A stunning fightback from Laurie Evans and skipper Ashton Turner with the bat followed by a clinical show with the ball helped Perth Scorchers thrash Sydney Sixers by 79 runs in the final and won the 2021-22 Big Bash League title, here on Friday.
With this win, Perth Scorchers became the first team to lift the BBL Trophy for the fourth time in the competition’s 11-season history. They earlier had won titles in seasons 3, 4 and 6 of BBL.
At 4-25, Scorchers were in deep trouble and Evans (76 not out off 41) and Turner (54 off 35) helped them recover from the collapse as they put on 104 runs for the fifth wicket to help their side to 171 for 6. In reply, Daniel Hughes top-scored for the Sixers with 42 but it was not enough.
Chasing a challenging target, Hayden Kerr (2), who scored an unbeaten 98 against Adelaide Strikers to help the Sixers into the final, could not replicate his heroics as he fell in the second over to Jason Behrendorff slicing a catch to short third-man.
Daniel Hughes and Nick Bertus (15) tried to build a partnership but their association ended on 27 runs as Turner dismissed the other opener. With skipper Moises Henriques also falling cheaply, leg-before to Ashton Agar, the Sixers slipped to 46 for 3 after seven overs.
From there on, the game began to rest largely on the bat of Hughes, who despite passing a pre-match fitness test, appeared to be significantly hampered running between the wickets. He tried to hold the innings together but didn’t receive support from the other end as Dan Christian and Peter Hatzoglou fell in quick succession.
Hughes (42) was the next to fall, run out after a poor call from Sean Abbott in the 13th over as the Sixers slumped to 6-77. Only 25 more runs were added for the last four wickets as the Sixers were bowled out for 92 in 16.2 overs, losing the final by a huge margin of 79 runs.
Andrew Tye picked up a three-wicket haul (3/15) while Jhye Richardson bagged a couple (2/20).
Earlier, the Scorchers innings was in disarray after they were asked to bat, with only 25 runs coming in the first six overs at the cost of four top-order wickets.
Kurtis Patterson (1) was the first to depart, top-edging a pull-off Jackson Bird. Inglis (13) then joined the in-form Patterson back in the shed and he was quickly followed by Mitchell Marsh and Colin Munro.
Marsh (5) and Munro (1) got out to Nathan Lyon in the sixth over, failing in their attempts to play the loft and reverse sweep respectively as the Scorchers slumped to 4-25 in the sixth.
That was when Turner was joined by Evans and they shifted the momentum with a brilliant match-winning partnership across the next 10 overs. Both Turner and Evans brought up their half-centuries with powerful sixes over mid-wicket before veteran tweaker Steve O’Keefe (2-43) broke through to send the Scorchers skipper on his way in the 16th over.
Evans, meanwhile, collected two more sixes and remained unbeaten on 76 from 41 balls, his highest score of the tournament, with a tally of four boundaries and as many maximums. Ashton Agar also struck three fours as Scorchers finished with a remarkable total of 171-6 that had earlier looked impossible.
Brief scores: Perth Scorchers 171/6 in 20 overs (Laurie Evans 76 not out, Ashton Turner 54; Nathan Lyon 2-24, Steve O’Keefe 2-43) beat Sydney Sixers 92 in 16.2 overs (Daniel Hughes 42; Andrew Tye 3-15, Jhye Richardson 2-20) by 79 runs.