Brisbane Heat conclude their BBL08 campaign at home to the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on Friday night.
The Heat (6-7) need to win to move in to the top four at the expense of the Stars (6-6) and would then need a series of results to go their way to make the finals. The equation is simple for the Stars – win one of their last two games to finish in fourth spot.
Head to Head
Brisbane Heat have had the better of the Melbourne Stars down the years, winning six of the previous nine meetings, but they did lost by five runs when the sides met in the reverse fixture. Prior to that, the Heat had won five in a row. At the Gabba, the record stands at 3-2 in the Heat’s favour.
Heat have won five of the last six matches against the Stars, but did lose this season’s game.
The head have a 3-2 record at The Gabba against the Stars.
Heat have lost four of their last six matches played at this venue, winning just one.
Brendon McCullum’s farewell will be top of the agenda in this game for the Heat, who cling on to finals hopes after two wins in a row.
Josh Lalor (17 wickets) has punched above his weight in recent games and should once again be at the forefront of their attack. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (12 wickets) continues to be frugal, but the Heat attack has been as inconsistent as their batting all through the tournament.
Forget the 27-run loss to Perth Scorchers in their last match, the Stars are a team on the up. They have won three games in a row prior to that, but still have work to do to guarantee a spot in the finals.
It is the presence of their consistent all-rounder Marcus Stoinis (361 runs, 14 wickets) that is a huge boost for the Stars. The bowling attack gets a boost with Sandeep Lamichhane (eight wickets) returning to the squad for the remainder of the tournament.
It will be an emotional game for McCullum as he says goodbye to the Gabba. Can the Heat send him off in style and hold onto finals hopes? It is a tough one to call, so stick with the sixes market in this match.
Prediction: Most Sixes – Stars ($2.10 MadBookie)