One more win, that’s all that matters for two of the best fast bowlers in the country Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
The quicks will team up for the Perth Scorchers in their Big Bash League final against the Sydney Sixers in Canberra this evening where individual performances are the furthest thing from their minds.
It’s been a whirlwind few days for the pair.
Last night 24 year old Behrendorff was awarded the best domestic bowler in the country at the Allan Border Medal.
“It’s such a huge honour, especially to win an award voted on by your peers” the left armer said.
Behrendorff has been the standout bowler across all three formats.
He finished second in wickets for the 13/14 shield season, took five scalps in WA’s Matador Cup Final win and was equal top wicket taker in the Big Bash regular season.
Once again Captain Adam Voges expects the fiery opening bowler to lead from the front.
“Dorff is the key for us,” Voges said
“He is one of three of our quicks to have taken 14 wickets, but his ability to swing the new ball has been vital to our success.
“And just as he had a big impact when he came back to Canberra for the Sheffield Shield final last season, we expect him to relish his return home.”
While for Coulter-Nile, he played his first game in over two months in the Scorchers semi-final win over the Melbourne Stars on Saturday.
After sustaining his fourth serious hamstring injury in November, the Australian all-rounder performed more than admirably taking 2/31, hitting 22 off 9 balls and also adding a catch.
“You wouldn’t wish it upon anyone being in rehab” he said.
“There’s a few boys there I’m with at the moment, Joely Paris and Mitch Marsh, so I was a little bit lucky that I had a bit of company, but it’s a pretty lonely place.”
Although he pulled up a bit sore, the 27 year old will be raring to go come tonight.
“I’ll become confident the more I play. At the moment, I’m a little bit iffy, just because it keeps happening. I’ve done everything I can possibly do to keep it attached so, hopefully, it stays on.”
Last time these teams met was December 29 at the SCG, when the Scorchers won by 36 runs.
Chasing 136 for victory, the Sixers were rolled for just 99 – their lowest BBL score.
Bowling second has been the key to the Scorchers success.
Five times this season they have defended scores of 144 or less.
“Having three bowlers take 14 wickets shows that we have plenty of firepower as well as great versatility which is so important in Twenty20 cricket and Coulter has given us even more strike power.” Voges said.
When you consider the changes from last season it’s been a remarkable feat to make the final for the defending champions.
Out of last years side are Craig Simmons, Simon Katich, Mitch Marsh, Pat Cummins and Alfonso Thomas.
And although Shaun Marsh and Coulter-Nile played in the semi-final, it was only their first games this season.
“We don’t expect it [success]; we work bloody hard for it, trust me,” he said. “I don’t think it is a winning culture; I think it’s a culture of hard work.” Coulter-Nile said.
“JL (Coach Justin Langer) has just smashed it into the boys and now we’re seeing the rewards.”
Coulter-Nile will be looking to increase his 20/20 workload ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League where he will return for a second year.