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Scorchers win to extend lead on top of BBL

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The Perth Scorchers have extended their lead at the top of the BBL ladder after surviving a Dan Christian masterclass and some last-minute rescheduling dramas to defeat the Sydney Sixers by 10 runs at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

After limiting the Scorchers to a seemingly modest 8-143 on Tuesday night, the Sixers slumped to 4-16 courtesy of a searing new-ball assault from firebrands Lance Morris and Tymal Mills, who both pushed the speedgun past the 150kmh mark.

The Sixers remained in trouble in the top-of-the-table blockbuster at 6-67 when Sean Abbott, the hero in their miraculous win over Brisbane Heat, nicked off to the impressive Andrew Tye (3-17).

The Sixers’ flickering hopes remained in the hands of ageless Twenty20 master Christian, who threatened a similar miracle, riding his luck in an entertaining 73.

Flurry of big blows

He started slowly, survived two confident caught-behind shouts and a missed stumping before launching a flurry of big blows late to give the Sixers a sniff before finally succumbing to Tye in the penultimate over.

The Sixers ended their innings on 8-133.

“The way we started (with the ball), it (Perth’s 143) was probably a bit above par,” Christian said.

“We felt the wicket was a bit two-paced and had some undulations in it.

“It was more a 130 wicket, particularly with the start we got off to.

“(With the bat) we wanted to make sure we had as many guys in the sheds as late as possible.

“Jordan Silk and I soaked up as many balls as we could, just to try to take it a bit deeper.

“They bowled really well at the start and we left ourselves with a bit too much to do.”

Miserly with the ball

Earlier, Christian proved miserly with the ball (2-14), combining with speedster Hayden Kerr (4-32) to keep the Scorchers in relative check.

Christian snared two wickets in the 11th over — after spinner Stephen O’Keefe left the field with a suspected broken right middle finger — before taking a wonderful one-handed catch at short cover to dismiss Perth captain Ashton Turner (1).

The Scorchers blasted 70 off the last six overs, thanks chiefly to a career-best 45 from Aaron Hardie as a difficult day ended on a sparkling high.

The Scorchers were originally slated to play Sydney Thunder on Thursday before being bumped into the Tuesday night timeslot to replace the Heat at short notice after positive COVID-19 cases were recorded in Brisbane’s squad.

-AAP

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