CRICKET: The Sunshine Coast Scorchers are hopeful of a win in today's Twenty20 grand final rematch against University at St Lucia, despite copping a sound two-day defeat at the hands of the inner-Brisbane powerhouse last time they met.
The University line-up is expected to be further strengthened for the clash with the return of Brisbane Heat batsman Peter Forrest and wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Hartley.
However, in spite of the mammoth task, Scorchers coach Brad Murphy said his side had developed into a solid Twenty20 outfit, a view supported by their back-to-back appearances in the last two XXXX Premier Grade T20 grand finals, and he was looking forward to some positive results from the game.
"We played them last week, they towelled us up in the two-day game, but there were good signs. I have no doubt we can turn things around in the Twenty20", Murphy said of the clash.
"We're a T20 team, rather than any other form of the game."
The Uni clash precedes an afternoon match up against Gold Coast at Ashgrove. A win in either of today's hit- outs would have the Scorchers well placed to qualify for a T20 semi-finals berth again this season.
"I'd be disappointed if we don't win both games ... our form in the short form is good, but both of them will be competitive," Murphy said.
The side has been buoyed by the return of fast bowler Matthew Gale as well as a good run of form by a number of players.
English import Sam Northeast batted the entire innings last week to record 139, while off-spinner Alecz Day is also hoping to repeat his recent form with the bat, which saw him record a gritty 26 last week and 111 in a two-day match against Valleys two weeks ago.
Day said facing a team that boasts a line-up including regular Sheffield Shield players was a great opportunity.
"We always relish the challenge. They walk around the field like they're the best on the park and in reality over the last few years, they have been. We'd like nothing better than to knock them off," Day said.
Day and fellow off-spinner Sam Gardiner are looking forward to an improved performance after a slow start last time the teams met, but they have the confidence of their coach in the T20 form.
Murphy said he expected the clash with Uni to be a high-scoring match.
UNIVERSITY v SUNSHINE COAST, GOLD COAST v SUNSHINE COAST