Perth Scorchers trounce Brisbane Heat at Gabba
Perth Scorchers 1 for 51 (Coulter-Nile 23*) beat Brisbane Heat 4 for 109 (Lynn 51, Christian 37*) by nine wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Rain threatened to extinguish the Heat and Scorchers at the Gabba but instead it ignited an incredible display of power hitting as Nathan Coulter-Nile and Shaun Marsh took 29 from the last six balls of the match to chase down the Duckworth-Lewis target of 51 inside five overs.
Less than a week after rain helped inflict a farcical loss at the hands of the Melbourne Stars, Perth got the benefit of the Duckworth-Lewis in Brisbane.
The Heat, having been sent in to bat, were moving towards a healthy total at 4 for 109 with 41 balls remaining in their innings when persistent rain intervened and ended their innings prematurely. The rain stopped just in time to allow a five-over run chase. The Heat seemed to have it in control after three overs. James Hopes had removed the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs and the Scorchers needed 28 from 10 balls.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, who earlier seemed a villain for Perth with the ball, conceding 39 from his three overs, was promoted to No. 3 and it proved a master-stroke from Simon Katich. The powerful right-hand batsman edged Dan Christian fine to third man to make it 24 required from 9 deliveries. He then hit Christian inside out over the expansive cover fence for six to make it 18 from 8. The next ball from Christian was drilled through cover along the carpet for four more. Fourteen needed from 7 deliveries. Christian then delivered a half-volley in the slot and Coulter-Nile hit it 101m back over the bowler's head. Twenty-one was taken from the over. Coulter-Nile had scored 23 from just six balls faced and the Scorchers needed only 8 from the fifth over to win.
Shaun Marsh had only found the boundary once in his 11 off 9 balls to this point. He swung Thisara Perera lustily to deep-square but a brilliant diving stop from Ben Cutting saved two runs to leave 6 off 5 required. Marsh needed just one as he drove the Sri Lanka bowler powerfully straight for six and the Scorchers had won the lottery. This was the tenth successful chase in ten games so far in the tournament.
The Heat would be left to wonder what might have been after Chris Lynn and Christian rescued their innings from a disastrous start. Luke Pomersbach and Hopes both fell to Alfonso Thomas in the first over of the match, Pomersbach to a sensational running catch by Hilton Cartwright on the rope.
Joe Burns holed out in the fourth over from Michael Beer to leave the Heat reeling at 3 for 19. But then Lynn took charge. He clubbed 18 from Coulter-Nile's second over, did the same to Cartwright in the ninth, before taking a second helping of 16 from Coulter-Nile in the 11th, with each over featuring a massive six. Lynn brought up the fastest fifty of the tournament before picking out Thomas on the square-leg rope to end his electric 29-ball innings.
Christian's cameo was important and threatened to become much more than that but rain halted his charge, doused the Heat, and gave the Scorchers the chance to win their second match in a row and put themselves back into tournament contention.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth