Dominant Scorchers lock in Home Semi-Final
The Perth Scorchers have stormed to the top of the KFC Big Bash League table in dramatic fashion and guaranteed a home semi-final with a seven-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes inside 14 overs at Blundstone Arena.
The result means Perth, currently top-placed, cannot finish lower than second, with the final table positions, including potential opponents, to be determined through the result of the currently in-play match between Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers at the MCG.
The match marked a stunning return to form for Player of the Match Shaun Marsh, who bludgeoned 57 off 34 balls, including two towering sixes and seven fours to see his side to 3-135 in pursuit of Hobart’s 6-134 with 37 balls remaining.
Captain Adam Voges returned from injury with a vengeance, winning the toss and sending the Hurricanes in to bat against in-form strike bowler Mitchell Johnson (2-15), whose dismissal of opener Tim Paine (five) and first drop Ben McDermott (10) cheaply helped set up the Scorchers’ victory.
Perth was faced with an equation of having to win within 16 overs to move to the top of the table and host a semi-final and showed little hesitation in that pursuit, with the loss through a stunning caught-and-bowled of Sam Whiteman (nine), who was promoted to opener, the only blip in the chase.
Michael Klinger (29) was patient and composed in playing a support role to Marsh’s heroics, before his dismissal brought Voges to the crease and the captain brought his own aggression to the chase, clubbing 20 not out from just eight balls, finishing unbeaten alongside Ashton Turner (16 from seven).
The Scorchers appeared determined to make a statement from the outset through Johnson’s searing form in capturing the first two wickets.
English import Tim Bresnan (2-20) accounted for the Hurricanes’ West Australian opener D’Arcy Short (36) a few overs later, castling the hosts’ top scorer to leave Hobart reeling at 3-62.
The Scorchers were well on top when all-rounder Turner took a stunning catch to dismiss George Bailey (10), coming within millimetres of the rope and lobbing the ball to Bresnan mid-air as he flew over the boundary.
Hobart rallied some momentum in its final overs, with West Australian Jono Wells (28 not out) and Clive Rose (29 not out) providing valuable runs to boost the Hurricanes to 6-134.
News Source: Perth Scorchers/WACA Media