Cricket

Perth Scorchers one win away from Big Bash title after a SHOCKING fielding mistake costs the Sixers

Perth Scorchers one win away from ANOTHER Big Bash title after a SHOCKING fielding mistake costs the Sydney Sixers as Aussie great Adam Gilchrist slams the howler as ‘Under-10s stuff’

  • Perth Scorchers beat Sydney Sixers by seven wickets on Saturday
  • Scorchers will host the Big Bash final at Optus Stadium next week
  • Sixers must win a knockout final on Thursday to play for the title 

A calamitous piece of fielding cost the Sydney Sixers the chance to upset the Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium and sent the reigning champions through to another Big Bash final.

The four-time champions restricted the Sixers to 151-8 before replying with 154-3 in 18.3 overs. 

Skipper Ashton Turner led from the front with a powerful 84 not out from 47 balls, ably supported by Cameron Bancroft, who added 53 as the duo put together a match-winning 132-run partnership. 

Josh Philippe (right) dropped a very easy chance off Cameron Bancroft (left)

Josh Philippe (right) dropped a very easy chance off Cameron Bancroft (left)

But the outcome could have been very different had Sixers wicket-keeper Josh Philippe caught Bancroft when the Scorchers still needed 60 to win off the final eight overs. 

The former Australian opener skied a Steve O’Keefe delivery to present a simply regulation chance to Philippe and Sixers teammate Dan Christian, only for the two to remain rooted to their spots as the ball fell innocuously between them.

‘You have got to commit to that,’ Australian great Adam Gilchrist said in commentary on Fox Cricket, stunned that Philippe didn’t call for the ball.

‘You have got the wicketkeeping gloves on. It doesn’t get any simpler.’

Analysing the incident after the game, Gilchrist added: ‘That should have been shallowed – that’s a keeper’s catch.

Philippe (right) and Dan Christian (left) stood still as the ball landed safely between them

Philippe (right) and Dan Christian (left) stood still as the ball landed safely between them

Adam Gilchrist described the mistake as 'Under-10s stuff' while on commentary on Fox Cricket

Adam Gilchrist described the mistake as ‘Under-10s stuff’ while on commentary on Fox Cricket

‘This is Under-10s stuff […] maybe that’s being harsh on the Under-10s.’

The mistake proved crucial as Turner accelerated towards the end of the chase, bludgeoning nine fours and a six as he scripted a victory which delighted the strong crowd of 41,116.

‘It was a bit of a clinic from those two tonight,’ Sixers seamer Sean Abbott said of Turner and Bancroft.

‘We gave them a couple of opportunities. We didn’t field anywhere near our best. We let them back in the game and then they just took it from there.’

Scorchers skipper Ashton Turner made 84 from 47 balls as he put together a 132-run partnership with Bancroft that proved crucial in Perth's seven-wicket win

Scorchers skipper Ashton Turner made 84 from 47 balls as he put together a 132-run partnership with Bancroft that proved crucial in Perth’s seven-wicket win

Steve Smith made just 18 for the Sixers, after making back-to-back centuries

Steve Smith made just 18 for the Sixers, after making back-to-back centuries 

The reigning champions have continued their domination this season with 12 wins from 15 matches despite the unavailability of many first-choice players.

All-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green sustained injuries prior to the tournament, fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Matthew Kelly were recently sidelined, and spinner Ashton Agar is preparing for Australia’s test tour of India. 

The Sixers must instead now win a knockout final on Thursday against one of Brisbane Heat or Melbourne Renegades to keep their chances of playing in the February 4 decider alive.

The Scorchers opened their run chase in disastrous fashion, reduced to 22-3 after Sixers’ seamer Sean Abbott (3-25) repeatedly induced catching opportunities.

Earlier, the Sixers had a shaky start themselves when pacer Jason Behrendorff (2-17) delivered two wickets in the first three overs.

Kurtis Patterson departed for six courtesy of a spectacular one-handed catch at mid-on by Aaron Hardie, who spilt a simple chance soon afterwards to give 33-year-old opener Smith a life on 12.

Smith has been on a scintillating run of form, including back-to-back centuries, since joining the BBL after his international obligations.

English import David Payne (3-33) held a sharp caught-and-bowled, however, to send Australia’s premier batsman packing on 18 leaving skipper Moises Henriques (58) and Jordan Silk (47 not out) the ultimately unsuccessful task of rebuilding the innings.


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