The Perth Scorchers have been left with egg on their faces on a number of fronts after a shock exit from the BBL finals at the hands of the Adelaide Strikers on Saturday night. The Scorchers went into the elimination final full of confidence, with the two-time defending champions normally unbeatable at home.
But they were spun into a web by leggies Lloyd Pope and Cameron Boyce, who claimed seven wickets between them in a staggering 50-run win. The Strikers made 7-155 after batting first - a total that looked under-par against the formidable Scorchers.
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But the Perth side looked all at sea as Pope claimed 4-24 and Boyce 3-20 to silence the home crowd and knock the Scorchers out. "It's funny what can happen," Boyce said on Fox Sports. "The boys always had belief and ... we rode that wave in. Our plan was just to be different. A lot of teams come here pace-heavy and .. it can work against you. I'm rapt for Popey, we've been working really well together."
The loss comes as a bitter blow for the Scorchers, with Western Australia's confidence becoming outright cockiness heading into the game. The West Australian newspaper ran a back page on Saturday claiming the Strikers only had one decent player (captain Matt Short), predicting the rest of the team would fall like dominoes.
— Jakeb Waddell (@JakebWaddell) January 19, 2024
And officials at Optus Stadium got way ahead of themselves when they displayed a message saying 'congratulations Scorchers' on the big screen before the game. Strikers coach Jason Gillespie said he got a photo of the message and showed it to his players to use as motivation.
“Yeah, wasn’t happy with that when we arrived at the ground,” Gillespie told Fox Cricket. “[I] thought, ‘Geez, they’re jumping the gun a bit here in the west. I might have got a photo to show the boys.”
Strikers player Thomas Kelly said of the newspaper sledge: “Bit of a dig at the rest of the team in the paper today. Said we were a stack of dominoes after Shorty. It’s beautiful.”
"I thought jeez they are jumping the gun a bit here in the West". 🤣
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Cockiness backfires as Perth Scorchers dumped out of BBL finals
The arrogance and disrespect couldn't have backfired any more spectacularly as the Scorchers were bowled out for just 105. The home side were 0-38 early in their innings, but lost 10 wickets for 67 in shocking scenes.
The introduction of leg spin from both ends turned the game on its head, with Pope picking up Marcus Harris (eight) and Aaron Hardie (six), while Boyce dismissed Sam Whiteman (two) and Josh Inglis (12). Short then pulled off an extraordinary caught and bowled to dismiss Nick Hobson for four, before Ashton Agar's duck left the hosts 7-78.
Cooper Connolly (31 off 22 balls) gave the Scorchers some hope, but Pope dashed them when he got AJ Tye (eight) and Jason Behrendorff (0) with wrong-uns to complete his devastating spell. The Scorchers had only lost once in their previous 18 home games before they went down to the Sydney Sixers in the final game of the regular season last week. Saturday's loss made it back-to-back defeats at what is normally a fortress.
Scorchers captain Aaron Hardie lamented the back-end of their bowling innings and said injuries to regular skipper Ashton Turner and bowler Jhye Richardson had made life difficult. "We had the men for the job but didn't play our best, especially in the last couple of games," he said. "That was the team we thought they'd play but you never come into a game expecting to lose wickets like that. They backed their leggies in and it worked for them."
The Strikers will now play the Brisbane Heat on Monday night for a place in the final. The Sixers will host the decider at the SCG on Wednesday night after beating the Heat in the first game of the finals.
honestly dont mind it, still takes a lot of skill
its a bit of karma though for the congratulations scorchers message they had on the big screen before the game though, you should never think you have won a game before it starts
— James Luke (@james_luke08) January 20, 2024
— Michael C (@mchadders100) January 20, 2024
Wow, this went well.
— Ian Harkin (@sportznut67) January 20, 2024
hope they didn’t print too many copies pic.twitter.com/AXM1QQYzax
— Synn (@TheSynicall) January 20, 2024
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