Mitchell Marsh and Gibbs power Scorchers to final
Perth Scorchers 3 for 174 (Gibbs 71, Mitchell Marsh 41*) beat Melbourne Stars 8 for 163 (Faulkner 38) by 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Perth Scorchers became the first team to secure a place in the finals of the Big Bash League, and the Champions League T20, after a convincing victory over Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars at a packed WACA ground. Herschelle Gibbs and Mitchell Marsh provided the fireworks at the start and end of the Scorchers' innings, before a double-wicket maiden from Ben Edmondson sucked the momentum out of the Stars' chase. Marsh also chipped in with two wickets and two catches to walk off with the Man-of-the-Match award.
In the first half of the chase, Luke Wright and James Faulkner put the Stars on course to overhaul the target of 175, reaching 88 for 2 after ten overs. Enter Edmondson, to swing the match the Scorchers' way. He had Wright swinging a catch to midwicket before getting the vital wicket of David Hussey for a golden duck courtesy a diving take from wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi. The perfect time for Edmondson to bowl his first maiden of the tournament.
There was still plenty of batting to come for the Stars' but they slipped further off course as Marsh removed Adam Voges and Cameron White in successive overs. Matthew Wade reeled off a few sixes to keep the Stars' fans hoping, but it proved too tall a target.
The Stars' would have been chasing a more modest total if they had been tighter in the field. Both the Scorchers' openers, Gibbs and Marcus North, were reprieved early in their innings, though both were difficult chances. Wade then fumbled a simple stumping that would have sent back Paul Collingwood.
Gibbs was the driving force behind the Scorchers' innings till his dismissal in the 17th over. He gave them a bright start by dispatching the first ball of the match through cover for four, and then smashing the first three deliveries of the second to the cover boundary. His stroke-filled innings ended when he top-edged a catch back to the bowler, but there was hardly any slackening of the pace as Marsh clubbed four sixes in the final three overs.
The Scorchers now await the winners of Sunday's clash between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers in the final, at home next Saturday.