Mitchell Swepson and Marnus Labuschagne undid the Scorchers at the end of the group stage
Colin Munro has said the Perth Scorchers will need to “take our egos out” of their batting when they come against Brisbane Heat in the BBL Challenger final on Thursday with the prize a place in the final against the Sydney Sixers.
The two sides faced each other in their final regular-season match with the Heat coming out on top by six runs with Mitchell Swepson and Marnus Labuschagne, who have formed a dynamic legspin pairing at the tail-end of the tournament, having combined figures of 8-0-55-5.
The Scorchers were well placed in their chase of 182 with an opening stand of 53 in six overs before Liam Livingstone charged and missed at a delivery from Swepson which skidded low. The top four all fell to the legspinners with Munro top-edging a slog sweep to deep point having made 7 off 14 balls.
Labuschagne would then remove Josh Inglis and Ashton Turner in the same over to leave them 5 for 94, and despite a late charge by Mitchell Marsh the chase came up short.
“[We need to] just try to take our egos out of it instead of trying to smash it for six every ball like we tried, just play smart cricket,” Munro told reporters in Canberra ahead the rematch. “The other day we tried to go outside of our comfort zone a little bit.”
“Marnus and Swepo they’ve added some different dynamics to their bowling group. We’ve just got make sure we play to our blueprint.”
In the five matches Labuschagne and Swepson have played together, since returning to the BBL after the Test series against India, they have shared 18 wickets and been key to the run that has seen the Heat put together four wins on the bounce to keep their tournament alive with no second chances for a loss.
“Looking back a couple of weeks ago it was a far cry to see us in this position,” Swepson said. “Really proud of the team that we’ve been able to get here from that position we have some nice momentum now.
“It’s always nice when you come up against an opposition where you’ve had success, gives you a little bit of confidence, but we know their batting line there is firepower all over it. We can’t just rock up and expect to be able to do the exact same thing we did, they will come better prepared.
“That was the first time this season that they were playing against both me and Marny so they’ll be better prepared. We’ll have to be prepared for that and make sure that we are on top of whatever they throw at us.”
Labuschagne had one T20 wicket before this run in the BBL but has claimed two three-wicket hauls to give captain Chris Lynn a wealth of bowling options.
“It’s been great to see Marny bowl and get some good overs,” Swepson said. “Think in the past he’s probably been a little frustrated that he hasn’t got that opportunity to bowl in this format and you are seeing what he can do.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo