Big picture: Underdogs Heat aim to snap title drought against Sixers
A year ago, Brisbane Heat lost at the death against Perth Scorchers in a pulsating final at the Optus Stadium, prolonging their decade-long BBL title drought.
That painful defeat has lit a fuse under Heat this season. But their bid for redemption goes on the line against Sydney Sixers in Wednesday’s final at the SCG.
Using a similar blueprint to powerhouses Scorchers and Sixers, Heat have built a strong core of local players as they aim to win their second title.
Heat can also end the Scorchers-Sixers stranglehold, with the two teams having combined to win the last four titles and eight overall.
For further confidence, Heat also knocked Sixers out of last season’s Challenger with a tense victory at the SCG.
However, Heat were thumped by 39 runs in the Qualifier, making their showdown against Sixers a tough test.
Sixers will enter the final with supreme confidence having peaked at the right time with four straight victories. The season saw them heavily impacted by rain, including both games against Heat earlier this month.
Josh Brown, Heat’s opener, made history with 140 off 57 balls against Strikers as he produced the third-highest score in BBL history. He is set to play a key role in the final.
Legspinner Mitchell Swepson was left out against Strikers but is almost certain to be recalled given the spin-friendly SCG conditions.
The SCG surface is expected to be slow and low to bring spinners into the game, with scrappy batting often needed on the ground.
Sixers enjoy a 13-6 overall record against Heat. But Heat have won two of the last three at the SCG.
“We still haven’t played a great game of cricket by our standards. It will be amazing if we could do that [in the final].” – Sixers captain Moises Henriques
“A lot of the boys played in last year’s final…being so close and losing hurts. It’s in our minds and carried its weight through the year.” – Heat captain Nathan McSweeney