01/03/2024

The Perth Scorchers are BBL|11 champions. (Photo: cricket.com.au)

Away from home for nearly two months, the Perth Scorchers reversed last year's final result to become BBL|11 champions.

The Perth Scorchers completed the ultimate journey of resilience by claiming the BBL|11 title in an act of revenge over the Sydney Sixers.

Perhaps tellingly of the chip on their shoulder, the Scorchers haven’t lost to their eastern rivals since the BBL|10 final, beating them four times, including in this year’s finals.

But even more remarkable than their grip over the competition, only losing three games for the tournament, was their ability to do so on the road for nearly 50 long, gruelling days.

Players used their voice and platform to plead their case to host the match in front of the dedicated West Australian crowd, but in the end, they proved they could get it done anywhere.

So ecstatic were the celebrations that Jhye Richardson copped a stray elbow in the jubilation.

“It’s always interesting to come back to only play two games… amazing effort, I love this effort,” he laughed through the claret pouring down his face.

“Playing for Perth, I’m Perth born and bred. We’ve been on the road for a little while, this is nothing short of what these guys can do.”

Families came streaming onto the ground; wives, children, and so many more who’ve had to sit and watch as the players made the ultimate sacrifice far away from home game after game.

“For these guys to be able to do what they do… they’re not even able to be home, it’s incredible to be able to do what they do,” import Laurie Evans said on the FOX Sports broadcast.

Evans was just one of the many heroes, and one of the great stories to emerge from the match.

Only recognised as a white ball specialist in his 30s, the battler from Lambeth claimed his second half century in two weeks – while fighting a broken toe – midway through the 15th over, hitting his 50 off 25 balls.

After an uncharacteristic top order collapse, he and milestone man Ashton Turner, playing his 100th BBL game on the biggest stage, forged a game changing partnership.

Turner hit his half century just a few balls after Evans, building the partnership to 101. Though it ended at 103, they saved what may have become a Sixers miracle.

After the Scorchers were stranded at 4/25 after six overs following a Nathan Lyon spin masterclass, they were truly the settlers, Evans accordingly awarded Player of the Final.

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It was slow going for the opening overs for the Sixers in their batting innings, only notching up 32 runs before the final ball of the fifth over saw Turner claim his first wicket, with Nick Bertus caught.

Dan Christian joined the group departing for single figures, with a perfectly timed dive by Patterson sticking the catch off AJ Tye’s bowling.

Dan Hughes was one of the only Sixers putting up a fight with the bat, sitting on figures of 40 off 31 at the end of the 11th over, and finishing up two balls later for 42.

It was a disappointing ending for an equally resilient Sixers side, seeking a threepeat, who faced issue after issue with COVID unavailability and injury throughout finals.

AJ Tye claimed three wickets at an economy of just five, while Richardson took two, including the sealer to win the match.

Captain Ashton Turner spoke wise words to cap off the night before accepting the trophy.

“Any captain could stand here and talk about adversity and obstacles throughout this tournament… and we’re no different,” he said.

“Everyone’s made so many sacrifices. The Sydney Sixers have been the best side for the past couple of years, you’ve taught us to play.

“We weren’t in Perth, we weren’t able to play in front of our home fans. It’s been a long time on the road, couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts. Everyone’s made sacrifices, and we’re just so appreciative.

“We were able to come together, we were able to make the tournament happen.”

The Perth Scorchers are now the most successful franchise in Big Bash men’s history, pulled ahead of the Sixers with four titles, and completing the double in 2021/22 with the women’s side.

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