Perth Scorchers showed their class with a five wicket win against Hobart Hurricanes at the WACA.
Perth Scorchers 5 for 168 (Bancroft 54, Turner 50*) beat Hobart Hurricanes (Milenko 66*, Agar 2-14) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Once again, it was the Hobart Hurricanes in third position taking on the team in second. Once again, the team from Hobart couldn’t quite get over the line. Once again, their opponent went top of the table, and now all of Hurricanes’ hopes are pinned on winning their last game of the season against the Melbourne Stars.
Perth Scorchers, meanwhile, have the chance of yet another home final after running down Hurricanes’ 167 with four balls to spare. Both sides stuttered at the halfway mark before finding a strong finish and ending up five wickets down. The Hurricanes total was built on the back of a fightback half-century from Simon Milenko, but Scorchers found a couple of fifties of their own from Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Turner to seal a close finish.
Wade up your options
It hasn’t been the greatest season for Matthew Wade, dumped as wicketkeeper for Australia’s Test and ODI teams, struggling for Tasmania, and failing to set the BBL alight. But a new challenge arose because of Alex Doolan’s recent concussion, with Wade sent up to open the innings with D’Arcy Short.
It wasn’t easy, with Mitchell Johnson fast and fiery from the get-go. Wade was nearly knocked over keeping out a yorker, while short balls trampolined to the keeper. Johnson conceded just three runs from the bat in his first over. But Wade did the damage against Joel Paris, slamming four balls to the fence and one over it for 22 from the second set of six.
Paris got his man in the fourth over, but 31 from 16 was the fast start Hurricanes required. Short, the talk of the tournament, had only 6.
Are you Agar jelly?
What T20 side wouldn’t be jealous of having Ashton Agar? He’s a lock for the Australian T20 team, with national selectors bound to further raid Scorchers’ bowling stocks just before the Big Bash final. His economy rate of 5.51 per over puts him among Big Bash royalty.
Agar kicked things off by catching Short at mid on before bowling the 7th over. His first eight deliveries were all to George Bailey, and cost one run. Four balls to Ben McDermott cost another single.
Starting Agar’s third over, McDermott decided it had to go. Only problem was he missed the ball, giving up a stumping as it dropped shorter and spun past the edge. Then Agar came wide on the crease and angled in to bowl Dan Christian. Three overs, two wickets for five runs, and the Hurricanes were 4 for 69 from 11 overs.
Gotta be made of Milenko
No one could hit Agar, but Milenko got him in the 13th. No one could hit Johnson, but Milenko got him in the 15th. First a sweep, then a hook that went 100 metres, then a couple of sixes off Tim Bresnan. Bailey fell, Jofra Archer came to the crease, but Milenko kept going, pumping Johnson for a straight six that raised his fifty from 29 balls. The all-rounder finished unbeaten with 66 off 37, having masterminded 101 off the last 10 overs. Johnson’s 0 for 35 was his worst return in the BBL, and Hurricanes’ sub-par total had become 167, the exact average winning score when batting first in BBL07.
Archer on target again
Against the Strikers, Archer kept hitting the stumps, either with yorkers or run-out throws. This time he was zeroing in with the short ball to end the fifth over, a nasty bouncer that hit Michael Klinger’s grille and bounced back onto his stumps.
Later, in the 16th, Archer produced a frankly absurd piece of fielding, charging around at long-on, picking up cleanly, and throwing down the stumps at the striker’s end of the pitch with a direct hit as Adam Voges tried to complete a second run. Bullseye.
Bancroft Turner Overdrive
It wasn’t quite enough, though. With Sam Whiteman superbly caught Short in the first over, and Christian bowling Hilton Cartwright in the 10th, it was 2 for 76, advantage Hurricanes. But Bancroft and Turner put on 38 together before Australia’s new Test opener was caught behind for 54 in the 14th over. At that stage the run rate was 8.31, the required rate 8.59. It was set up beautifully for Turner, one of the more destructive batsmen in the competition.
Hobart stayed in it until there were eight balls to go. Christian had bowled a suffocating line and length, aiming at the batsmen’s heels and giving up only singles, but eventually Turner was able to dig him out, first for a four that hit the long-on gap, then for a six. Archer bowled the last, but with only five runs to defend, the ask was too much even for the man with the golden arm.