Key match-ups, analysis, form, team news, weather forecast, tickets, TV and streaming information, odds, predictions and more ahead of the latest encounter in the 2022/23 Big Bash
What’s the match?
Perth Scorchers host Sydney Sixers in the Qualifier in the 2022/23 Big Bash, the 12th edition of the tournament.
When is it taking place?
The game is scheduled to start at 7.15pm local time (8.15am GMT) on Saturday, January 28.
Where is the match being played?
The game will be played in Perth at the Optus Stadium.
Who’s got the form?
A virtual semi-final sees the top two from the regular season and the favourites for the title go head-to-head in Perth.
Defending champions Scorchers finished top of the tree with 11 wins and three defeats from their 14 matches.
Sixers started slowly but soon rediscovered that winning feeling, winning nine of their last 12 games.
Though Scorchers won the first match between the pair in mid-December, Sixers bounced back in their January clash with a six-run victory.
The winner will go straight through to the final as hosts, though the loser will get a second chance to progress in the Challenger, against the winner of Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat.
Aaron Hardie (Sarah Reed/Getty Images)
What’s the key match-up?
Aaron Hardie is the BBL’s top run-scorer remaining in the competition – he is only behind Matthew Short in the 2022/23 standings – and has been a key figure in the Scorchers’ run to the playoffs.
The Bournemouth-born batter has regularly reached double figures though suffered a rare setback in the last meeting with Sixers, making just a single before being dismissed by Sean Abbott.
The Australia seamer, recently confirmed to return to Surrey later in the year, was player of the match in that game after claiming figures of 3 for 18.
It has been a super tournament from the 30-year-old, a two-time BBL winner with Sixers, and leads the way in the wicket-taking stakes, with 25 at 14.76.
What’s the weather forecast?
After a hot afternoon, temperatures will drop to a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius for the start of play.
What is the team news?
Jhye Richardson has not recovered from a hamstring injury in time to be considered.
Scorchers will also be without Matt Kelly after he suffered a concussion during the Melbourne Renegades match.
Ashton Agar is preparing for the India Test tour and is not involved.
Sixers, meanwhile, are missing Todd Murphy ahead of Australia’s series in India, with Josh Kann added to the squad.
What are the squads?
Perth Scorchers: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Cameron Green, Laurie Evans (contract terminated), Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh (injured), Tymal Mills (withdrawn), Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Phil Salt (injured), Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Faf du Plessis (replacing Laurie Evans, first seven matches only), Adam Lyth (replacing Phil Salt, first half only), Stephen Eskinazi, Hamish McKenzie
Sydney Sixers: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Izharulhaq Naveed, Chris Jordan, Steve O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, James Vince, Todd Murphy, Mickey Edwards, Jack Edwards, Steve Smith, Josh Kann (local replacement player), Naveen-ul-Haq (partial replacement for Chris Jordan)
*Squads are for the whole BBL and not specific to this match
What are the possible starting XIs?
Perth Scorchers: Stephen Eskinazi, Cameron Bancroft, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Ashton Turner, Nick Hobson, Cooper Connolly, Andrew Tye, David Payne, Lance Morris, Jason Behrendorff
Sydney Sixers: Josh Philippe, Steven Smith, Kurtis Patterson, Mosies Henriques, Jordan Silk, Hayden Kerr, Daniel Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Sean Abbott, Steve O’Keefe, Josh Kann
Sean Abbott is the leading wicket-taker in the BBL (Steve Bell/Getty Images)
What are the odds?
Perth Scorchers are favourites with the bookmakers at 3/4. Sydney Sixers are the rank outsiders at 6/5.
What’s the prediction?
You can barely separate these two and it is likely they’ll be meeting again in the final next week. Sixers have won their last six in a row and might be coming in hot at just the right time.
Are tickets available?
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster priced at $27.
Where can I watch the game?
Sky Sports hold the UK rights for the BBL, with coverage split between Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix.
Ball-by-ball radio commentary will also be available via BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Sounds for selected matches.
Fox Sports and Seven Network both have television rights in Australia while coverage will also be available via streaming service Kayo. Fox will show every game while 45 matches, including the knockout stages, will be shown free-to-air on Channel Seven.
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