Cricket network logo

Ashton Agar and Ashton Turner celebrating the Scorchers' five-wicket win // Getty Images


'Ash Brothers' Push Scorchers To Top Of Table

21 January 2018

The Perth Scorchers have moved a step closer to earning a home semifinal, returning to the top of the KFC Big Bash League table with a five wicket-win over the Hobart Hurricanes at #TheFurnace.

The victory in front of 22,236 fans put the Scorchers a win clear on top of the table, but second-placed Adelaide Strikers have a game in hand.

The Scorchers have ensured themselves a finals berth, however, the result has not secured a top-two finish and home semifinal, with the third-placed Melbourne Renegades capable of usurping the reigning champions or Strikers if they were to win all three of their remaining matches.

The Scorchers won the toss and elected to bowl, with the Hurricanes making an aggressive start and building to a run-rate of more than 10 after four overs, as Matthew Wade (31 from 17) played the unlikely lead alongside usual-aggressor D'Arcy Short (11 from 17).

However, after going for 22 in his first over, left-armer Joel Paris (1-46(4)) returned with determination to strike with the first ball of his second, with Wade whipping a catch to the returning Sam Whiteman at short fine leg.

Joel Paris combined with Sam Whiteman to get the opening wicket of Matthew Wade

The dismissal put the brakes on the visitors, who fell from 1-41 to 2-51 when Short lobbed a Matt Kelly (2-23(4)) delivery to Ashton Agar at mid on.

The Scorchers had wrested control of the momentum and continued to assert themselves, with 11 consecutive dot balls, including a maiden over from Player of the Match Agar (2-14(4)), holding the Hurricanes to 2-51 after seven.

Agar's star continued to rise as he drew Ben McDermott (eight from 15) out of his crease for a swift stumping by Cameron Bancroft, before Daniel Christian (one from two) chopped on, reducing the Hurricanes to 4-68.

Ashton Agar bowled Daniel Christian for one.

It was a crucial period for the Scorchers, with the visitors held to just 3-26 from 30 balls.

However, Hobart struck back in the second half of the innings, with captain George Bailey (37 off 33) and Simon Milenko (66 not out off 37 balls) putting on a 70-run partnership.

The unlikely cameo from Milenko continued and was invaluable for the Hurricanes, seeing them to a competitive 5-167.

Whiteman's (one from three) long-awaited return from a finger injury had him immediately thrust into the action, opening alongside Michael Klinger (17 from 18).

It was a short-lived resumption for the championship-winning gloveman, though, as he was dismissed off Tom Rogers (1-29(4)) through a superb running catch by Short in the deep.

The Scorchers fell to 2-34 in dramatic fashion, when a short Jofra Archer (1-31(3.2)) ball ricocheted off Klinger's helmet and onto the stumps.

A 44-run partnership formed between Cameron Bancroft (54 off 35) and Hilton Cartwright (17 from 13) resurrected the hosts' chase, before being stymied as the latter crept down the pitch, only to be bowled by Christian (1-28(3)).

The team 100 was brought up in the 13th over with the Scorchers requiring a little less than nine an over, with the big-hitting Ashton Turner (50 not out off 27) helping alleviate the pressure.

A slower ball from left-armer Tymal Mills (1-25(4)) snared the crucial wicket of Bancroft, caught behind shortly after bringing up his half ton.

The pressure continued to build for the Scorchers at 4-123, requiring 45 runs off the last five overs, with the task becoming harder after a throw from Archer from the long on boundary ran out Adam Voges (10 off seven) at the non-striker's end.

Ashton Turner smacked 50 not out off 27 against the Hobart Hurricanes.

Agar (13 not out off 11) came together with Turner at 5-127 in the 16th and the pair played the task with maturity, running quickly between the wickets for doubles and taking boundaries when the opportunity presented itself.

That opportunity came in the penultimate over, with eight balls remaining, 15 runs required for victory and the game on the line.

Turner first punched a four off Christian to the deep mid wicket boundary, before heaving a six over long on to reduce the tally to five required from Archer's final over.

A single returned Turner to strike and the free-wheeling batter ended the game with four balls to spare, ramping Archer to the fine leg boundary to the secure the five-wicket win.

The Scorchers next host the Adelaide Strikers on Thursday 25 January in what will be the last BBL match played at the WACA Ground.