Last time they met
The Strikers have performed strongly against the Heat in KFC BBL|10, claiming victories in both clashes this season. On 21 January, Adelaide rode a remarkable innings from Alex Carey (101 from 62) to defeat Brisbane by 82 runs at Adelaide Oval. Wes Agar and Peter Siddle were the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 4/27 and 3/13 respectively. The Strikers also emerged victorious when the two sides faced off at the Gabba, back on 23 December. That night the margin was just two runs, with Danny Briggs, Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle dragging Adelaide across the line.
South Australian champions Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehmann have been in countless battles through the years, but usually they are on the same side. Tomorrow night, the two coaches will face off in a battle that will see one team eliminated while the other lives to fight another day. Gillespie has the head to head advantage as a coach over his long-time teammate, but history will count for nothing once the first ball is bowled at the Gabba. Strikers batsman Ryan Gibson is also in a race against time to prove his fitness, after a hamstring complaint kept him from fielding against Sydney Thunder on Monday night.
Two of the competition’s best bowlers will face off in this fixture, with both Wes Agar and Mark Steketee named in the official BBL|10 Team of the Tournament. For the Strikers, Agar has taken 21 wickets at an average of 20.33, with best bowling figures of 4/27. Steketee has 22 wickets to his name, an average of 21.18 and best figures of 4/33. The contributions of these two pace spearheads will go a long way to deciding this contest.
Striker to watch – Travis Head
The Strikers skipper has only recently returned from international duty and he looks set to fire. A big game player, Head will be desperate to perform on the Finals stage for his side and his performances with the bat in the past week have hinted that the explosive left-hander is ready to launch. Travis has also shown his value with ball in hand since returning, bowling several critical overs for the Strikers.
Danger player – Marnus Labuschagne
Also joining the tournament following the Test series, Labuschagne has already had an impact with bat, ball and in the field for the Heat. With Brisbane’s season on the line against Perth on Tuesday, Marnus scored 46 in quick time before taking three wickets with his leg-spinners to guide his team into the playoffs. He also took two crucial wickets against the Strikers a week ago, sending Travis Head and Jake Weatherald back to the dugout.
Where to watch
Watch live on Channel 7, Fox Cricket and Kayo from 6.45pm ACDT. The winner will progress to 'The Knockout' against Sydney Thunder on Sunday, at Canberra's Manuka Oval.
Adelaide Strikers squad:
Travis Head (c)
Brisbane Heat squad:
Chris Lynn (c)