Perth Scorchers smash Sixers in BBL final

Oliver Caffrey |

The Perth Scorchers are BBL champions for a record fourth time after smashing the COVID-19 and injury-hit Sydney Sixers by 79 runs

The most dominant franchises in BBL history battled it out in the final for the fifth time in 11 seasons, with the Scorchers recovering from an early stumble on neutral territory at Marvel Stadium to clinch their first title since 2016-17.

Despite starting slowly after playing just one match in 11 days, the Scorchers, who have been away from Perth since December 8 due to Western Australia’s border situation, finished with the largest victory by runs in BBL final history.

The Sixers were skittled for just 92 – the lowest total in a BBL decider – in the 17th over.

Veteran Scorchers quick Andrew Tye (3-15) ripped through the Sixers’ middle order as the men in magenta lost 3-0 in four balls.

Daniel Hughes, who entered the match under an injury cloud, was the only Sixers batter to show any resistance with a well-made 42.

Englishman Laurie Evans proved the match-winner as he fired the Scorchers out of serious trouble and to their respectable total of 6-171 after Sixers captain Moises Henriques elected to bowl first.

Decimated by COVID-19 infections and injuries, the Sixers entered the clash as serious underdogs against the star-studded Scorchers.

But a boilover was on the cards early as the Scorchers collapsed to 4-25 after Test star Nathan Lyon dismissed Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup hero Mitch Marsh and the dangerous Colin Munro in quick succession.

However, Scorchers captain Ashton Turner (54 from 35 balls) and Evans hit back in style, putting on a 104-run partnership to power the Western Australia franchise to a genuine advantage.

Evans’ batting was a class above, hitting two magnificent cover drives for six, to finish with an unbeaten 76 from 41 balls.

Without a number of established batters, including Josh Phillipe (COVID-19) and Jordan Silk (hamstring), the Sixers could never get their innings going.

The Sixers’were left fuming after their request to bring in Australian superstar Steve Smith was knocked back by Cricket Australia.

It is believed officials determined that there was adequate batting cover available for the Sixers in the local replacement pool.

Assistant coach Jay Lenton, who was playing in just his second BBL game since February 2020, again acted as wicketkeeper in place of Phillipe.

Nick Bertus, playing in just his second BBL game, opened the batting with Hayden Kerr, the Sixers’ hero against the Adelaide Strikers two nights ago.

Marsh and quick Jason Behrendorff were the only survivors from the Scorchers’ first title back in 2013-14.

The Sixers were denied a three-peat after accounting for the Scorchers in last year’s final and the Melbourne Stars in the 2020 decider.