Final (N), Melbourne (Docklands), January 28, 2022, Big Bash League
(16.2/20 ov, T:172) 92

Scorchers won by 79 runs


Scorchers surge to fourth BBL title after batting recovery act

Scorchers were 4 for 25 before an audacious century partnership between Evans and Turner powered them to a competitive total

The Perth Scorchers players pose with the winners' trophy  •  Getty Images

The Perth Scorchers players pose with the winners' trophy  •  Getty Images

Perth Scorchers 6 for 171 (Evans 76*, Turner 54, Lyon 2-24, O'Keefe 2-43) beat Sydney Sixers 92 (Hughes 42, Tye 3-15, Richardson 2-20 ) by 79 runs
Laurie Evans smashed 76 under pressure then quick Andrew Tye took three wickets as Perth Scorchers won a record fourth BBL title and exacted revenge over shorthanded Sydney Sixers with a crushing 79-run victory at the Marvel Stadium.
In a re-match of last season's decider, Scorchers were in serious trouble at 4 for 25 after being sent in before an audacious century partnership between Evans and captain Ashton Turner powered the hot favourites to 6 for 171.
Their star-studded attack then proved irresistible to end Sixers' bid for a historic third-straight title. Having broken the deadlock for most titles with their arch-rival, Scorchers may have notched their sweetest triumph having been on the road for 50 straight days due to being shut out of Western Australia's closed borders.
They faced a depleted Sixers without openers Josh Philippe and Jack Edwards, who were ruled out with Covid-19, while batter Jordan Silk failed to recover from a hamstring injury sustained against Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday where he controversially retired hurt before the match's final ball.
A third bid for an exemption allowing Steve Smith to play was blocked by the BBL, while Jay Lenton, an assistant coach for Sixers, took the gloves for the second straight match.
Scorchers, however, deserved the spoils having dominated all season in a golden summer for the franchise which also won the WBBL title two months ago.
Evans and Turner rescue Scorchers
Scorchers endured a horror show early and their worst four-over powerplay of the season, which yielded just 14 runs on a tricky pitch. Worse was to follow with an uncharacteristically reckless Scorchers repeatedly throwing away their wickets under Marvel Stadium's closed roof due to heavy rain in Melbourne.
Mitchell Marsh, who came in with a hamstring niggle, struggled and didn't get off the mark until his ninth delivery. He didn't last much longer as Scorchers appeared to be melting on the big stage.
Instead of rebuilding, a bold Evans and Turner launched a counterattack and quickly smashed 33 runs off 13 balls after the seventh over to turn the momentum. English import Evans has had an under-the-radar debut BBL season but his energetic batting made him a key cog of Scorchers' middle order. He played his best innings of the season as he fearlessly attacked Steve O'Keefe and was ably supported by Turner.
The red-hot duo each registered half-centuries with sixes before Turner fell shortly after. It didn't hurt Evans' momentum as he unleashed several astounding cover drives to lift Scorchers to a total that appeared beyond them after four overs.
Tye caps superb Scorchers bowling effort
Scorchers were without an ailed Marsh's bowling, meaning Turner had to chip in with his offspin. He came on after the powerplay and his golden night continued with the scalp of Nick Bertus - just his second wicket of the season.
As usual, Scorchers were miserly and overwhelmed the weakened Sixers batting order as all six bowlers claimed at least a wicket. Tye capped a superb season as he ran through the lower order to soon have Scorchers celebrating in style.
Sixers never in the hunt
Hayden Kerr produced an all-time great innings of 98 not out to get Sixers into the final but the emerging allrounder couldn't repeat the heroics. He fell in the second over and Sixers' hopes slumped at 3 for 46 after the departure of captain Moises Henriques.
The burden fell on Daniel Hughes, who returned from an ankle injury, and he looked in good touch although struggled to run between the wickets. But he lacked support and when his gutsy knock ended with a run-out on 42, Sixers ran out of gas as they fell to Scorchers for the fourth time this month.
Sixers' spinners star early
Sixers did start well and an upset was on the cards. They resisted using star spinners Nathan Lyon and O'Keefe in the powerplay and it did the trick.
Sixers' seamers bowled superbly and their accurate lengths outside off stump frustrated a shackled Scorchers, who were unable to target the ground's short square boundaries. Then O'Keefe and Lyon ran rampant with two wickets each as Sixers gained a stranglehold.
But Sixers were rattled by the brave batting of Evans and Turner as they let slip of the initiative. O'Keefe returned in the 16th over and picked up the wicket of Turner to finish with 2 for 43 in potentially his last BBL match.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

Win Probability
PS 100%
100%50%100%PS InningsSS Innings

Over 17 • SS 92/10

Steve O'Keefe lbw b Richardson 2 (5b 0x4 0x6 10m) SR: 40
Scorchers won by 79 runs
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