Renshaw in as Heat prepare for BBL finals second-chance

Murray Wenzel |

Matt Renshaw will play in the Heat’s BBL challenger final against Adelaide at Carrara on Monday.
Matt Renshaw will play in the Heat’s BBL challenger final against Adelaide at Carrara on Monday.

Matt Renshaw has been cleared to play for Brisbane against Adelaide on Monday as the sides battle for a Big Bash League finals spot on the Gold Coast.

Part of the Australian Test squad for the current series against the West Indies, Renshaw has a slight chance of featuring in the second match at the Gabba from Thursday as fellow Heat batsman and opener Usman Khawaja recovers from a nasty blow to the head suffered in Adelaide.

But with Khawaja said to be on track to play, Renshaw has been excused to return on Monday to the Heat, who must rebound from Friday’s disappointing loss to the Sydney Sixers that cost them direct entry into the decider.

Carrara’s drop-in pitch was tricky to bat on in that match, with Heat left-arm quick Spencer Johnson’s 2-14 featuring a club record 18 dot balls.

Sydney’s pacemen proved just as impactful, but Johnson says the Heat have learned their lesson and are keen to redeem themselves on Monday.

“We’ve played the way we have this year and deserve the extra chance,” Johnson said of a Heat team that finished on top of the ladder and lost just one regular-season game.

“We’re ready to go again and we’ve got the advantage of playing here the other night.”

The Strikers upset the Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium on Saturday to move within two wins of a second BBL title, with leg-spinners Lloyd Pope and and Cameron Boyce combining to rip through the hosts.

Johnson isn’t sure whether spinners will be as effective on the Gold Coast, but as a South Australian Sheffield Shield talent he’s keen to get one over his good mates.

“You want to play well against your mates to have the upper hand,” Johnson said.

“Popey and Boycey are going quite well, but it’s different conditions here.

“We’re ready to face whatever they roll out. Spin didn’t really play a massive role here the other night.”

AAP