Adelaide Strikers enter the BBL playoffs with an impressive four-match winning streak or a longer run of five wins in their last six.
What’s even more impressive is that they beat both the top two sides recently, including Sydney Sixers whom they downed comfortably in their last fixture.
There is more good news for the Strikers as their Ashes duo Travis Head and wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey have rejoined them and are available for selection. Matthew Renshaw’s recent return and the discovery of England’s Ian Cockbain means coach Jason Gillespie may even have a bit of a selection dilemma, although he would rather have one than not.
With Carey set to take his spot behind the wickets, Harry Nielsen is likely to make way as admitted by captain Peter Siddle this week. It remains a mystery who would be sacrificed for Head. Whoever it is, it won’t be Cockbain, according to Siddle.
Hobart Hurricanes head into the playoffs on the back of a big defeat to a side that did not even make the playoffs.
Granted that their progress to the BBL finals was already sealed but there was still no excuse for the Hurricanes to allow a Glenn Maxwell-inspired Melbourne Stars to amass the highest score in BBL history.
The gargantuan total of 273 was 41 more than the now second total on the list.
In return, the Hurricanes seemed least bothered, finishing with 167 for 6 as they knew they were not going to get anywhere near the total.
A normal defeat in a dead rubber would not have mattered much but a massive one such as this before an elimination game could damage their confidence significantly.