The second semifinal of the Big Bash League takes place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the second-placed Sydney Sixers hosting the third-placed Perth Scorchers.
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Start time: 08:45 GMT
Live on: Network Ten (Australia), Sky Sports 2 (UK), Star Sports 2 (Asia)
Weather: According to AccuWeather, it promises to be a cloudy and breezy day in Sydney with a chance of a shower. Temperatures will reach 24 degrees Celsius during the day, so it should be a pleasant night for cricket.
The Big Bash League is coming to its conclusion, with the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers facing each other the day after the first semifinal between the Melbourne Stars and the Hobart Hurricanes.
This game sees the teams that finished second and third in the points table face off, having both enjoyed very successful league seasons despite finishing well behind the unbeaten Stars.
The Sixers lost just twice, once to the Stars but also once against the Scorchers in a game played at the SCG on Jan. 10.
In response, the Sixers also made 153, led by captain Steven Smith with 65, but could not get that crucial extra run.
The game went down to a One-Over Eliminator—the first in BBL history— and the Scorchers were indebted to Yasir Arafat, who took two wickets for just one run bowling first.
In reply, Adam Voges hit his first ball for four to hand Perth the win in the tightest possible circumstances.
Perth lost three of their games, to the Brisbane Heat, the Adelaide Strikers and the Melbourne Stars, but have a very experienced squad at their disposal that includes a number of international players.
These two teams are incredibly well matched, and if their previous BBL encounter this season is anything to go by, this should be an enthralling game.
Sydney Sixers (from): Steven Smith (capt.), Sean Abbott, Ravi Bopara, Trent Copeland, Mark Cosgrove, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Josh Lalor, Brett Lee, Michael Lumb, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Marcus North, Steve O’Keefe, Daniel Smith, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremlett.
Perth Scorchers (from): Simon Katich (capt.), Ashton Agar, Tim Armstrong, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ryan Duffield, Brad Hogg, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Craig Simmons, Alfonso Thomas, Tom Triffitt, Ashton Turner, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman.
One of the top wicket-takers in the BBL this year, Josh Hazlewood was rewarded for his form with two appearances for Australia’s Twenty20 side against England and impressed.
He will be looking to carry the momentum from those games into this semifinal, and he should be crucial for the Sixers’ bowling effort.
Proof that age is just a number, the 38-year-old Simon Katich has scored 282 runs in the BBL this year and plays a critical role.
Also captain of the Scorchers, Katich is the lynchpin of their middle order and if he hits form, Perth will be hopeful of reaching their third final.