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BBL 2023: Skipper Turner guides Perth Scorchers to 8th BBL final

Ashton Turner scored a half-century to send the Scorchers to the final

The Perth Scorchers have once again booked their spot in the Big Bash League final, with captain Ashton Turner playing a pivotal role in their victory. In Saturday’s Qualifier at Perth Stadium, Turner smashed a career-best 84 (47) not out in combination with Cameron Bancroft for an unbeaten 130-run partnership for the fourth wicket, to help the Scorchers chase the 152-run target with nine balls to spare.

The Sydney Sixers were plagued with poor fielding errors throughout the run chase, while their decision to select two spinners raised eyebrows. The reigning champions will now host next weekend’s final, while the Sixers need to win Thursday’s Challenger to keep their campaign alive.

The Sixers won the bat flip and asked the Scorchers to bowl first. Josh Philippe couldn’t survive the opening over and Kurtis Patterson (6 off 11 balls) slapped a catch towards mid-on, where Aaron Hardie held onto a one-handed screamer. However, Hardie dropped an “absolute sitter” in the sixth over to gift Steve Smith an extra life on 12 and he was eventually dismissed for 18 (16).

Moises Henriques combined with Jordan Silk for a crucial 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket before he was caught at deep mid-wicket for 58 (43). Silk’s unbeaten 47 (34) guided the Sixers to a total of 8-151.

The Scorchers got off to a rough start with opener Stephen Eskinazi miscuing a lofted drive for 4 (8) and Hardie smacking a pull shot directly to Dan Christian for 9 (9). Josh Inglis was also sent back to the dugout for a duck soon after, leaving the Scorchers reeling at 3-22 after four overs.

Turner and Bancroft steadied the ship, rotating the strike and finding the boundary rope regularly enough to keep the required run rate within their control. The wheels started falling off for the Sixers in the 13th over when Bancroft top-edged a sweep shot for four and Ben Dwarshuis botched ground fielding near the boundary rope. Turner was also gifted an extra life on 74 when Afghan international Izharulhaq Naveed spilled a regulation chance.

Ultimately, the duo chased the target in the penultimate over, with Bancroft finishing unbeaten on 53 (45).

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