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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Scorchers home ground advantage the key

Scorchers batter Nick Hobson believes his side will feed off a parochial Perth atmosphere in tomorrow’s BBL qualifier against the Sydney Sixers.

A crowd of around 45,000 has been forecast for the top of the table clash which grants the winner the opportunity to host the BBL grand final.

Hobson said the fast and bouncy wicket at Optus Stadium gave the Scorchers a strong home ground advantage.

“I think the biggest thing is the length over here. We’ve been really good about bowling that back of a length, particularly when batters are set, and then I think in the powerplay, it’s been a real strength of our bowling, being able to take wickets and not giving them any freebies,” Hobson told Sports Breakfast.

“Sydney have a guy called Steve Smith who’s been doing alright, so hopefully he can be one of those early wickets tomorrow, that’d be nice.

“Perth have always had really strong crowds. If we manage to get over 40,000, I think that’d be fantastic for cricket in Western Australia and the BBL product.”

Hobson started the season at number three but was moved into the middle order as part of a mid-tournament batting reshuffle, with the 28 year old saying he was happy to fill whatever role the team needed.

“I’ve actually quite enjoyed it, to be honest, albeit there’s probably been a fair few games where I haven’t been needed in that role, which is a good sign our top order have been getting the runs,” Hobson said.

“Something I worked on a lot during the offseason was trying to improve my hitting in that middle order role, because I thought generally speaking when you get your internationals and Australian players back, they bat in the top, so just having that flexibility, and that’s kind of how it’s worked.

“It’s something a little bit different, but it’s also very clear that quite often the game is dictated to you when you come out, so we’ll wait and see what that looks like tomorrow.”

The Scorchers warmed up for the finals with a 10 run win over the Melbourne Renegades on Sunday, with a 62 run batting powerplay from in-form openers Steve Eskinazi and Cameron Bancroft the highlight.

“That was an amazing start. I think traditionally this season, the powerplays haven’t been amazing for the batting team, but the last couple of games, they’ve been a bit more high scoring,” he said.

“I think the more games we’re playing, the better we’re adjusting to the pitch and the speed of the wicket.

“I think that was kind of the blueprint for how we want to approach our cricket. Obviously a score of 200 plus is not easy to replicate, but I think the way we went about it and the intent we showed was perfect, so hopefully we can bring that out again tomorrow.”

The first ball to be bowled at 4:15pm WST.



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