Scorchers win big after Tye's hat-trick
Perth Scorchers 5 for 156 (Klinger 81, Swepson 2-22) beat Brisbane Heat 129 (Ross 39, Tye 4-22) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Brisbane Heat became the first victims of Cricket Australia's selection policy, choking on a run chase of 157 against Perth Scorchers that their big-hitting opener Chris Lynn would normally have devoured for breakfast.
Instead, having created the sensation of this tournament by forming the opening pair known as the Bash Brothers with former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Lynn was a spectator after being picked for Australia's ODI series against Pakistan.
It was a stark reminder of how uncomfortably these two forms of limited-overs cricket currently coexist in the Australian summer schedule. The unstoppable side of recent weeks was bowled out for 129 in the last over, finished off by an Andrew Tye hat-trick as the pace-change specialist finished with 4 for 22.
In Lynn's absence, the Heat could not create a sense of threat at the top of the order. His opening replacement, wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson, lasted all of three deliveries before left-arm menace Mitchell Johnson slanted a ball across him that took the edge to a well-placed Ashton Turner at slip.
Johnson's next over had Sam Heazlett miscuing a straight hit to Ashton Agar at mid-off, and from this unaccustomed position of disadvantage, McCullum skied a straight hit to mid-on one ball after pulling Jhye Richardson into the square-leg stands.
From there the mounting run rate kept the pressure high, and wickets fell regularly. Test opener Joe Burns and former Adelaide Striker Alex Ross put on 43, but when Burns tried to force the pace, Agar grabbed a brilliant catch running back towards long-on.
Michael Klinger held another running catch to get rid of Nathan Reardon, giving the microphone-wearing Scorchers captain the chance to chat breathlessly to Australian coach and selector Darren Lehmann as the latter moonlighted in the television commentary box, curious given Klinger is vying for national T20 selection.
While Ross attempted to bat through the innings with a 40-ball 39, he got very lucky in the 12th over when his reverse sweep against Agar rolled back solidly into the stumps. Like a home-series umpire, the heavy Zing bail was unmoved.
Nonetheless, Agar's four overs for 18 runs were instrumental in slowing Heat's chase, which looked over long before Tye could snuff it out.
Earlier, Klinger had played to perfection the role Ross was attempting, batting through most of the innings for 81 in a knock that combined consolidation and counterattack.
Conditions were trying: opening partner Shaun Marsh slashed a catch to third man, then Sam Whiteman hooked another, two overs after being struck a vicious blow to the head by English speedster Tymal Mills. Under a rare use of the concussion substitute rule, Cameron Bancroft entered the fray to keep wicket when Heat batted.
Young legspinner Mitchell Swepson bowled his four overs unchanged for 22 runs, picking up the normally silky Ian Bell at long-on and the destructive Ashton Turner off a top edge.
Around that damage, Klinger muscled sixes and fours down the ground and over midwicket, including one that Burns caught but carried over the rope. Klinger was finally out with seven balls left in the innings, and recent Test selection Hilton Cartwright could not ice the innings with 13 from 17.
The Scorchers total shouldn't have been enough, but the Lynn-less Heat were not able to keep up, loosening their hold on top spot with Sydney Sixers level on eight points, and Melbourne Stars on six with a game in hand.
Perhaps as significant as the loss, though, was news that McCullum now faces suspension for a slow over rate, a punishment that Heat has indicated an intention to protest. They had better. To lose one Bash Brother may be regarded as misfortune. To lose two begins to look like carelessness.
Geoff Lemon is a writer and radio broadcaster on history, sport and politics. He edits the Australian literary publication Going Down Swinging