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Friday, May 14, 2021

Manuka Oval to host two BBL finals

The BBL will be returning to Manuka Oval for two blockbuster clashes with the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder both securing home finals.

Border restrictions have forced both teams out of NSW with a Cricket Australia release on Tuesday 26 January saying both clubs have nominated Canberra’s Manuka Oval as their preferred alternative.

The Sixers finished on top of the BBL ladder and will face the Perth Scorchers in the Qualifying Final in Canberra on Saturday night, 30 January, with the winner earning the right to host the Grand Final on 6 February.

It is still unknown where the Grand Final will be played if the Sixers earn the right to host it, with Manuka Oval a likely back-up if playing in NSW is not possible. Sydney is yet to host a BBL match this season.

The Thunder came third and will host their final on Sunday night, 31 January, where they will meet the winner of the Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers clash.

With the border restrictions in place around Sydney during the BBL season, Manuka Oval has seen plenty of BBL10 action, with 10 matches played in Canberra during the regular season.

The Thunder were involved in seven of those clashes and had mixed results, winning four matches and losing three.

The Sixers only played two games in Canberra but won both of those, including a seven-wicket victory over their final’s opponents, the Scorchers, on 16 January.

The race for top spot came down to the final match of the regular season last night, 26 January, with the Sixers needing just one point to finish first and book a home final. They managed to secure the bash boost against the Melbourne Stars, and went on to claim victory with just one ball to spare.

The Thunder also secured a home final and found some form with their final match of the season, cruising to a nine-wicket victory over the Strikers in a rain-affected match.

The Sixers could receive a big boost before finals, with Mitchell Starc a chance to line up in the magenta kit for the first time this season if he is passed fit to play, while Daniel Sams is a chance of returning for the Thunder after injuring his hand.

Click here for the full BBL finals draw.

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