Turner fifty, Connolly cameo lift Perth Scorchers to 5th Big Bash League title
Captain Ashton Turner (53 off 32) and Cooper Connolly (25* off 11) played terrific knocks as the Perth Scorchers beat the Brisbane Heat by five wickets in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23 final on Saturday, February 4.
The Brisbane Heat posted a competitive 175/7 on the board after winning the toss and batting first at the Perth Stadium. In reply, the Perth Scorchers got off to an underwhelming start and were in trouble at 54/3 in the eighth over. However, Turner and Josh Inglis (26 off 22), added 80 runs for the fourth wicket to lift the chasing side, before Connolly struck some timely blows.
Perth Scorchers opener Stephen Eskinazi (21) gifted his wicket away as he was run-out at the non-striker’s end by a direct hit, not making an attempt to drag his bat into the crease.
Cameron Bancroft (15) was caught at long-off, trying to take on Matthew Kuhnemann. Aaron Hardie (17 off 13) looked dangerous until he slapped Spencer Johnson straight to deep backward square leg, where Sam Heazlett took an excellent catch.
Turner, however, struck five fours and two sixes even as Inglis had some trouble finding some big hits on a regular basis. The fourth-wicket stand was broken when Inglis sliced Xavier Bartlett to deep cover. Disaster struck for the Perth Scorchers as Turner was run-out following a horrible mix-up with Nick Hobson.
Connolly, 19, however, displayed nerves of steel and kept Perth Scorchers ahead in the BBL 2022-23 final. He clubbed James Bazley for two sixes and a six in the 18th over, which cost the Brisbane Heat 18 runs. Connolly was then dropped at deep point in the penultimate over as Brisbane began feeling the ‘heat’.
With 10 needed off six balls, Hobson whacked the second ball of the last over from Michael Neser for a maximum.
A high full-toss was then sliced over short third man for a four as the Perth Scorchers won the BBL crown for a fifth time, extending their domination in the T20 league.
Brisbane Heat put up 175/7 against Perth Scorchers
Batting first after winning the toss in the BBL 2022-23 final, the Brisbane Heat put up 175/7 on the board. Nathan McSweeney top-scored with 41 off 37, while opener Heazlett contributed 34 off 30, before Max Bryant clobbered 31 in only 14 balls.
Josh Brown got the Brisbane Heat off to an impressive start, hammering Jason Behrendorff for three fours in the first over. He slammed a couple of more big hits in the next over before miscuing a slower ball off David Payne. Brown was back in the hut for 25 off 12 balls.
After a few quiet overs, Heazlett slammed Hardie for six and four off consecutive deliveries as the Brisbane Heat reached a competitive 86/1 at the halfway stage. Behrendorff struck twice in the 13th over to reduce the batting side to 109/3.
The Perth Scorchers took the Power Surge and the move paid off. Heazlett gloved a short ball to short fine leg, while Jimmy Peirson (three) was caught off another short one in the same region.
The Brisbane Heat suffered another blow when McSweeney sliced a catch off Hardie to deep cover. Bryant, however, slapped two fours and three sixes to lift the batting side. Matthew Kelly dismissed Bryant and Neser (0) in the penultimate over.
A last-ball six by Bartlett (six*) off Andrew Tye took the Brisbane Heat past the 170-run mark. It was just not enough though as the Perth Scorchers recovered from a horror start to down the Brisbane Heat.
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Renin Wilben Albert