Carberry fifty sets up Scorchers in thriller
Perth Scorchers 5 for 173 (Carberry 62, Klinger 36) beat Hobart Hurricanes 6 for 172 (Paine 57, Agar 2-38) by one run
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
More than any other team in the BBL, Perth Scorchers just seem to have a bit in reserve. Sam Whiteman, their first-choice wicketkeeper, has missed the entire tournament with injury; both Ashtons, Agar and Turner, have barely needed to bowl; David Willey, who has a 40-ball T20 century, has seldom been required with the bat; Michael Carberry, until now, has been keeping the Scorchers' bench warm.
All four of those aspects combined to secure a thrilling victory over Hobart Hurricanes before a packed house at the Bellerive Oval, as a hobbling Darren Sammy managed only four of the six runs the hosts required from the game's final ball - bowled by death specialist AJ Tye.
For the recalled Carberry, it was his bat, not the pine, that was smoking as his quickfire half-century propelled Scorchers to 173, with some brutal late hitting from Willey completing the job. With Carberry replacing Joel Paris, Scorchers looked a bowler light, but Agar took the key wickets of Kumar Sangakkara - stumped on the second attempt by Whiteman's understudy, Cameron Bancroft - and Tim Paine, bowled for 57, as Scorchers' bowlers - consistently remarkable defenders of tight totals - pulled off a strangle to win by a single run.
This was all little surprise, given the hallmarks of Scorchers' successive titles were adaptability and depth; with a place in the last four confirmed, they now know victory over Melbourne Stars at the WACA next Saturday ensures them a home semi-final, a significant step toward a third title.
Marcus Harris thrice drove Clive Rose for four in the match's opening over, but when the same bowler returned four overs later, Harris was fooled by one that was tossed up and, when he groped awkwardly forward, Paine duly stumped him. In the face of a barrage of verbals and chin music from a fired-up Shaun Tait - who had exchanged terse words with Harris - Michael Klinger was the picture of calm, swatting Sam Rainbird for a pair of leg-side fours in an over, and driving Dan Christian through cover. But Klinger was run out after some fine work in the deep by Rainbird and sharp hands from Darren Sammy. Six balls later Adam Voges slog swept Cameron Boyce straight to the man in the deep.
After marshaling their victory over Sydney Thunder three days ago, Agar had uttered the standard words of the supportive team-mate for the beleaguered colleague, claiming Carberry was "looking great in the nets." Agar was not wrong, with Carberry immediately looking in fine form, smashing Ben Dunk's apologetic offbreak over cover for four. In consecutive overs, he took Christian for three fours, then Boyce for four to bring up his 50 in 30 deliveries.
But Tait, who had been luckless in his early overs and touched 150kph, returned to stymie the Scorchers' progress. Carberry looked to cut him, but was caught behind, before Agar's leading edge went to cover. Willey's hard running pinched at least two runs from every ball of Sammy's last over - which also included a massive six over midwicket - to drag the visitors to 173.
Paine looked to anchor the Hurricanes' chase as Dunk and Sangakkara - who is averaging just 14.42 this season - fell early. Christian was promoted to No. 4 and shared 53 with his captain, before being bowled by Brad Hogg at the start of the third over. Paine nudged and nurdled effectively, reaching his fifty with a pulled six off Jason Behrendorff.
But when he missed a sweep off Agar and was bowled, a thrilling finish was set up. As Scorchers' fielding flagged, Michael Hill hit Hogg for a pair of sixes, and Jonathan Wells ran hard, but it was left to Sammy to complete the heist. He hit Behrendorff over deep midwicket for six to leave 16 required from Tye's last over. Sammy felt his hamstring twinge during a hard-run two, and hobbled through for two more the ball after. Then another of Tye's trademark yorkers claimed a dot, but Sammy stepped away and threw his hands at a wider delivery that flew into the stands at cover point.
With six required from two, Tye found a yorker that Sammy missed, and Wells was run-out sprinting down the pitch. Finally there was a four, and the Scorchers' strangle was complete. This, right here, is why they are double champions.