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KFC BBL|07

Scorchers Score Top Spot To End Regular Season

25 January 2018

The Perth Scorchers have tonight ensured their post-season defence of the KFC Big Bash League Championship will be fought on home turf, after defeating the Adelaide Strikers by four wickets at #TheFurnace to secure top spot on the BBL|07 table.

A sell-out crowd of 22,355 fans farewelled the WACA Ground as a BBL venue, with next Thursday's Semi Final and any future matches to be played at Optus Stadium.

The blockbuster clash was a fitting way to see off the iconic Ground, with the winner assured of top spot and a home setting for any finals they qualify for and the match ending in charateristically dramatic fashion.

The Scorchers required 10 runs for victory off the final over but did it in just three balls, as a pair of sixes from Player of the Match and captain Adam Voges (56 not out off 45) and Tim Bresnan (seven not out off three) sealed the result.

Fireworks erupted with an orange glowing Optus Stadium on the horizon as the result was made official, while WACA staff and players handed out giveaway items to fans around the boundary fence to mark the historic match.

The Scorchers will host the first of the BBL|07 Semi Finals next Thursday at 4:40pm at Optus Stadium in front of what is expected to be a capacity crowd, with the Rebel WBBL|03 Semi Final beginning earlier in the day at 12:10pm.

The defending Champions will face the fourth-placed team, with the remaining two games of the regular season to determine spots three and four on the ladder, with the Melbourne Renegades, Hobart Hurricanes and the Brisbane Heat remaining in contention.

The Strikers ended their season in second and will host next Friday's Semi Final at Adelaide Oval. 

The battle for top began as the Scorchers won the toss and elected to bowl, with the side's pace battery doing well to prevent the Strikers from running away early and holding them to a run a ball through the powerplay.

Opener Jake Weatherald (56 from 43) threatened to break the game open with consecutive sixes off Matt Kelly (2-31(4)), before the young pace bowler bounced back to remove Jono Dean (seven from 15) in the fifth over.

Johnson take a catch to remove Jono Dean.

The Strikers struggled to form a lasting partnership and fell to 2-42, then 3-68 when England import Bresnan (2-34(4)) had Colin Ingram (five from eight) caught behind and Jonathan Wells (15 from 23) caught at third man.

Weatherald was looming as a game-breaker for the visitors as he passed the half-century mark, before Kelly's redemption was complete in the 16th over, castling the set batter to have Adelaide 4-94.

Returning international Jhye Richardson (2-23(4)) rounded out the wicket-takers with consecutive dismissals, first bowling Alex Carey (25 from 10), before finding a way through the defences of Michael Neser (first ball duck), as the Strikers ended their innings at 6-137.

It was a staggered start for the Scorchers' response, as they fell to 2-25 with the loss of Sam Whiteman (eight off five) to a sharp catch by Billy Stanlake at short fine leg off Neser (1-35(3.3)) and Michael Klinger (five off 10) caught off the former a short time later.

The hosts' innings began telling a similar tale to that of the Strikers' when spinner Rashid Khan (3-20(4)) found himself on a hat-trick, having Hilton Cartwright (two from five) mistiming a shot to mid wicket, then trapping danger man Ashton Turner for a first-ball duck.

Cameron Bancroft scored 49 not out off 39.

The Scorchers were in trouble at just 4-28, but the dismissal brought together Cameron Bancroft (49 off 39) and Voges, with the pair compiling a crucial 77-run partnership and rebuilding past the team-ton without further loss in the 15th over.

Khan picked up his third wicket and arrested the Scorchers' momentum at 5-105, as he found a way through Bancroft's defences one run shy of the batter's half century.

The game was back in the balance with two overs remaining and the Scorchers requiring 14 runs to win when Ashton Agar (seven from eight) skied a Ben Laughlin (1-27(4)) delivery to be caught behind.

The Scorchers were 6-128 entering the final over, needing 10 runs to secure top spot.

A Neser full toss was dispatched for a maximum as Voges brought up his 50, before a single put Bresnan on strike to send a six sailing over third man, surpassing the three required for victory.

The Scorchers next Thursday host their 2017-18 Big Bash League Semi Final at Optus Stadium in front of an expected capacity crowd.