One of the hardest realities to accept in sport is that sometimes, for no reason at all, things will just not go your way.
The Sydney Sixers were forced to confront this truth early on Saturday night ahead of their knockout final against the Perth Scorchers, when both Mickey and Jack Edwards were forced to quarantine and miss the match due to an inconclusive Rapid Antigen Test just hours ahead of the start of the game.
Then, mere minutes before play was due to begin, Daniel Hughes was ruled out after tripping on the boundary rope and incurring a ligament injury in his left ankle.
This, Bowral product and Sixers player Hayden Kerr said, made it fairly clear that luck was not with the team that night.
"Yesterday had a bit of a vibe like that before the game [that things weren't going the Sixers' way]," Kerr said.
"As a side, we were trying to focus on the job at hand, but the overall feeling was that we were a little bit flat yesterday. It's probably bad timing considering how important that game was, but a few things went the Scorchers' way and that's just how it panned out."
The trend continued as two shots in Nathan Lyon's opening over of the game barely missed the outstretched hands of fielders.
From then on, Scorchers' opening pair Kurtis Patterson (64) and Josh Inglis (79) took control and piled on a 120-run stand.
As has become almost habitual this season, Kerr was the pick of the Sixers' bowlers with 2-37, but neither he nor the rest of Sydney's attack could prevent Perth from piling on a total of 3-189.
With 24 wickets to his name in BBL 11, Kerr leads the Sixers bowling charts and is only second in that count for the whole competition behind Adelaide Strikers captain, Peter Siddle.
This success with the ball has surprised Kerr, who did not even think he would be a regular in the team this year.
"I'd say yes [it is surprising]," he said.
"I always knew I had the ability to do it, but I didn't think I'd play much of a role this season given the people we have in our squad and the depth that we have.
"I didn't think it would fall on my shoulders to play such an important role throughout the tournament."
A rush of early wickets in the second innings brought the Sixers, who were teetering 7-55 after 12 overs, within sight of an embarrassing defeat.
But when Kerr entered at number nine, he began a 41-run partnership with Ben Dwarshius (66) that gave the Sixers hope of batting out their overs, although victory was never really on the cards.
Dwarshius was eventually the last man dismissed with just five balls remaining as Sydney fell 48 runs short of the target.
The win propelled the Scorchers directly into Friday's grand final, while the Sixers will now play the Adelaide Strikers in Wednesday's challenger final.
The Strikers earned a place in that fixture by felling the Sydney Thunder in last night's knockout final by six runs.
When he spoke to Southern Highland News, Kerr did not yet know which of those two potential opponents the Sixers would face.
He did, however, acknowledge the danger the Strikers posed now that their batting lineup had been bolstered by the recent return of Alex Carey and Travis Head after the conclusion of the Ashes.
"The two big additions in Carey and Head probably add that firepower that they need," Kerr said.
"That makes them a bit more of a formidable outfit I think."
The Sixers currently have a record of one win and one loss against the Strikers this season. The most recent clash between the two, a week ago on January 17, went Adelaide's way by eight wickets, but Kerr said Sydney will be confident going into the match regardless.
"Hopefully we have a little bit more of the controllable factors in our favour on Wednesday, given that we might have more players available for selection and we all know where we're placed in the side beforehand," he said.
"There'll be no excuses on Wednesday, it'll be a good game."
The Sydney Sixers will play the Adelaide Strikers for a place in the BBL 11 grand final this Wednesday, January 26, from 7.25pm at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Did you know Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.