Sixers have the edge in BBL finals: Finch

Renegades' star Aaron Finch reckons Sydney Sixers have the edge heading into the BBL finals.
Renegades' star Aaron Finch reckons Sydney Sixers have the edge heading into the BBL finals.

The Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Sixers are in the box seat to lift the BBL trophy, with the Sixers favoured by last season's title-winning skipper Aaron Finch.

The reigning champion Renegades were a long way off the pace this season but they helped shape the finals on Monday when they defeated the Brisbane Heat in the last game of the regular season at Marvel Stadium.

The result denied the Heat a finals berth, leaving the Sydney Thunder to hang onto fifth spot and play the fourth-placed Hobart Hurricanes in The Eliminator at Hobart's Blundstone Arena on Thursday.

But Finch believes The Qualifier between the top-ranked Stars and the second-placed Sixers at the MCG on Friday night will produce this season's champion.

"I think to get the second chance is so huge in this competition," Finch said.

"The Stars obviously haven't played their best cricket the last three games but you can never judge a class side on that.

"When you've got matchwinners all throughout your side it only takes one of them to win a game.

"I think they're both pretty evenly matched sides in terms of firepower and ability with the ball.

"But the Sixers probably have the edge."

The winner of that match will host The Final on Saturday, February 8.

The Adelaide Strikers will not get the benefit of a second chance, having finished third, but they will host The Knockout against the winner of The Eliminator at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

The BBL's new five-team finals format gives the top two teams at the end of the regular season a double chance, so the loser of The Qualifier will go on to play the winner of The Knockout in The Challenger.

The winner of that match on Thursday, February 6, will progress through to The Final.

BBL09 FINALS

WEEK ONE

* THE ELIMINATOR (winner into The Knockout)

Hobart Hurricanes (4th) v Sydney Thunder (5th) - 7.40pm AEDT, Thursday, January 30 at Blundstone Arena

* THE QUALIFIER (winner to host The Final)

Melbourne Stars (1st) v Sydney Strikers (2nd) - 7.15pm AEDT, Friday, January 31 at the MCG

* THE KNOCKOUT (winner into The Challenger)

Adelaide Strikers (3rd) v Winner of The Eliminator - 7.40pm AEDT, Saturday, February 1 at Adelaide Oval

WEEK TWO

* THE CHALLENGER (winner into The Final)

Loser of The Qualifier v Winner of The Knockout - Thursday, February 6 at TBC

* THE FINAL

Winner of The Qualifier v Winner of The Challenger - Saturday, February 8 at TBC

* Failed to qualify: Perth Scorchers (6th), Brisbane Heat (7th), Melbourne Renegades (8th)

Australian Associated Press