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Hurricanes Surge To Storming Win Over Reigning Champs

01 February 2018

The Perth Scorchers have lost their grip on the KFC Big Bash League Championship, falling by 71 runs to the Hobart Hurricanes in front of 52,960 fans in the Semi Final at Optus Stadium.

The Club was attempting to make a record sixth BBL Final and defend its third Championship, but the loss means that for just the second time in the competition's seven seasons, the Scorchers will not appear in the decider.

It was a challenging way to end a steely season by the Scorchers, who were often without key personnel through injury and national selection, yet ground their way to eight wins and two losses to claim the minor premiership.

The Scorchers won the toss and elected to bowl, with the Hurricanes setting the tone early in amassing 4-210, before ensuring constant pressure with the ball and in the field bowled the home side out for 139 in 17.5 overs.

The Hurricanes launched their innings with intent, with Matthew Wade (71 off 45) and Tim Paine (four from seven) having approached the team half-century in less than five overs before the partnership was broken.

The crowd was in raptures for the first BBL wicket at the new venue, which came in the form of a sprinting diving catch from Mitch Marsh at mid wicket off Matt Kelly (1-34(4)).

It was a wicket the Scorchers sorely needed, but did little to curb Wade's aggressive approach.

He combined with George Bailey (17 off 15) for a 36-run partnership, before the latter holed out at mid off from Tim Bresnan (2-40(4)) to have the Hurricanes 2-80.

The momentum remained with the visitors as Wade surged passed his half-ton off 31 balls in the eighth over and Hobart brought up the ton in the 12th.

The breakthrough came in the 14th over courtesy of Bresnan, with Wade mistiming a pull to deep mid wicket and Kelly taking the catch on the run.

It was a crucial wicket to have the Hurricanes 3-120 and temporarily halted the run-rate, before Dan Christian (37 off 22) and Ben McDermott (67 not out off 30) resumed the surge.

A run-out of Christian brought a brief reprieve at 4-208, but the damage on the scoreboard was largely done, with the 211 for victory to be the second-highest chase in BBL history if successful.

A six and a four from Michael Klinger (15 off 11) briefly eased the nerves of the vocal crowd, before the opener was dismissed caught attempting to pull Tom Rogers (3-31 (4)) past short fine leg.

It had the Scorchers 1-21, which became 2-41 when Cameron Bancroft fell for just one off six, caught at deep backwards square off Rogers.

The returning Shaun Marsh (30 off 18) continued to push the Scorchers forward, rousing the crowd with regular boundaries.

However, the Scorchers found themselves in an even more challenging position at 4-56 when Marsh was caught top-edging Rogers to deep mid wicket and younger brother Mitch (three off five) sent a leading edge to fine leg off Christian (4-17(3.5)).

It appeared fortunes were favouring the Hurricanes when Ashton Turner (two off four) was caught short of his crease by a pin-point Bailey throw.

The evening did not improve for the hosts, who after losing Adam Voges (three off five) and Hilton Cartwright (four off eight) cheaply were 7-68 at the halfway mark, requiring more than 14 runs an over for victory.

A win from that point was never the likely outcome and a steady fall of wickets, despite a cameo from Bresnan (43 off 26), eventually brought about the inevitable, with a 71-run win to Hobart.

Sunday's BBL|07 Final will be contested between the Hobart Hurricanes and the winner of tomorrow's Semi Final between the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades.