WHAT WE LEARNED
At the start of the round, it all came down to that first game on Friday between the Heat and the Stars as to whether or not the season remained open for the Heat, the Thunder, and the Stars.
With the Heat demolishing the Stars on Friday night, and Max Bryant laying his claim to be Chris Lynn’s new Bash Brother with Brendan McCullum’s retirement, they slotted into the top four, and the Thunder needed to belt the Hurricanes in order to get up into the semi-final position.
While they claimed the win over the ladder leaders, they didn’t do so quickly enough, so it ultimately was in the Stars hands — if they knocked off the Sixers, who were in second spot at the start of the round, they would be facing the Hurricanes down in Tassie for a spot in the final.
When ‘the Big Show’ is on, he is ON — Glenn Maxwell was absolutely unstoppable for the Melbourne Stars against the Sydney Sixers, be it with the bat (82 from 43 balls, with six 6s), ball (1-fer-6 from his single over), or in the field (one amazing snare in the slips). He ended the game with a cool 184 SuperCoach points to absolutely dominate proceedings.
Now it’s an open slather — reset your SuperCoach BBL side for the semi-finals, with all of the Stars, Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades and home-and-away ladder leaders Hobart Hurricanes still in contention.
If you’ve used all your trades during the regular season fear not, because it’s time to think long and carefully about who you want in and how you can go about having a point-of-difference in your line-up to give you an advantage over your opponents.
For instance, it would be reasonable to expect that every man, woman, and their dog will have both D’Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis in their starting line-up; but who gets the armband as skipper for the semi-finals round? Or, instead, is there an opportunity to take the $575,200 that they’d cost in your salary cap and invest that coin elsewhere?
TOP SCORERS OF ROUND 13
- Marcus Stoinis — 194 vs Heat, Sixers
- Glenn Maxwell — 193 vs Heat, Sixers
- Ben Cutting — 173 vs Stars
- Sandeep Lamichhane -155 vs Heat, Sixers
- Max Bryant — 138 vs Stars
It would appear that all of the Hurricanes, Renegades, Sixers, and Stars would be available for this Round, but sights can be deceiving — unfortunately for the Sixers, star quick Tom Curran will miss the remainder of the competition as he wings his way to the West Indies to join the English side on their tour of the Caribbean.
As mentioned previously, Stoinis and Short are sure to be certainties in most sides, but in order to get them in and stay under the cap you’ll need to balance the books to make sure that your side is full.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of other tasty options available at under $100,000 — look to the likes of batsmen-wicketkeepers Ben McDermott (Hurricanes) and Sam Harper (Renegades), bowlers Qais Ahmed (Hurricanes), Dan Worrall (Stars), and Lloyd Pope (Sixers), or batsmen Tom Cooper (Renegades) and George Bailey (Hurricanes) to make sure that you’ve got players who you know you can rely upon to fill out your SuperCoach BBL side.
Obviously, there’s four sides not in the competition any more — any SuperCoach player who has a Striker, a Scorcher, a Heat, or a Thunder player in their line-up when the first ball is bowled between the Hurricanes and the Stars down in Hobart on Thursday at 7.30pm needs to take a good hard look at themselves over the off-season.
As mentioned previously, Tom Curran will unfortunately not be available to face the Renegades on Friday night, while the Stars’ Dual Position Player Evan Gulbis might be cheap as chips at $71,100, but there’s good reason for it — he has a three-round average of a mere nine SuperCoach points per game, so he might be one Star to avoid.
There’s two obvious options here — either Hurricane hero D’Arcy Short or Stars’ star Marcus Stoinis.
But, if looking for a point-of-difference, this could be the exact round that an armband choice makes the world of difference. Can Maxwell back up his heroics? Hurricanes’ middle order batsman Ben McDermott has a three-round average of 51.3 SuperCoach points per game to sit atop all over players left in the competition, and while they both failed against the Sixers, Stars’ Ben Dunk and Pete Handscomb are the only other players who have a three-round average higher than 50.
Veteran George Bailey from the Hurricanes is exactly the sort of experienced player who may step up for the semi-finals, particularly if Matthew Wade (another possible POD captaincy choice) or Short fail at the top of the order against the Stars.
Either way, good luck for the semi-finals ahead of the final on Sunday!