivals the Sixers a realistic chance of snatching second spot with a win in the Sydney Smash at the SCG on Saturday night. The loss of the ever-reliable Sam Billings and exciting speedster Saqib Mahmood also hurts their title chances, but the emergence of Jason Sangha and the form of Daniel Sams with the bat has them well placed to go deep in BBL|11. Alex Hales has also finally hit his straps and Nathan McAndrew, Tanveer Sangha, Gurinder Sandhu, Sams and Mohammad Hasnain have been exceptional with the ball. Prior to the loss against the Hurricanes, the Thunder had won six games in a row and looked to be cantering towards the top two where they would earn first crack at qualifying for the decider against the Scorchers. If they win their remaining games against the Sixers and Renegades they still will, but if not, they face being leapfrogged by the Sixers.
3rd: Sydney Sixers (27 points)
Played 11 | Won 7 | Lost 3 | NR 1 | NRR 1.01
Saturday v Thunder (SCG)
Monday v Strikers (Adelaide Oval)
Wednesday v Heat (Gabba)
It's been an up and down second half of the year for the two-time reigning champions, but they remain probably the most dangerous side in the competition. Under the leadership of coach Greg Shipperd and captain Moises Henriques the Sixers have developed a winning culture and have proved time and time again they are never out of the contest, as shown against the Heat when Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis put on 59 for the eighth wicket to snatch victory. Two losses against the rampant Scorchers this season will hurt but with the experience of Henriques, Abbott and possibly Steve O'Keefe returning to the side ahead of finals, the Sixers will know they can beat anybody. If they beat cross-town rivals the Thunder on Saturday, they will be in the box seat to snatch second spot and with it first crack at qualifying for the decider against the Scorchers.
4th: Hobart Hurricanes (24 points)
Played 12 | Won 6 | Lost 6 | NRR 0.045
Tuesday v Renegades (Marvel Stadium)
Wednesday v Stars (MCG)
The Hurricanes scored a big win over the Thunder on Thursday afternoon that effectively shored up their BBL|11 finals berth. Skipper Matthew Wade returned to the team after a two-game break and returned to form with 83 not out. With Ben McDermott arguably the player of the tournament so far and their bowling line-up of Riley Meredith, Tom Rogers and Sandeep Lamichhane all firing, the Hurricanes are well placed for an assault on the title. They could avoid a do-or-die match-up against fifth place and finish as high as third with wins in their final two games, but that's only if the Sixers lose at least two of their remaining three.
5th: Adelaide Strikers (20 points)
Played 12 | Won 4 | Lost 8 | NRR 0.078
Saturday v Stars (Adelaide Oval)
Monday v Sixers (Adelaide Oval)
The Strikers have made a huge statement in their past two matches, with a big win over the Heat to jump from last place into finals contention, and then defeated the Scorchers on Friday morning, leaving them in fifth spot with two games to play. But how much will the loss of superstar Rashid Khan hurt them in their push to play finals? The Afghan leg-spinner and the Strikers' leading bowler has left the BBL for national duty and it leaves huge hole in the Strikers attack with the burden likely to fall to captain Peter Siddle and veteran leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed. Fawad's three against his old club Perth showed they have a more than capable replacement in the veteran. If they can beat the Stars tomorrow it will go a long way to securing a finals berth, but having played an extra game than the Heat and Stars they will most likely have to wait until Wednesday to find out.
6th: Melbourne Stars (18 points)
Played 11 | Won 5 | Lost 6 | NRR -0.917
Saturday v Strikers (Adelaide Oval)
Sunday v Heat (MCG)
Wednesday v Hurricanes (MCG)
A win in the second Melbourne derby on Thursday night catapulted them off the bottom and back into the box seat to make finals. A crippling COVID outbreak halfway through the season halted the momentum the Stars had built in their first six games, but their finals destiny is now back in their own hands in their last three games. The equation is simple – beat the Heat and Strikers in the next two games and they are almost certain of claiming fifth spot, a remarkable thought give last week they were sitting on the bottom of the ladder with 13 players in COVID isolation. They've now welcomed back most of their star performers and with T20 World Cup winners Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis in the side, along with the in-from Joe Clarke, the Stars are just as dangerous as any other in team in the competition.
7th: Brisbane Heat: (15 points)
Played 11 | Won 3 | Lost 8 | NRR -0.734
Sunday v Stars (MCG)
Monday v Scorchers (Marvel Stadium)
Wednesday v Sixers (Gabba)
The Heat's push to play finals took a huge blow when they were bamboozled by Rashid's stunning 6-17 at the Gabba on Wednesday night. The loss pushed them out of fifth place and their net run rate also took a big hit. Along with the Melbourne Stars they have been the clubs most affected by COVID outbreaks with 12 players testing positive and missing games throughout the season. They will likely need to win their remaining three games to qualify for fifth and a win against fellow challengers the Stars on Sunday would be huge for their chances. If they do manage to scrape through, with the likes of Chris Lynn, Ben Duckett, Jimmy Peirson and Xavier Bartlett in the line-up, the Heat proved last year that anything is possible.
8th: Melbourne Renegades (15 points)
Played 12 | Won 3 | Lost 8 | NR 1 | NRR -1.72
Tuesday v Hurricanes (Marvel Stadium)
Wednesday v Thunder (MCG)
It's hard to believe it but the Renegades are still a fighting chance of featuring in the BBL finals. They would have to win their remaining games, which will be a tough ask against the Hurricanes and Thunder, while also hoping other results fall their way. If they lose both, they'll most likely finish bottom for the third season in a row. Barring an unlikely finals appearance it's been a season to forget for the 'Gades under new coach David Saker. Batting collapses have plagued their season with the inclusion of Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and new skipper Nic Maddinson midway through the season not enough to help their cause. There will be a lot of hard conversations at Cricket Victoria during the off-season to try and help the Renegades get back on their feet and repeat the glory of BBL|08.