Perth Scorchers 3 for 182 (Turner 69, Plunkett 1-23) beat Melbourne Stars 9 for 155 (Maxwell 61, Coulter-Nile 3-30, Kelly 3-31) by 27 runs
Perth Scorchers celebrated stalwart Michael Klinger's farewell match in style with a throwback performance marked by powerful batting and clutch bowling to inflict a setback in Melbourne Stars' semi-final hopes.
Even though the cellar dwellers had only pride to play for, the match at Perth Stadium was emotion-charged with Klinger having announced his retirement from Scorchers.
After being sent in, Scorchers mustered their best score of the season with 3 for 182 through the re-emergence of Ashton Turner who clubbed a belligerent 42-ball 69 after Klinger laid the platform with a run-a-ball 30.
A brilliant 106-run partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis had Stars on track in the chase, but Scorchers rediscovered their prowess in defending totals with well-executed bowling towards the backend to record a comfortable victory.
Stars could have sealed a semi-final spot with victory but remain at the fourth position, while Scorchers can still avoid an embarrassing wooden spoon with Adelaide Strikers just two points ahead.
One last hurrah for Klinger
All eyes were on Klinger, who was hoping to go out with a bang and provide belated cheer for the home fans after a downtrodden season. The 38-year-old had been granted a farewell match after a hamstring injury ruled Shaun Marsh out of action.
Having made just 115 runs from nine matches before being dropped, Klinger looked rusty early on with several ugly swipes but seemed energised by the high-octane batting from Josh Inglis, who smacked five boundaries in his first 14 balls before holing out two balls later.
Klinger found his groove with trademark flowing drives to the boundary. He was joined by Turner, the slumping hard-hitter promoted to No. 3. A pulled four off Dwayne Bravo in the eighth over lifted the once-hot Turner into double digits for the first time in five matches.
Combating Scorchers' uncharacteristically strong start, Stars captain Glenn Maxwell persisted with his seam bowlers through the first ten overs before finally introducing Adam Zampa's legspin.
A nudged single by Klinger was his all-important 29th run to pass Chris Lynn as the leading run-scorer in the BBL history. Another single brought up Klinger's highest score of the season but thoughts of a fairytale finish evaporated when he holed out off Liam Plunkett in the 12th over.
Klinger, a dual champion with Scorchers, was acknowledged by several Stars players and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Turner rediscovers his brutal best
One of the many problems for Scorchers has been an inability to accelerate at the backend, but this time was different. After a relatively sedate middle period, Turner and Cameron Bancroft decided to put the foot down by attacking Zampa with aggressive footwork.
In a bid to get out of his slump, Turner started somewhat conservatively scoring 31 off his first 28 balls but needed just five more deliveries to reach fifty as he exploded through power hitting. Turner, who was aided by a bad drop from Maxwell on the boundary when on 41, clubbed Stoinis' next delivery into the crowd.
There was no stopping Turner who toyed with the field and blasted Zampa in the penultimate over for a massive six over long-on. He was unable to repeat the dose on the next ball and was caught by Maxwell at long-on in a major relief for the beleaguered Stars.
Dunk falls in controversial fashion
On a ground where there have been several contentious incidents this season, more controversy ensued when Ben Dunk fell in the second over after the third umpire adjudged a forward-diving Nick Hobson had caught cleanly at square leg. Hobson initially indicated that it was a bump ball, but the umpires convened and gave it out on the soft signal.
Replays were inconclusive forcing a fuming Dunk to trudge off and Stars' mood further soured when Peter Handscomb fell shortly after to leave the visitors reeling at 2 for 11 in the fourth over.
A miserly Jason Behrendorff frustrated Maxwell and Stoinis, but the runs flowed after his spell ended to leave the contest delicately poised.
Maxwell's heroics fall short
Maxwell took a liking to the bowling of Andrew Tye and Mitchell Marsh mid-innings as he accelerated to revive ghosts of Callum Ferguson's masterful chase. He spectacularly brought up his half-century with a towering six off young Clint Hinchliffe, while Stoinis was more content to play the supporting role with hard-run singles and twos.
Stars were in the driver's seat until Maxwell was brilliantly caught by Hobson at backward square-leg and the match suddenly swung Scorchers' way when Stoinis fell two balls after for 49.
Apart from some lusty hitting from Nic Maddinson, including a mammoth six into the second tier off Tye, Stars fell away badly to ensure Klinger capped off his glittering Scorchers career in winning fashion.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport