Rain blighted Sydney Sixers’ attempt to make the Big Bash Final.
The Sixers attack got off to a shaky start when a wayward opening ball from Brett Lee went wide, giving the Perth Scorchers their first run without swinging a bat.
In the second over, Ravi Bopara dropped a sitter from Simon Katich, furthering the Sixers’ woes.
Katich made a brief stand in the fourth over, scoring 19 runs, but was caught by Lee on the boundary in the next over.
After a quiet period, Perth opened up when Craig Simmons launched a stand-and-deliver innings.
Simmons, who scored Big Bash’s fastest century against Adelaide, went on to equal the record for most sixes in a Big Bash game, hitting 11.
Lee claimed the wicket of Sam Whiteman, for nine runs the following over.
After a relatively contained first few overs, the Scorchers run rate threatened to blow out, when Simmons hit consecutive sixes in the 13th over.
The Sixers’ failure to take wickets left Perth free to play risky shots as they capitalised on bowling that lacked penetration.
Mitchell Starc made a breakthrough with the wicket of Voges for 31, and added the scalp of Mitch Marsh soon after.
Craig Simmons gave Perth a healthy lead before he was run out pushing for two, just leaving him five runs short of the record for most runs scored in a BBL innings.
With the Sixers set a total of 194, heavy rain interrupted play, forcing a delay until 10.35pm, just two minutes before play would have been abandoned. Had play not resumed before 10.37pm, the Sixers would have been declared winners as they finished above Perth on the ladder.
When the game resumed, Sydney had just five overs to chase down a revised total of 54. Sydney got off to a good start scoring eight runs off the first over but began to crumble, losing two wickets the next.
The Sixers scoring a boundary in the third over, but went on to lose another three wickets in the fourth.
In the final over, the Sixers got close with two boundaries, but lost a wicket, leaving them six runs from victory with one ball to face. The game ended in anti-climax as Sydney skipper Marcus North completely missed the ball handing Perth the win.
The Scorchers will host the Big Bash League final at Perth’s WACA ground against the Hobart Hurricanes. – Lyndon Hall
Top photo of Steve Smith from Big Bash League’s Twitter.