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RESULT
46th Match (N), Perth, January 18, 2023, Big Bash League
(17.3/20 ov, T:147) 147/3

Scorchers won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)

Report

Aaron Hardie cracks 90* as Perth Scorchers return to top of the points table

Tailenders Tom Andrews and Nathan Ellis rescued Hobart Hurricanes from 96 for 7, but 146 proved short in the end

Aaron Hardie hit an unbeaten 90  •  Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Aaron Hardie hit an unbeaten 90  •  Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Perth Scorchers 147 for 3 (Hardie 90*, Inglis 53, Meredith 2-35) beat Hobart Hurricanes 146 for 9 (Andrews 27, Morris 2-21, Tye 2-30) by seven wickets
Emerging allrounder Aaron Hardie continued his breakout BBL season with a career best knock to lead Perth Scorchers past Hobart Hurricanes at the Optus Stadium.
Chasing 147, Scorchers stuttered early before Hardie took control and combined with Josh Inglis in a 127-run partnership to overwhelm Hurricanes. Hardie finished 90 not out from 62 balls as Scorchers cruised to victory with 15 balls to spare.
Scorchers remain locked in an intense battle for the top spot with arch-rival Sydney Sixers, while Hurricanes are stuck in a congested middle of the ladder.

Hardie making No. 3 his own

Having been on the fringes of Scorchers' line-up in recent seasons, Hardie was tipped to make a big impact, and he duly delivered. He started the season with a half-century against Sixers batting at No. 6, but had to move up the order with the departures of Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth.
And Hardie has notched three half-centuries - all achieved while chasing - in five innings since his promotion. His belligerence and intimidating aura at the crease resembles injured team-mate Mitchell Marsh, who Hardie has effectively been able to replace.
After Scorchers were in early trouble against Hurricanes, Hardie was composed early before flattening Hurricanes' strong attack with a flurry of boundaries all around the wicket. So dominant was Hardie that he overshadowed the big-hitting Inglis, who hit 53 off 35 balls, and continued his strong season with a half-century marked by outrageous scoop shots.

Dooley's injury sours another impressive performance

Left-arm spinner Patrick Dooley has been a revelation this season as underlined by his 16 wickets at a remarkable economy of just over six.
Such have been his stellar performances that Dooley, who is a lawyer in his day job, was even bandied around as a left-field contender for Australia's upcoming Test tour of India. His eye-catching bowling action and effervescent personality has made him something of a cult figure.
Dooley was in the thick of the action early after he convinced skipper Matthew Wade to review a not-out lbw decision on Cameron Bancroft. It appeared fanciful at first glance, but Dooley was vindicated when replays showed that the ball had hit in line.
He loomed as key but became hampered by an apparent groin injury. Dooley pushed ahead and bowled four overs on the trot even though he was clearly inconvenienced. He finished with superb figures of 1 for 20 off four overs, but Hurricanes will be sweating on his fitness as they fight for a finals' berth.

'Wild Thing' Morris unleashed

There has been a lot of hype over Lance Morris, who is on the fringes of Australia's Test team, and was even selected for the upcoming India tour. Able to hit speeds over 150kph, 24-year-old Morris is probably the fastest bowler in the country, nicknamed 'Wild Thing' in a nod to former Australia speedster Shaun Tait.
But he has struggled in T20 cricket over the years, and has been in and out of Scorchers' strong attack since returning from Test-squad duties against South Africa. Recalled and looking to carve out a spot ahead of the finals, Morris produced arguably his best performance in his short BBL career.
With Jimi Hendrix's famous 'Wild Thing' song reverberating around the ground, Morris lived up to his reputation with a fiery burst during the powerplay. On a fast surface - a contrast to the slower decks at the stadium earlier in the season - Morris bounced out hard-hitting opener Caleb Jewell before welcoming Wade with a brute of a short delivery.
Something had to give between two firebrands, and Morris prevailed with a change of pace that rattled Wade, whose attempted flick down the leg side was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Inglis. Morris nearly claimed his first three-wicket haul in T20s when another hostile bouncer almost had Zak Crawley holing out to backward square. He finished with 2 for 21 from four overs, and it might just be enough to hold his place.

Andrews, Ellis upstage the top order

Hurricanes' explosive batting order struggled to fire in warm conditions. Perth-bred Tim David threatened and smashed spinner Ashton Agar for a huge six before hitting powerfully straight to deep midwicket.
In major trouble at 96 for 7, Hurricanes had an unexpected late rally through Tom Andrews and Nathan Ellis, who combined for a 44-run partnership.
Sporting a century in first-class cricket, Andrews is clearly no mug with the bat, but had faced just one delivery in his previous two BBL games this season. He put the foot down during a 25-run power surge as Hurricanes grabbed late momentum. Andrews unexpectedly top-scored for Hurricanes with 27, while Ellis' knock of 24 was his highest T20 score in his 50th innings.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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Over 18 • PS 147/3

Scorchers won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
Powered by Smart Stats
Scorchers Innings
<1 / 3>
Big Bash League
TEAMMWLPTNRR
PS14113221.205
SS14103210.846
MR147714-0.027
ST147714-0.716
BH146713-0.483
HH146812-0.340
AS145910-0.151
MS143116-0.287