Scorchers advance, shoot down the Stars again

Tuesday January 24, 2017

The Perth Scorchers have defeated the Melbourne Stars by seven wickets in the first semi-final played at the Furnace this evening.

Perth Scorchers strike bowler Mitchell Johnson celebrates with Michael Klinger the dismissal of Melbourne Stars’ Kevin Pietersen.
Photo courtesy of WACA/Perth Scorchers, Getty Images

Led by Mitchell Johnson the Scorchers progressed to the Big Bash League Final for the fifth time in six seasons and ended the Stars run for the fourth time in the qualifying match.

Johnson claimed the man of the match award and finished with his Big Bash career best, and the ninth best Scorchers bowling figures in an innings, taking three-for as many from his fiery four over spell.

The Stars were restricted to a fairly modest 8-136 off their 20 overs, a similar score they chased here only 10 nights ago. The Scorchers in reply reached the 137-run target with 19 balls to spare.

Michael Klinger’s attempt to reclaim top spot for most Big Bash career runs fell short. He clubbed a six off Daniel Worrall over long-on then two balls later glided to the safe palms of David Hussey at second slip.

Shaun Marsh raised his bat for his 14th Big Bash League half-century in his final match of Big Bash Season Six before making the trek to the land of the long white cloud to represent Australia in a One-Day series.

Sam Whiteman made a brisk 31 off 28 balls, two fours and a six, surviving a confident inside edge caught-behind appeal in the fourth over.

Whiteman made the most of his reprieve to help the Scorchers reach 1-48 off the six over power play before holding out to Evan Gulbis at deep square leg, while Kevin Pietersen limped off nursing a hamstring strain.

The Stars were overwhelmed in what was the last five overs as Marsh (56no) and Ian Bell (26no) guided the home side to the victory target.

Ben Hilfenhaus was the pick of the Stars bowlers despite going wicket-less tonight. The medium-pacer conceded only 16 runs off his three overs while three fellow bowlers claimed a wicket each.

Earlier, the Scorchers won the toss and sent the Stars into bat first on another barmy summer afternoon.

Johnson, the veteran former international, had the Furnace rocking in the opening over with the key wickets of Rob Quiney and Luke Wright. He then put the visitors on the ropes in the fourth over with the prized scalp of Pietersen.

Young paceman Jhye Richardson meanwhile claimed Marcus Stoinis’ wicket while Gotch and Hussey resurrected the fledgling innings with a handy 52-run fifth wicket partnership.

Gotch swiftly moved towards fifty with three big sixes while Ashton Turner and Ian Bell combined to dismiss Hussey. Gulbis fell to a well-timed boundary dodging catch by Shaun Marsh at long-on as the other Ashton – Agar then got amongst the wickets.

Agar then snaffled two catches allowing Tim Bresnan and AJ Tye to also finish with a wicket each with Gotch dismissed for 48 and Hilfenhaus (10).

The Perth Scorchers host either the Brisbane Heat or Sydney Sixers on Saturday evening in the Sixth Big Bash Grand Final. The match scheduled for a 4:15pm WA time start (7:15pm AEDT).

2016/17 Big Bash League – First Semi Final:

Melbourne Stars 8-136 (20 overs)
Gotch 48, Hussey 26, Worrall 13, Johnson 3-3, Bresnan 1-26

Perth Scorchers 3-139 (16.5 overs)
S.Marsh 56no, Whiteman 31, Bell 26no, Gulbis 1-9, Stoinis 1-15

Match Result: Perth Scorchers won by 7 wickets
Player of the Match: Mitchell Johnson (Scorchers)

Toss: Perth Scorchers, bowled first
Umpires: S Craig, S Nogajski
Match Referee: D Talalla
Venue: WACA Ground, Perth
Crowd: 19,977.

Perth Scorchers: Michael Klinger, Sam Whiteman (wk), Shaun Marsh, Ian Bell, Adam Voges (c), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Tim Bresnan, Jhye Richardson, Mitch Johnson, Andrew Tye.

Melbourne Stars: Rob Quiney, Luke Wright, Kevin Pietersen, Seb Gotch (wk), Marcus Stoinis, David Hussey (c), Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Daniel Worrall, Scott Boland, Michael Beer.