Scorchers season ends at hands of Strikers

Eight-wickets to the Adelaide Strikers spinners and a dashing half-century to Jake Weatherald inspired them to an upset 50-run victory over Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium.

Cruising at 0-38 in the fifth over in response to the Strikers' modest 7-155, the leg-spinning pair of Lloyd Pope and Cameron Boyce ripped through the Scorchers batting lineup as the five-time champions lost a remarkable 7-40 in nine overs to bow out of the competition.

With Laurie Evans unavailable due to UAE T20 league commitments and Stephen Eskinazi missing through injury, the Scorchers blooded a new opening pair with Victorian Marcus Harris joining debutant Sam Fanning at the top of the order.

And when Fanning (31 of 20 balls) blazed three fours and two sixes in an entertaining maiden Big Bash knock, the Scorchers appeared on their way to another finals win.

But after he picked out deep mid-wicket off Henry Thornton, the Strikers two leg-spinners got to work, together taking the next four wickets to fall.

Pope got the huge breakthrough of the Scorchers' skipper Hardie, bowled for eight, before Boyce bowled Josh Inglis (12) in an equally as crucial breakthrough.

Strikers captain Matt Short then added another wicket to the spin tally, getting horizontal as he dove to his left to remove Nick Hobson (4), and when David Payne had Ashton Agar caught for a duck, the Scorchers had slipped from 0-38 to 7-78 in the 14th over.

After Fanning, only Cooper Connolly showed any resistance with 31 off 22, but he ran out of partners and was the last man out trying to achieve the impossible.

Pope (4-24) and Boyce (3-20) returned to complete the job, sharing seven wickets between them.

The paid have now taken 20 wickets in the Strikers' five-match undefeated streak.

With both sides sporting revamped batting orders due to the departure of their overseas stars, Scorchers skipper Aaron Hardie won the toss and sent the Strikers in.

Jason Behrendorff (1-27) had D'Arcy Short back in the sheds in his first over with an athletic diving catch off his own bowling, before Andrew Tye produce the ball of the tournament to see the back of BBL|13 leading run-scorer Matt Short.

With Short slowly getting into his innings having moved to 13 off 12 with one boundary, the veteran quick produced a hooping, dipping, slower ball inswinger with his first ball of the match that snuck under the Strikers' skipper's bat and cannoned into his middle stump.

When Thomas Kelly's leading edge off Connolly found backward point and a panicked single saw Harry Nielsen caught short by Hardie's direct hit, the Strikers needed someone to grab the game by the horns at 4-48.

And the in-form Jake Weatherald did just that, crashing Ashton Agar for 17 from an over to swing the momentum.

The resurgent left-hander hit eight fours and two sixes as he brought up his second half-century of the season, and he now has 183 runs striking at 192.6 since replacing the injured Chris Lynn three games ago.

But his counter-attacking knock ended in bizarre fashion on 56 off 32 when he tried to reverse lap Hardie (2-24) off a ball that crashed into the top of off.

Henry Thornton (28no) and Ben Manenti (23) added some late blows to lift the Strikers to a competitive 7-155, which they no doubt would have happily taken at 4-54 at the halfway mark.

Connolly (2-17 off three) was the pick of the Scorchers bowlers, bowling the last over of the innings with his left-arm spinners when he conceded 12 of those runs.

The Strikers will head to the Gold Coast tomorrow to take on the Brisbane Heat on Monday night for the chance to take on the Sixers in the BBL|13 Final.