The match in a tweet: The Finisher ice cool under pressure as the Hurricanes steal victory from the jaws of defeat in last-over thriller #BBL08
The score: Perth Scorchers 9-177 (Whiteman 68, Coulter-Nile 31no; Faulkner 3-36) lost to Hobart Hurricanes 6-178 (Bailey 69, Jewell 32; Hardie 2-25) with three balls remaining
The hero: With Hobart Hurricanes needing 16 runs from the final over in a thrilling KFC BBL clash, James Faulkner justified his nickname of the ‘The Finisher’ with an incredible display of power hitting under pressure. The allrounder smacked two sixes and a four off Perth Scorchers paceman Andrew Tye to settle the contest in just three balls in nail-biting finish. Faulkner, who finished with 28 not out from 20 balls, cleared the boundary at long off to seal a memorable victory in front of a stunned crowd at Perth’s Optus Stadium. Faulkner also destroyed the Scorchers’ top order with the ball after the Hurricanes won the bat flip and elected to bowl first. He removed Scorchers openers Cameron Bancroft and Michael Klinger in his first over before dismissing the in-form Ashton Turner on the first ball of his second over, giving him three victims in seven balls. Faulkner came back to earth in the last over of the Scorchers’ innings as he copped some treatment from Coulter-Nile, but his initial burst put the home side on the back foot and was decisive in the result.
The supporting cast: Experienced campaigner George Bailey played a gem of an innings and would have been the hero if not for Faulkner’s final-over heroics. Bailey finished with 69 from 39 balls in a knock packed with highlights as he belted six boundaries and three maximums. Bailey’s second half-century in three matches was full of class as the Hurricanes took 18 runs off the 14th over and 19 off the 17th over as they claimed a famous win away from home. Caleb Jewell (32 from 20) also impressed on debut for the winners in the pivotal No.3 position.
The consolation act: Sam Whiteman crunched just his second BBL half-century, rescuing the Scorchers after they lost three wickets in the first 13 balls of the match. Faulkner decimated the home team’s top order before Whiteman shone under pressure, belting 68 from 43 balls in just his fourth appearance of BBL|08. The left-hander’s counterattack was brilliant to watch and featured five boundaries and four sixes after he arrived at the crease in the first over. Whiteman’s stay ended in the 15th over when he was caught in the deep by debutant Caleb Jewell off the bowling of the Hurricanes’ other debutant, David Moody. The wicketkeeper did not field after suffering a quad complaint while batting.
The drama: Hurricanes paceman Jofra Archer was banned from bowling after just 10 deliveries in dramatic scenes at Optus Stadium. Archer sent down two beamers above waist height to Whiteman, ruling him out of the attack for the remainder of the match under the Big Bash League’s playing conditions. Archer leaked 19 runs from his 1.4 overs in an indifferent spell as he struggled to maintain consistency.
The sixes: The Scorchers kept their home crowd on the edge of their seats as they cleared the rope on 10 occasions with some excellent power hitting after their top-order collapse.
The run out: This was a brilliant piece of fielding from Hurricanes debutant David Moody off his own bowling…
The shot: You don’t see this every day. Nathan Coulter-Nile slipped over and still managed to find the boundary.
The stat: The Scorchers’ 9-177 was the highest score in BBL history for a team batting first and losing nine wickets. The total was also the best for a team losing their first three wickets for less than 10 runs.
The next stops: The Hurricanes will next face Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval on Monday in a replay of last season’s BBL final, while the Scorchers will meet Sydney Thunder in another home fixture on Thursday.