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Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers the team to beat

Following 56 games of Big Bash League cricket we are finally at the business end with the finals set to get underway on Friday.

Following 56 games of Big Bash League cricket we are finally at the business end with the finals set to get underway on Friday. Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat are the five teams to have made it and they will now slug it out for the BBL12 title. 

It was an exciting climax to the regular season and the make-up of the finals was only decided after the very last game between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder. In the game before the Hobart Hurricanes looked as though they may have done enough to secure a place in the top five following a thrilling two-run win over the Brisbane Heat. 

However they were pushed out as the Thunder beat the Stars by three-wickets, reaching the target set with just seven balls remaining. The excitement and drama now looks set to move up a notch during the finals. 

It has been a long campaign and it is all about peaking at just the right time to take the big prize. So let’s take a closer look at each team’s form heading into the finals.

Perth Scorchers (11/10)

Last year’s champions have been in fine form since day one and once again look to be the team beat. They have been consistently good throughout BBL12 when losing just three games out of 14 in the regular season and look to be in good touch heading into the finals.

The men from the West have won their last three games and confidence will be high. After finishing top of the ladder they are guaranteed two home finals. The first of which is against the second-placed Sixers on Saturday evening.

Optus Stadium will be packed and they will take some beating. If the worst was to happen they do get a second bite of the cherry. The Scorchers are the hot fancies to go all the way.

Sydney Sixers (6/4)

If anyone is to stop the Perth Scorchers, the Sixers are the team most likely to do it following another very impressive BBL campaign. They finished just a point behind the Scorchers in the regular season and will be buzzing after winning their last six games on the bounce.

That winning streak included a six-run win over the Scorchers in Sydney and they will be out to do the same again in Perth on Saturday. The Sixers have won their last three games with ease and were very impressive when beating city rivals the Thunder by 125 runs last week.

They are priced at 11/10 to beat the Scorchers on Saturday, with the home side 3/4.

Melbourne Renegades (7/1)

The Renegades finished third on the ladder and although their recent form has been patchy they can take plenty of heart from their last two performances. In the last match of the regular season they beat the Adelaide Strikers by six wickets and in the game before they gave the Perth Scorchers a run for their money.

In both of those games Aaron Finch has really stepped up to the plate and his form will be crucial if the Renegades are to go deep into finals. He scored 63 against the Strikers and 76 not out off just 35 balls against the Scorchers.

The Renegades are now waiting to play the winner of the Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat in the ‘knock-out’, a game that will be played on home soil.

Sydney Thunder (16/1)

The Thunder have been inconsistent throughout the campaign when winning seven and losing seven of their 14 games. They had a purple patch in the middle of the campaign when they won four on the bounce but since then have been hit and miss.

The men in green needed a three-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars in the very last game of the regular season to book their place in finals and they can take plenty of heart from that performance.

Next up is the elimination showdown against the Brisbane Heat on Friday night. The Thunder are priced at 17/20 to win, while the Heat can be backed at 97/100.

Brisbane Heat (18/1)

Despite finishing fifth, the Brisbane Heat are one of the form teams of the competition after winning four of the last five games. The only defeat came on Tuesday when they slipped a two-run loss in a thrilling showdown with the Hobart Hurricanes.

Two of the wins were narrow ones over the Melbourne Stars but they have shown they can get the job done when the pressure is on at the death. They may have to do the same against the Thunder on Friday.

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