A COVID-affected season has seen our boys in teal struggle immensely, having been labeled the most overwhelmed team of the competition losing twelve players and head coach in one swift go to the virus. We have lost three games on the bounce so will have to improve to remain competitive and in finals contention.
A taxing loss against the Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday has moved the Heat into seventh place on the ladder, however with three games remaining in the regular season and a fully fit side to return, there is still much to play out.
The Scorchers (38 points), Thunder (31) and Sixers (27) have all but locked themselves into the top three, leaving the Hurricanes (24) to battle it out with the Strikers (24), Stars (18) and the Heat (15) for the final two remaining knockout spots.
Such is the closeness of the competition; the Heat can finish anywhere between fourth and eighth.
A battle between the Sixers and the Thunder will see the Sydney Smash played at the SCG tonight and that result will have no affect on the Heat’s ladder status.
With the Melbourne Renegades out of finals contention completely, the Heat requires a lot to go in their favour in order to move up above fifth on the ladder.
A win over the Stars this morning saw the Strikers move to fourth on 24 points, a shared number with the Hurricanes however the Strikers Net Run Rate (NRR) is just better. This win has seen the tail of the ladder remain untouched.
The Heat will have the opportunity to move into sixth position if they score a four-point victory (a win including the bash boost point) over the Stars this Sunday.
If this was to happen, the club would need a massive four-point win against the ladder-leading Scorchers on Monday.
These games are must-wins as without them, regardless of other results, we will not make finals.
With these two possible wins under our belt, a meeting against the Sydney Sixers at the Gabba on Wednesday could merely require just a bash boost point. This would pending on a Strikers loss against the Sixers on Monday, and a Hurricanes loss against the Renegades on Tuesday. We would also require our NRR to improve - which will be likely if we were to win against the Stars and the Scorchers.
It’s all still a bit confusing, but it should make for a pulsating last week of BBL action! So get yourself to the Gabba on Wednesday!