The Strikers, who opened the BBL|12 seasons with three convincing victories and looked to be the team to beat, suffered a midseason dip and are now one of several teams vying for what appear to be the final three slots in the top five. The top two run scorers in the competition are Matt Short (418) and Chris Lynn (416), but should they make it to the finals, they’ll be without Lynn because he’ll be playing in the UAE’s International League T20 tournament. In the meanwhile, Test players Travis Head and Alex Carey will fill that hole; however, should they advance further in the finals, they won’t be available after they leave for Australia’s Qantas Tour of India. Henry Thornton and Wes Agar have been dynamic players with the ball and were instrumental in the Strikers’ 15-goal annihilation of the Thunder earlier in the season, but they have since faded, and as a result, their team has won just two of its last eight games. The upcoming games against the Sixers and Scorchers make their position even more precarious, and they will need to win at least one of those two in order to have a chance of qualifying for the finals in their final matchup against the Renegades Big Bash League 2023.
Given that they have played one fewer game than all other clubs and have been more consistent throughout BBL|12, the Hurricanes have the upper hand in the playoff race. The narrative of the ‘Canes season has been the development of Paddy Dooley with the ball, with the bulk of other players finding it difficult to consistently have a significant influence. The Canes’ victory over the Thunder on Sunday appeared to get them back on track. A hat-trick from Nathan Ellis and a punishing half-century from Tim David helped them move up to the top five and prepare for the finals. The inclusion of Caleb Jewell at the top of the order has been beneficial. While David has occasionally displayed signs of his destructive inclinations, the left-performance hander has occasionally forced the club’s top run-scorer D’Arcy Short out of their starting XI. The results of their two games against the top two teams will depend on how well they do in their home and away matches against fellow finals contenders Brisbane. They will be aiming to secure both of those victories.