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Pomers, Marsh ready to fire in BBL final
Justin Chadwick
17:07 AEST Fri Jan 18 2013

They're brothers in arms off the cricket field, but Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach will put their close friendship to one side when the Perth Scorchers host the Brisbane Heat in Saturday night's Twenty20 Big Bash final at the WACA Ground.

This summer's BBL has proven to be a turning point in the careers of both men.

Scorchers opener Marsh was dropped to grade cricket in October after being caught up in off-field issues amid a form slump during the Champions League.

But the former Test batsman is on the cusp of earning a national recall after plundering 396 runs at an average of 66 during the BBL.

Pomersbach's story is even more amazing.

The 28-year-old was dumped from WA's set-up in 2011 after a series of off-field misdemeanours, mostly relating to alcohol abuse.

Queensland coach Darren Lehmann threw the hard-hitting left-hander a lifeline last year and Pomersbach has paid him back in spades, cracking 360 runs at an average of 45 to guide the Heat to the BBL final.

Pomersbach used to live with Marsh in Perth and says their friendship is so strong, they consider themselves brothers.

Marsh holds the key to ending WA's nine-year trophy drought, while Pomersbach is in the hottest of form after bludgeoning an unbeaten 112 in Tuesday's semi-final win over the Renegades.

Heat skipper James Hopes said their respective performances would go a long way to deciding the result of Saturday's final in front of a sell-out crowd at the WACA.

"If those kind of guys get off to flying starts, your team is rarely going to lose," Hopes said.

"I watched Marshy bat in the 2008 IPL (and that) was as good as I've ever seen anyone bat ...

"He's going to play for Australia again in the near future. We've got our plans for him but I'm not going to divulge it here."

With Scorchers opener Herschelle Gibbs ruled out with a hamstring injury, Marcus North, Simon Katich or Mike Hussey will partner Marsh at the top of the order.

Heat paceman Ben Cutting, who has been on standby with Australia's one-day squad, will play in the final after being released from his national duties.

But Hopes is facing an uphill battle to play after suffering a grade-one hamstring strain during the warm-up for Tuesday's semi-final.

"I've given myself a 60-40 chance," Hopes said.

"Our physio's a bit less than that. But I'll do everything I can to try to get up.

"We'll make that decision before the game tomorrow. I'll come down before everyone else and try to bowl off a long run.

"If I get through that, I assume I'll play."


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