The Scorchers dominate their qualifying finals with the Sixers at Marvel Stadium after Sydney was rocked by a double scrape from injury and a RAT test.
The Scorchers went 3-189 from 20 overs after winning the toss and batting first at Marvel Stadium, with Josh Inglis scoring the highest at 79 after a record opening partnership with Kurtis Patterson.
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Patterson hit his fourth half-century of the tournament, including four fours and two sixes with just 33 balls to set the tone for the Scorchers’ innings.
However, he was surpassed by his opening partner, who scored a half-century on 32 balls, including four fours and a six in tow.
Patterson and Inglis’ opening 120-run partnership was a record for the Scorchers in a Finals and set the team up for a monster total.
Patterson was eventually out for 64 of 41 balls when he was caught by Dan Christian bowling Hayden Kerr.
Inglis was eventually blocked by Josh Philippe in the 18th over from an intentional wide by Steve O’Keefe, but not before smashing 79 balls from 50, including nine fours and a six.
Mitch Marsh smashed 28 of 21 balls, including four fours, before being caught by Moises Henriques to give Kerr his second scalp of the night.
Kerr finished 2-37 to bring his tally to 24 wickets for the season.
On the eve of the game, the Sixers were rocked by the news that opener Jack Edwards was forced into isolation just before the bat flip following Brother Mickey’s “inconclusive” RAT result.
Sixers star Daniel Hughes was also injured during the game’s warm-up when he set up high balls on the boundary rope, threatening his ability to conquer the field.
Hughes was ruled out on the eve of first ball with an ankle injury with Nick Bertus to make his debut on the spot.
“Daniel Hughes is not in the final tonight,” Kath Laughnan said on Fox Cricket.
“It was his ankle that he injured while warming up when he tripped over the boundary rope.
“Nick Bertus will come out of the player replacement pool and make his debut for the club tonight.”
Laughlan also revealed Hughes could miss the rest of the Finals series due to his injury.
“He’s going to have to do some scans, but speaking to the Sixers medical staff, there’s a chance Hughes might not play again this season,” Laughlan said.
Adding to the horror start was the BBL’s call for the BBL to block Steve Smith’s bid to enter the finals series, with Nathan Lyon voicing his disdain for the decision.
“I find it ridiculous that our best players don’t play in the BBL finals,” said Lyon.
“It’s ridiculous and I’m happy to say that. I don’t know if there will be an impact, but it’s ridiculous.”
League leaders Perth host second-placed Sydney Sixers in a blockbuster final at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, with the Scorchers winning the bat flip and batting first.
The winner will advance to the next round of finals and advance directly to the finals, while the loser must beat the winner of the Thunder vs. Strikers clash to advance to the finals on Friday, January 28th.
The Scorchers have been the form team all season, losing just three games from their 14 regular season games.
The Sixers are down four games in the regular season but are two-time defending champions and have the experience lead as they target an unprecedented three-peat.
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Mitch Marsh and Colin Munro were the standout hitters for the Scorchers, while Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye will be the dangerous men with the ball.
Josh Philippe and Moises Henriques were the top scorers for the Sixers, while Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis were in rare form on the ball.
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Still suffering from the decision to bar Australian star Steve Smith from participating in the Finals series, the Sixers have to prove themselves against the red-hot Scorchers.
It’s the setting for a delicious duel between the two competition heavyweights with a spot in the 2022 BBL Finals up for grabs.
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