Ashton turns the screw on Sixers to set up home final
PERTH Scorchers skipper Ashton Turner (84*) has helped his side secure a home decider in BBL|12 after defeating the Sydney Sixers in Saturday night’s qualifier. After the hosts fell to 3-22 chasing Sydney’s 8-151 at Perth Stadium, Turner put on an unbroken 132-run stand with Cameron Bancroft (53*) to see the Scorchers home with nine balls to spare.
The reigning champions, gunning for an unprecedented fifth BBL title, will now play either the Sixers, Brisbane Heat, or Melbourne Renegades in this year’s decider on Saturday February 4. They won last night in front of over 40,000 adoring fans, who are sure to pack out Perth Stadium once again come the final game of the 2022/23 season.
Though it was a canter in the end, the Scorchers’ chase looked in great peril after the power play. Competition leading wicket taker Sean Abbott (3-25) was the main destroyer, taking all three poles to put the Sixers in the box seat. He was on fire in the fourth over, removing Aaron Hardie (9) and Josh Inglis for a second-ball duck within the space of three deliveries.
Earlier, the Sixers’ batting innings also needed steadying. The key wicket of Steve Smith (18) saw them fall to 3-42, but leading BBL finals run scorer Moises Henriques (58) came to the rescue. He put on 88 runs alongside Jordan Silk (47*) to set up a defendable total, while Scorchers bowlers David Payne (3-33) and Jason Behrendorff (2-17) went about removing five of Sydney’s top six.
With one finals win in tow and another needed to secure the title, there will be some tough decisions to come for the Scorchers. They are unlikely to regain paceman Jhye Richardson and will lose Lance Morris to international duties, with either Matt Kelly or Peter Hatzoglou to reprise a spot in the side.
Meanwhile, the Sixers will take on the winner of tonight’s knockout bout at home, in hopes of earning a second chance at beating the Scorchers. Despite setting the competition benchmark throughout the tournament, both teams have improvements to make until then after a number of missed opportunities in the field.
RESULT: Perth Scorchers (3-154) def. Sydney Sixers (8-151) by 7 wickets
POTM: Ashton Turner (Perth Scorchers)
TOSS: Sydney Sixers won the toss and elected to bat.
Ashton Turner 84* (47), Cameron Bancroft 53* (45)
David Payne 3-33, Jason Behrendorff 2-17
Moises Henriques 58 (43), Jordan Silk 47* (34)
Sean Abbott 3-25