Sixers v Scorchers, BBL 2013-14, Sydney January 10, 2014

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Richard on January 13, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    Arafat will do well from training harder on his fielding. That game should never have gone to an Eliminator.

  • Jay on January 11, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    I can't believe Arafat doesn't play for Pakistan. What a nice utility cricketer this man is ! Pakistan should seriously consider bringing him to the squad for the world T20 in a few months time.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    Great game! Smith is in sublime form and the Scorchers never say die. What about poor old Fonzie tho. I think may have played his last game? His bowling has gone downhill this season. As far as super over goes a team that lost 9 wickets should not be equal to a team that got the same score with 5 wickets. The solution to it I am not sure but something to ponder on.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    It was an excellent match I ever seen. Yasir Arfat has made a record of giving 2 runs in eliminator over by presenting an experienced bowling. One word for Brett Lee, no doubt an excellent bowler who is still very fit after retirement and one of the challenging bowler of the league. He will always be missed in ICC cricket.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    Can somebody tell me why the Sixers played one bowler too many? They used seven bowlers with O'Keefe and Tremlett bowling only one ove and Smith not bowling himself at allr. Can't see why they need Tremlett - an extra btasman would have helped their cause forcing O'Keefe back to 7 and Lee to 8. Their tail was too long in this match.

  • Santhosh on January 10, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    Honestly it was smith's game to lose.. It was gutting to see that youngster's knock go in vain. But i feel he should Not have played those 2 atrocious strokes!! the way he got out in the eliminator would have made Martin and tuffnel very proud. He should develop a little more patience and should not be disturbed at any on field activities and especially during such tense situations.

    To me, the game changer was that aborted ball before Steve got out. Both arafat and smith were disturbed. But the experience of yasir, got his head back and bowled a slower one where as young smithy lobbed it to Voges. He even told the onfield anchor that he was disturbed by that previous ball.

    But not to rob the credit of this phenomenal innings from smith, it was a great knock at any situation and i wish him for more success and soon to be leading the mighty Aussies.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    What a game! Scorchers never give up! but as the writer said Yasir Arafat experienced both highs and lows of this game. Was so disappointed when he dropped the catch of smith and thought that would hurt us. It nearly did but Arafat came back and changed everything again. His death bowling is probably among the best in the world!

  • James on January 10, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    Good to see the younger, up and coming players step up tonight. Steve Smith is maturing into a real good batsman and leader, and it was also good to see young Sam Whiteman stand up to the pressure. Turner has shown signs too and i think Cartwright should be given more of a go, he is a good player in the middle and can also give it a good hit.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Bloody good game that. Scorchers are a tough team to beat because of their bowling. Their batting is average (Lost Gibbs, Marsh, North, Hussey this season) but if they get 130-160 they will win most games. Heck we even defended 110.

    That being said, they will have to play out of their skins to beat the Stars come the final (which seems likely) it would be heartbreaking for Perth to lose three BBL finals in a row, but it will probably be the case.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    well don lee its very good for sixer upcoming matchs And also smith beacuse its a young player of the sixer and ausssis its it hepl both ......... when 20/4 smith take a charge and fire on perth ........but in the arafat make it for perth

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