Arafat holds his nerve in One-Over Eliminator
Perth Scorchers 5 for 153 (Katich 71, Whiteman 54, Lee 4-28) tied with Sydney Sixers 9 for 153 (Steven Smith 65, Arafat 4-24, Behrendorff 3-21)
Perth Scorchers won the one-over eliminator
Yasir Arafat took 2 for 1 in his One-Over Eliminator to deliver the Perth Scorchers a thrilling victory over the Sydney Sixers.
Following a tie to send the game into the first One-Over Eliminator in BBL history Arafat clean bowled Steve Smith with a slower ball first ball of the over. Then, after Nic Maddinson had faced a dot and scored a single, Moises Henriques sliced a catch to backward point to bag the BBL's first-ever unofficial pair and leave the Scorchers needing two runs to win. Adam Voges struck the first ball from Brett Lee for four send the Scorchers to second on the BBL table.
Arafat was the sole reason for the tied game in the first place, as he experienced the highs and lows of T20 cricket in the Sixers' nail-biting chase.
He dropped Steve Smith at third man off Alfonso Thomas when the Sixers captain was on 27. It would have left the Sixers 6 for 79 needing 75 to win from 50 balls.
Instead, Smith exploded to make 65 off 48 before Arafat dismissed him with a slower ball in the 18th over. Arafat cleaned bowled Nathan Lyon two balls later to leave the Sixers requiring 23 runs off 14 balls with two wickets in hand. But Brett Lee and Chris Tremlett took 14 from Thomas' fourth over, the 19th, to put the pressure back on Arafat.
The Pakistan international conceded four runs from the first three balls of the last over when he only had six to play with. He then bowled Lee with an inswinging yorker.
Josh Hazlewood scrambled a single to leave Tremlett needing two for the win and one for a tie from the final ball. Arafat misfielded Tremlett's drive back to him and the resulting single forced the One-Over Eliminator.
Jason Behrendorff was overshadowed by the adventures of Arafat. His opening burst of 3 for 21 decimated the Sixers top order. He was on a hat-trick in his second over courtesy of deliveries that found the outside edges of both the right-handed Henriques and the left-handed Marcus North.
Earlier Brett Lee had produced a similar burst, taking two wickets in the first over of the match after the Scorchers won the toss. His pace was too much for Craig Simmons and Mitch Marsh. Lee finished with career-best T20 figures of 4 for 28.
Between Lee's two spells a partnership of 129 between Simon Katich and Sam Whiteman set up the Scorchers total, before Lee castled Whiteman for 54. Katich made 71. Adam Voges chimed in with 19 from eight balls to tick the total to 153. As it turned out the Scorchers needed every last run.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth