The Big Bash League title race is wide open as the race for spots in the top-five finals series goes down to the wire.

Key points:

  • Only the top two teams, Scorchers and Sixers, are guaranteed a spot in the five-team finals series
  • There is one match on Monday, with three further matches set to take place on Tuesday
  • The BBL finals are set to begin on Friday, but venues are yet to be determined due to border closures

All teams, bar Melbourne Renegades, are still alive heading into the last round of qualifying matches, with three positions up for grabs.

Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder still have destiny in their own hands, with the winner of their Adelaide Oval meeting on Monday certain to lock in a finals spot.

But the losers will face a nervous wait for the results from Tuesday’s Heat-Scorchers, Renegades-Hurricanes and Stars-Sixers matches.

Only the ladder-leading Scorchers and second-placed Sixers are assured of playing finals.

The form of English opener Alex Hales will be key for the Thunder.(AAP: David Mariuz)

“There’s two quality teams, there’s no secret about that, that are up the top of the ladder for a reason,” Hurricanes captain Matthew Wade said after his team beat the Sixers by seven runs on Sunday night.

“They’re going to be hard to chase down.

“But if you get yourself in there and get a roll on you give yourself a chance to win it.”

The coronavirus-affected schedule sees the Strikers and Thunder clash on consecutive days to round out their qualifying campaigns.

Adelaide scored a confidence-boosting six-run win in the first of those matches on Sunday, defending a relatively small total of 6-159 in the process.

“We’re in a pretty good position,” Strikers veteran Peter Siddle said.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence going into [Monday] night and it’s not about worrying about other teams winning.

“We’ve got to get the job done and win it for ourselves to give ourselves the best chance of finishing as high as we can on the ladder and see where that is.”

How will the BBL finals work?

The Sydney Sixers won the 2020 BBL final.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

The finals series is slated to begin on Friday, but teams still do not have clarity around which venues will be able to host matches, given the ongoing travel restrictions between some states.

It could mean the likes of first-placed Perth having to play ‘home’ finals interstate.

The top two will face off in a match called ‘The Qualifier’, which will see the winner progress straight through to the final.

The teams finishing fourth and fifth will meet in ‘The Eliminator’ from which the winner will face off against the third-placed team in ‘The Knockout’ match.

The winner of that game will play the loser of ‘The Qualifier’ in ‘The Challenger’ match for a spot in the final.

Cricket Australia is set to announce the finals schedule on Wednesday.