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Big Bash League: Renegades and Heat battle to face Sixers

The Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat are set to battle it out for the right to play the Sydney Sixers in the BBL12 ‘Challenger’ and be one game away from the final.

The Perth Scorchers have already booked their place in the Big Bash League final after putting the Sixers to the sword on Saturday.

The Sixers do get another chance and are now waiting to see who they will play in the ‘Challenger’, which will take place at the SCG on Thursday 2nd February. They will know by the end of the day with the Renegades and Heat set to go head-to-head at Marvel Stadium.

There is little to separate the Renegades and Heat and it is a game that could go either way. It could come down to who handles the pressure the better. It has been a thrilling BBL12 so far and we could be in for another cracker here. So let’s take a closer look at both teams as we head into the game.

What:Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat
Where:Marvel Stadium
When:19:15 (AEST) Sunday 29th January
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports
Odds:Renegades 1/1, Heat 41/50

Form guide

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.

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He scored 63 against the Strikers and 76 not out off just 35 balls against the Scorchers. Finch is priced at 3/1 to be the Renegades top batsman once again.

Despite finishing fifth, the Brisbane Heat are one of the form teams of the competition after winning five of the last six games. Some may say they got a bit lucky when beating the Sydney Thunder in the first game of finals.

The Heat batted first and posted 5-203 but the Thunder did not get the chance to have a good crack at the chase as the heavens open and the rain poured down. Sydney were on 1-52 when the match was abandoned and the Heat went through via the Duckworth Lewis method.

Usman Khawaja smashed 94 runs off 55 deliveries and is priced at 11/4 to be the Heat’s top run-scorer on Sunday. Their only recent defeat came when they slipped to a two-run loss in a thrilling showdown with the Hobart Hurricanes.

Team news

The Melbourne Renegades have made just one change to the squad that beat the Adelaide Strikers in their last game. Fast bowler Kane Richardson misses out because of family reasons.

Richardson has spent time out of the side while suffering from soreness but did return to play against the Strikers. The 32-year-old has taken 12 wickets so far in BBL12 and his absence will be a big loss to the Renegades. The Renegades have opted against calling up a local replacement and have instead named a 15-man squad.

Renegades: Aaron Finch, Fawad Ahmed, Matt Critchley, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Martin Guptill, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Ruwantha Kellapotha, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Jack Prestwidge, Corey Rocchiccioli, Tom Rogers, Will Sutherland, Jon Wells.

The Brisbane Heat have been handed a huge boost with the news their Australian Test trio of Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Matt Renshaw have been given the all-clear to play. The trio will jet-off to India with the rest of the Australian Test squad on Tuesday but they have been given permission to play against the Renegades.

If they make it through none of them will be available to face the Sixers and that will mean the Heat will have a huge gap to fill. However making it through to the ‘Challenger’ is all that matters for now and the Heat will be delighted to have them in their side.

Labuschagne was also outstanding against the Sydney Thunder with 73 runs, while Renshaw chipped in with 24. Mitchell Swepson does miss out however as he partakes in the ‘spin camp’ before jetting out to India.

Heat: Usman Khawaja, Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Josh Brown, Max Bryant, Sam Hain, Spencer Johnson, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee.

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