Perth Scorchers 154/3 (Turner 84*, Bancroft 53*, Abbott 3-25) beat sydney sixers 151/8 (Hinrichs 58*, Silk 47*, Payne 3-33) by seven wickets
Chasing 152, the scorers were in great trouble at 22/3 before Turner and Bancroft brought the target down easily to the delight of a rowdy crowd of 41,126.
After a poor show, the Sixers will host the winner of the knockout final between Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat on Sunday.
Turner and Bancroft hit sixes
Chasing 152 was not going to be easy on a two-pace surface where batting has generally been tough this season. This proved to be the case when the Scorchers were reeling under a reverse before Turner and Bancroft came to the rescue.
As revealed by former coach Justin Langer on the Seven broadcast, the pair are close friends and have lived together before. He also runs well between the wickets as he has shown in the partnership to quickly move the ball around to get the Scorchers out of trouble.
Not for the first time this season, Turner was at his best in a tough chase and he pacified the Sixers bowlers with a class-best 84 off 47 balls.
Bancroft also hit a half-century and enjoyed a strong campaign after struggling for a regular place earlier in the season. He had some luck along the way, but it was a bellicose performance that was lapped up by an increasingly vocal crowd after the match ended before sunset.
Sixers opt for spin-heavy attack
The Sixers took a selection gamble by dropping Jackson Byrd in quick succession, even though he went 2 for 26 in his last start against the Hurricanes and bowled well in the season opener at Optus Stadium.
But after his devastating burst, the Sixers lacked options with spinners Steve O’Keefe, who replaced Bird, and Izharulhaq Navid being ineffective and drawing comparisons with a Scorchers attack that used spin in the Sixers innings. didn’t
In the 13th over, O’Keefe should have claimed the wicket of Bancroft, whose skied ball fell between three Sixers fielders who looked at each other in bewilderment. This was the last chance for the Sixers, who will have to lick their wounds soon.
Payne steps up, Hardy has a mixed bag
There were doubts whether left-arm pacer David Payne was going to replace him after he suffered flu-like symptoms and had to be isolated from his teammates.
Englishman Payne has proved an important recruit for the Scorchers, as underlined in a starring role against the Sixers, where he hit the pitch hard and bowled slow short-pitched deliveries, forcing the batsmen to hit long square boundaries. But was forced to hit.
It was a see-saw of an innings best exemplified by a mixed bag of Hardy, where he made a spectacular one-handed jump shot to dismiss Curtis Patterson only to drop Smith with a sitter.
He also dropped a difficult return catch on a high hit by Abbott as the Scorchers were satisfied with their efforts to stop the Sixers but knew it could have been better.
Smith has rare failure, Henriques rallies Sixers
Smith was expected to end his BBL tenure in style, but it turned out to be his biggest challenge of the season. He received a hostile reception from the Scorchers’ faithful when he was mocked during the teams’ pre-game announcement, and Smith became frustrated at being devoid of strikeouts.
In the second over, Smith edged a short ball from fast bowler Lance Morris into the crowd, but he faced just two balls in the first 17 balls of the innings.
Smith was unable to find the rhythm that lit a fuse under the BBL and he struggled against Morris’ pace during a mouth-watering contest. They got a big relief when Hardy dropped a sitter over mid-off but Smith could not capitalize on it and was dismissed for 18 by a brilliant return catch by Payne after driving erratically.
It was left to skipper Henriques, who redeemed the stagnant Sixers by scoring 18 runs in an 88-run partnership with veteran Jordan Silk. But the Sixers fell and their totals weren’t nearly enough.
Tristan Lovelett is a journalist based in Perth