Perth Scorchers edge Brisbane Heat in BBL final to retain title | Cricket News

PERTH: Perth Scorchers‘ 19-year-old Cooper Connolly smashed an unbeaten 25 to see his side over the line in a nail-biting five-wicket win against Brisbane Heat who retained their crown in the Big Bash League (BBL) season decider at Perth Stadium on Saturday.
The fifth-ranked Heat, who performed valiantly throughout the finals series, posted 175-7 from their 20 overs after opting to bat, but the reigning champions proved too strong and worked their way to 178-5 with four balls remaining.

Perth Scorchers extended their BBL dominance to five titles from 12 editions.

With his team requiring 39 from 19 balls, Connolly, playing in only his fourth Twenty20, walked to the crease and assumed responsibility for the chase, living dangerously as he hammered two enormous sixes and a four.
Defending 10 from the final over, Heat seamer Michael Neser conceded multiple boundaries to Nick Hobson (18 not out) who iced the match.
The Scorchers response began strongly until a lazy piece of running saw Stephen Eskinazi (21) short of his crease.
The workmanlike Heat bowling attack hit good lengths through the first 10 overs, conceding 67-3 and pushing the required run rate above 10.
Captain Ashton Turner, responsible for several rescue acts this season, clubbed five boundaries and two sixes to keep the match on a knife-edge, supported by Josh Inglis (26).
When Turner was run-out for 53, Connolly and Hobson’s breathtaking partnership swung the match.
Earlier, opener Josh Brown got the Heat off to a rollicking start, belting 25 runs in the first two overs of the match before being caught. Sam Heazlett (34) and Nathan McSweeney (41) then consolidated to create a solid foundation for the innings.
Aggressive use of the batting powerplay in the 13th over backfired though and both Heazlett and skipper Jimmy Peirson (3) swiped Jason Behrendorff (2-26) to short fine leg.
After crunching a late 31 from 14 balls, Max Bryant skied a short Matt Kelly (2-37) delivery to keeper Inglis. The same fate awaited Neser, architect of Heat’s semi-final chase against Sydney Sixers, one ball later as he went for a golden duck.
Both sides entered the match short of star-power as injuries and international call-ups took their toll.
The Heat and Scorchers, aptly playing in temperatures nudging 40C (104F), were supported by a lively crowd of 53,886 — a BBL final record.


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