Brisbane Heat’s innate ability to self-destruct was on show once again at Metricon Stadium.
Having restricted Perth Scorchers to an under-par total, a combination of pressure and poor batting saw Brisbane fall to another home defeat. Over 20,000 fans on the Gold Coast witnessed a poor batting display from the home team. Perth’s total was gettable, but Brisbane conspired to lose the game heavily. If alarm bells weren’t ringing for coach Darren Lehmann before, they are now.
Perth Scorchers’ Josh Inglis and Liam Livingstone both had steady starts to their innings, but Brisbane Heat bowlers offered up a few easy balls for the Scorchers duo to get their eyes in. Despite that, both Mark Steketee and Josh Lalor were able to sneak balls past the outside edge.
The introduction of spin, in the form of Zahir Khan, gave Heat the valuable breakthrough. Livingstone was beaten and given out LBW. The batter had reservations but had to depart for 12. Khan continued to cause problems, Cameron Bancroft finding him challenging to read before Inglis’ charge down the wicket led to his downfall for 27 runs.
Bancroft and Turner were struggling to score, and Heat captain Chris Lynn tried to take advantage by cycling through as many overs as possible. Ben Laughlin, Matt Renshaw and Ben Cutting came into the bowling attack to keep the advantage. At the end of the 10th over, the Scorchers were 2/66 and needing to increase their scoring rate with no boundaries scored since the 5th over.
Feeling the pressure of the situation, Turner attempted to hoist Cutting over long-on, but Renshaw easily took the catch from the mistimed shot. Going into the strategic time out, the Scorchers were 3/71 with new batter Mitch Marsh at the crease.
The time out appeared to work as Bancroft started to play some shots. Marsh followed suit; Laughlin deposited way back into the crowd for a big six. Scorchers were also comfortable to pay Zahir Khan respect as the spinner finished his four overs for 2-18. With five overs left, Scorchers were 3/103 and placed to accelerate.
Lalor’s over was the watershed as Marsh smashed a six and a four. The next over saw the end of Marsh, to give Ben Laughlin his 99th BBL wicket, by chipping the ball to Sam Heazlett and deep midwicket. Bancroft took over the mantle, achieving his fifty off 41 balls, with some attacking batting. However, Heat’s tight bowling led to Bancroft’s fall when he perished at long-on.
In the final over, Heazlett thought he’d pulled off a fabulous catch but ran onto the boundary rope before offloading the ball. Laughlin was not to be denied as Cameron Green tickled the ball, trying to hook, and Peirson took the record-setting 100th wicket for the bowler. The Scorchers ended their innings on an under-par score of 6/149.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU CATCH ALL OF AUSTRALIA'S SUMMER OF CRICKET LIVE ON KAYO SPORTS
CLICK HERE FOR A FREE TWO-WEEK TRIAL!
In response for Brisbane Heat, Tom Banton’s return after sickness was not long lived. Having scored seven runs, Jhye Richardson trapped back on the crease to send him on his way. The fall of Banton brought Chris Lynn to the crease who smashed his second ball over square for four. Max Bryant fell soon after to a smart stumping from Josh Inglis off Ashton Agar’s first ball. Incoming batter Matt Renshaw soon departed, to Chris Jordan’s first ball, with a simple caught and bowled chance. Heat slipped to 3/21 with eleven balls left in the powerplay.
Sam Heazlett’s torrid time in the BBL continued when Matthew Kelly trapped him in front for 12. Brisbane’s inability to chase had reared his head again. Coach Darren Lehmann’s response was to call the strategic time out at the end of the 6th over with Heat languishing on 4/40.
Lynn and new batter Jimmy Peirson batted more sensibly as the Scorchers applied the pressure. Agar initiated another wicket, Inglis once again with the smart glovework, as the Heat’s chase fell further into chaos. Fawad Ahmed added further problems when Peirson became his 50th BBL wicket.
Feeling the pressure, Lynn then succumbed when Jordan took an easy catch at long-on. Heat’s captain was gone for 14, from an uncharacteristic 21 balls, and their last chance went with him.
Mark Steketee and Josh Lalor tried their best, but the damage had been done way before they got to the crease. The pair added 19 runs, the Heat’s highest partnership of the match at that point before Fawad Ahmed claimed his third wicket by bowling Steketee. Laughlin smashed the next ball for six, to slightly taint the bowler’s impressive figures of 3-16.
With the game sliding for Brisbane, Lalor picked out Agar to give Liam Livingstone a wicket. Zahir Khan came out blazing, finally giving the home fans something to cheer, and Laughlin followed suit. When Laughlin eventually fell for 17, leaving Zahir on 19 not out, the Scorchers were the victors by 40 runs.
Perth Scorchers – 6/149 20 overs (Bancroft 50, Zahir Khan 2-18, Laughlin 2-32)
Brisbane Heat – 109 18.4 overs (Zahir Khan 19no, Fawad Ahmed 3-16, Agar 2-16)
Perth Scorchers won by 40 runs
Brisbane Heat: Chris Lynn (c), Tom Banton (wk), Max Bryant, Ben Cutting, Sam Heazlett, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, James Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Zahir Khan
Melbourne Stars: Mitchell Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis (wk), Chris Jordan, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner