Who Will Win the 2018/19 Big Bash League?
The Big Bash League is in its eighth season and still going strong. The men’s Twenty20 cricket competition has grown into one of the most competitive and entertaining tournaments on the planet and the 2018/19 season is no different.
At the time of writing, there are just nine games remaining in the group phase of the tournament and every team knows what they need to do in order to qualify for the semi-final.
As things stand, Hobart Hurricanes sit top of the table and with two games remaining, they have already secured their progress to the knockout stages. The recent defeat to Adelaide Strikers does not mean anything in terms of their place in the semi-final but could disrupt momentum. With games against Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder still to play, it could be a tricky end to the league campaign for Hobart Hurricanes.
Melbourne Renegades have just one match remaining in the group stage and having defeated Sydney Thunder in their previous match. They will enter the encounter against Hobart Hurricanes with plenty of confidence.
Melbourne Renegades will join Hobart Hurricanes in the semi-final but could so in better form, which may be crucial.
Sydney Sixers, who are currently in third place need to win one of their remaining two games to seal a spot in the semi-final. They face a derby against Sydney Thunder who have it all to play for in fifth place and will be determined to move into the top four themselves. That should be a great match and one which will have a big say on the final positions in the table.
Sandwiched between the two Sydney teams is Melbourne Stars. They have the advantage of three games remaining, and if they can win two of those matches, that should be enough to move into the top four and the semi-final.
The defending champions, Adelaide Strikers, are in danger of missing out on a place in the semi-final and have been left clinging on by their teeth. The win over Hobart Hurricanes in their last match was a huge boost, but they must win their final two games and hope the teams above them fail to win their matches to reach the semi-final. Neither of their two remaining games is against teams above them in the table, so it is out of their hands.
Thinking ahead to the semi-final and final and it is difficult to look away from Hobart Hurricanes. They have the in-form players this season with bat and ball, namely D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade with the bat plus James Faulkner with the ball.
Only once in the previous four Big Bash League’s has the eventual winner fallen outside the top two teams in the points table. It is unlikely Hobart Hurricanes are going to fall outside the top two places now, and that must make them favourites to win the 2018/19 Big Bash League.