Turner and Connolly help Scorchers score 5th BBL title

Turner and Connolly help Scorchers score 5th BBL title

Perth Scorchers scored their fifth BBL title with an outstanding performance, fueled by Ashton Turner’s rapid 53 off 32 balls. Cooper Connolly (25* off 11) and Nick Hobson (18* off 7) played crucial cameos to secure the victory. Despite Brisbane Heat’s late tournament surge, their hopes for the championship were dashed as the Scorchers successfully chased down a target of 176 with five wickets in hand and three balls to spare at Perth Stadium on February 4th.

The Scorchers started steadily in their chase, with Stephen Eskinazi and Cameron Bancroft finding regular boundaries, reaching 31/0 by the end of the fourth over. However, Eskinazi was run out for 21 due to a slow return to the bowler’s end in the fifth over. Bancroft fell a couple of overs later, caught at long-off off Matthew Kuhnemann’s delivery. Aaron Hardie’s dismissal followed, leading the Scorchers to a precarious 54/3 in the eighth over. By the halfway stage, their score was 67/3.

Facing a required run rate of 10.9 by the 10th over, Ashton Turner shifted the momentum by taking on the bowlers. He managed a top-edged six off Xavier Bartlett’s delivery and followed it up with boundaries against Kuhnemann and James Bazley. Josh Inglis joined in with a couple of fours, while Turner’s aggressive batting earned him a six off Michael Neser to complete a 30-ball 50. The Power Surge overs, taken in the 15th and 16th, contributed 24 runs, bringing down the required runs to 46 off 24.

The partnership of 80 runs for the fourth wicket ended in the 17th over when Bartlett had Inglis caught at deep cover. Turner’s run out in the same over dealt another blow to the Scorchers. With 38 needed off 18, Connolly stepped up in the 18th over, smashing two sixes and a four off Bazley, reducing the equation to 20 off 12. Hobson sealed the deal in the final over, hitting a six and a four off Neser to secure the victory for the Scorchers.

In the first innings, Brisbane Heat chose to bat, and Josh Brown set an aggressive tone with three fours off Jason Behrendorff in the opening over, albeit not in full control. He managed a six off David Payne but soon fell, caught at mid-on. Nathan McSweeney scraped a boundary off Matthew Kelly in the fourth over, pushing the Heat to 36/1. A boundary drought followed for the next three overs until McSweeney pulled off a six, and Sam Heazlett struck a four and a six against Aaron Hardie. McSweeney added another four with a chip shot, bringing the Heat to 86/1 at the halfway point.

Brief scores: Brisbane Heat posted 175/7 in 20 overs (Nathan McSweeney 41, Sam Heazlett 34; Jason Behrendorff 2-26) and were defeated by Perth Scorchers who scored 177/5 in 19.3 overs (Ashton Turner 53, Josh Inglis 26; Matthew Kuhnemann 1-28) by 5 wickets.