By Adam Lucius
The Perth Scorchers lived up to a pre-match death or glory pledge to revive their KFC T20 Big Bash League campaign with a resounding seven-wicket win over Sydney Sixers at the SCG.
After two straight losses to open the new season, the Scorchers were on the ropes and awaiting the knockout punch before delivering their finest performance of the campaign to beat the defending champions and somewhat avenge their loss to them in last season's final.
Perth restricted the Sixers to 9-113 from 20 overs before coasting to victory in the final over with seven batsmen and four balls to spare.
It was a win the visitors simply had to have if they were to take their season off life support.
"We made a commitment to each other that we were going to go out and have fun and back ourselves and not be scared," spinner Michael Beer said.
"Someone had to be the match winner with bat and ball and I think a few guys put their hands up and it was a pretty good team effort in the end.
"We went out and had fun and backed ourselves and that was the result. It was a good win."
After two straight defeats, including an embarrassing loss to Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars, the Scorchers arrived in Sydney facing a daunting task.
Not only are the Sixers the defending Big Bash League and world T20 champions, they were defending a 12-match unbeaten run before a parochial home crowd.
But Perth's bowlers quickly silenced Sixers' fans, leaving the home side's innings in ruins with an early onslaught.
The Sixers were 6-28 before a late rally enabled them to ease past 100.
Perth openers Herschelle Gibbs (40) and Shaun Marsh (26) ensured there would be no hiccups with a first wicket stand of 51.
"We had to be right up for it. If we didn't we were out of the competition pretty much," Beer said.
"They're world champions so it's a feather in our cap to beat them."