Perth Scorchers host Hobart Hurricanes in the first Big Bash League semi-final at Optus Stadium! Who will book their spot in Sunday’s decider?
History: Played 8: Scorchers 6 V Hurricanes 2 .
Last meeting: January 20, 2018: Scorchers d Hurricanes by 5 wickets at WACA Ground.
Final Thoughts: Perth Scorchers finished top of the BBL07 ladder with eight wins and two losses, pitching them into a home semi-final battle with the 5-5 Hobart Hurricanes at the shiny new Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers are on a six-match winning streak against the Hurricanes, including a five-wicket victory at the WACA less than two weeks ago. Simon Milenko’s 66* off 37 balls guided Hobart to 5/167, but Cameron Bancroft (54) and Ashton Turner (50*) led Perth to the win with four balls to spare.
Perth also chalked strong wins at home and away over fellow semi-finalists Adelaide Strikers either side of the defeat of Hobart, with Hilton Cartwright and Adam Voges producing star turns with the bat. The Hurricanes bring little momentum into this sudden-death clash thanks to three straight losses, including a three-wicket defeat to the last-placed Stars on Saturday; Dan Christian’s 56 was a silver lining, however.
The Hurricanes’ hopes of an upset have been dealt a blow by BBL07 top run-scorer D’Arcy Short’s deserved call-up to Australia’s T20I squad. Short plundered a record 504 runs in 10 innings and his presence will be missed at the top of the order.
The Scorchers will be without key man Ashton Agar, who was also picked for the T20I campaign, while recent ODI debutant Andrew Tye also remains with the national squad – but all-rounder Mitch Marsh should be available.
Perth dominated during last season’s playoffs at home on their way to clinching the BBL06 title and take the bulk of that line-up into this showdown. The hosts’ current momentum, superb form all season and experience in high-stakes knockout games should prove too much for the Hurricanes.