Travis Head reckons it’s a dream Australia Day for cricket nuffies.
Three consecutive BBL games on Tuesday will decide the finalists, with seven of the eight teams in the hunt.
Three franchises are secure – Perth Scorchers (first, 32 points), Sydney Sixers (second, 32 points) and Sydney Thunder (third, 31 points) who booked their finals berth by downing Head’s Adelaide Strikers by nine wickets on Monday night.
The fourth-placed Strikers (28 points) are hoping Tuesday’s results fall their way.
But Hobart Hurricanes (fifth, 27 points), Brisbane Heat (sixth, 25 points) and Melbourne Stars (seventh, 24 points) are all in the mix.
Perth meet Brisbane in Adelaide in Tuesday’s opening fixture, followed by an MCG double-header: Melbourne Renegades against Hobart, then the Stars versus the Sixers.
“It’s good for the nuffies, they get to watch three games of cricket,” Head said.
Regardless of which teams make the finals, Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson forecasts a nailbiting conclusion to the BBL tournament.
“All the sides shape up really well coming into finals,” Ferguson said.
“There is going to be a lot of really close games which is great for the brand – and we’re really excited to be a part of that.”
Ferguson was bullish about the prospects of his side which features red-hot batsman Alex Hales, the tournament’s leading run-scorer.
Hales, in his unbeaten 63 from 39 balls against Adelaide, smacked four sixes to break the record for the most sixes in a BBL edition – he has 30 so far, eclipsing Marcus Stoinis’ 28 last tournament.
“We have been in just about every game throughout the tournament,” Ferguson said of the Thunder.
“We have never really had a stinker at any point … so it has been really pleasing to see the consistency throughout the tournament.
“We feel like we have learnt our lessons and are peaking at the right time.”