Fast bowler Matt Kelly will be monitored by the Scorchers after a freak accident forced him from the field.
The Perth Scorchers will host the Sydney Sixers at Optus Stadium in Saturday’s Qualifier, regardless of the results of the remaining BBL games.
An impressive unbeaten 95 runs from Cameron Bancroft, smashed from just 50 balls, set the Scorchers up for a 10-run win over the Melbourne Renegades in Perth on Sunday.
Some late Aaron Finch heroics, in his 100th BBL appearance, gave the Renegades a sniff of an unlikely victory after they’d looked to have been completely outplayed. The Australian captain finished with 76 runs from 35 balls and made the big Perth crowd nervous.
Shaun Marsh also returned from his latest hamstring issue to open the batting and knocked up a hasty 54 runs.
They managed 5-202 in response to the Scorchers first-inning score of 5-212.
Perth’s 11th win from 14 games guarantees them top spot on the table and a great shot at claiming their fifth BBL title.
Despite the loss, the Renegades remain in the mix for a spot in the top five. But with four qualifying games to play, it’s still difficult to predict, with any certainty, who will fill places 3-7 on the final table.
You’d think they will need to beat the Adelaide Strikers in Melbourne on Tuesday to continue in the tournament.
EYES ON KELLY
The Scorchers will monitor quick bowler Matt Kelly ahead of next weekend, after he was subbed out of the game due to the concussion rule, during the Renegades innings.
He was hit flush in the face by the ball thrown in from the outfield that appeared to bounce off Finch’s bat.
The umpire quickly called for assistance, and Kelly was replaced by spinner Peter Hatzoglou, who completed the over.
A MOODY START
That was all it took for Melbourne Renegades paceman David Moody to be banished from the attack as a comedy of errors left his side in disarray.
An inclusion for Kane Richardson, Moody was embarrassingly given his marching orders after a single legal delivery against the Perth Scorchers for bowling two beamers — the first of which struck Scorchers opener Cam Bancroft in the ribs.
He approached a crouched Bancroft at the non-strikers end to apologise for the mishap, who was briefly looked at by medical staff before remaining at the crease to notch a half-century.
Moody crumbled in the searing Western Australian sun, following up this waist-high no-ball with a wide and then another full toss that was ramped for six by Stephen Eskinazi.
The delivery was then reviewed and adjudged as another waist-high ball, leaving Moody unable to bowl again for the rest of the innings.
Scorchers wicket-taker Andrew Tye said he had sympathy for Moody.
“I do feel for David Moody, I’ve been there before being subbed out of the attack for two waist highs but it was certainly an eventful first powerplay, that’s for sure,” Tye told Fox Cricket.
The error gave captain Aaron Finch an additional headache with the Renegades playing five recognised bowlers along with all-rounder Matt Critchley.
The Renegades were dispatched for an eye-watering 62 runs from their first four overs, with Eskinazi also racing to a half-century from just 27 deliveries.
BANCROFT PLAYING WITH POWER
The Scorchers were aggressive from the first ball, Stephen Eskinazi hitting Rogers to the boundary.
It set a tone.
Eskanazi and Bancroft smashed 0-62 in the opening four-over power play, the biggest of the season, from any side. The scoreboard showed a projected score of 310.
Espinazi had already hit seven boundaries, including three sixes, in his score of 41 off 16 balls.
His entertaining 54 from 29 deliveries was his second half century for the tournament.
Bancroft has emerged as a key to the Scorchers title chances.
His 95 is now his team’s biggest of this campaign and his biggest in the BBL.
Three times this season he has reached a half-century and not been dismissed.
His record for BBL12 is 289 runs at an average of more than 48. And two of his six modes of dismissal have been run out.
Originally published as BBL 2023: Follow the latest news and updates