The Perth Scorchers will play the Sydney Sixers in Saturday’s 2020-21 Big Bash League Final after a commanding 49-run victory over the Brisbane Heat in Thursday’s Challenger final in Canberra.
The Brisbane Heat’s rain revised target was 200 from 18 overs, but they never got going, eventually finishing up 9-150 with Aaron Hardie taking 3-46 while Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and Fawad Ahmed all took two wickets each.
The result sets up a huge decider on Saturday in Sydney, with the Sixers having beaten the Scorchers in their past two meetings, both in Canberra, while Perth thrashed the magenta side at Optus Stadium earlier in January.
To add further spice to the contest, there’s recent history after Tye’s mis-executed bouncer led to a wide denying Sixers’ batsman James Vince a century last time they met, as the extra ticked Sydney over to the victory target.
While verbally Vince has said he’s moved on, his responses haven’t quite convinced in body language nor tone, with there likely to be some residual impact.
Perth will be sweating on the fitness of Jason Roy who rolled his ankle in training and missed Thursday’s match, although his replacement Cameron Bancroft was excellent in his steady opening role with 58no from 42 balls.
“He was running around and turned his ankle,” Livingstone said. “He’s a massive part of our team. Who knows, next couple of days we’ll see how he pulls up, fingers crossed he’s alright.”
Big-hitting Mitch Marsh came in after Livingstone and kept up the fast runs, with 49no from 28 deliveries including five fours and two sixes.
Joe Burns top scored for the Heat with 38 from 22, while opener Chris Lynn made a quickfire before Behrendorff bowled him on the final ball of the power play.
There is rain forecast for Saturday’s Final in Sydney, although this season there is a rain day set aside if the decider is a wash-out.