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Scorcher Gibbs likely to miss BBL final
Justin Chadwick
14:21 AEST Thu Jan 17 2013

The Perth Scorchers' bid to win the Twenty20 Big Bash title has suffered a huge blow, with opener Herschelle Gibbs an unlikely starter for Saturday night's home final against the Brisbane Heat.

Gibbs injured his left hamstring while attempting a quick single in Wednesday night's eight-wicket semi-final victory over the Melbourne Stars.

The 38-year-old attempted to bat on with the injury, but was forced to retire hurt on seven and will undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury.

Gibbs remains one of the most explosive openers in T20 cricket, and his likely absence will leave a huge void at the top of the order.

Last season, Gibbs plundered 302 runs at an average of 43.14 for the Scorchers, while he has hit two half-centuries and a 40 this summer.

Former skipper Marcus North is the frontrunner to open with Shaun Marsh against the Heat, while retired Test batsman Mike Hussey is another candidate to open.

"His batting and fielding is going to be a huge loss to the team," Hussey said of Gibbs.

"It's very difficult to cover, but we'll just have to do our best."

The Scorchers needed three runs off the final ball against the Stars, but thought they had lost the game when they could manage only a bye.

However, agony soon turned to ecstasy for the Scorchers when they realised Stars paceman James Faulkner had been called for a front-foot no-ball.

Even if Faulkner hadn't overstepped, the Stars would have still been penalised due to having too many fielders outside the inner circle.

Hussey cracked a boundary off the next ball to secure victory, which also sealed the Scorchers' place in the lucrative T20 Champions League later this year.

Although Hussey hit the match-winning runs, it was the work of Marsh that proved the difference, with the elegant left-hander striking 68 off 40 balls.

The BBL has been somewhat of a turning point for Marsh, who was dropped from Western Australia's Sheffield Shield and one-day sides in October following a lean run with the bat.

Marsh has cracked a competition-high 396 runs at an average of 66 during this summer's BBL, but said he wasn't thinking about a return to the national set-up just yet, especially with a grand final just around the corner.

Former WA batsman Luke Pomersbach, who has been a revelation at the Heat after cracking 360 runs at an average of 45, looms as the biggest threat for the Scorchers.

Pomersbach was axed from the WA set-up in 2011 following a poor run of off-field behaviour, most of which related to alcohol abuse.

But the 28-year-old will enter the grand final full of confidence following his brutal and unbeaten 112 off 70 balls in the semi-final win over the Renegades.


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