BBL12, Perth Scorchers defeated Brisbane Heat by seven wickets at Optus Stadium, with two quick-fire half-centuries from Cameron Bancroft and Aaron Hardie. In response to the Heat’s 9-171, the Scorchers won with 21 balls to spare, with two huge innings from Bancroft (76 not out off 48 balls) and Hardie (57 off 33 balls).
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Bancroft was playing in just his third BBL match of the season, having been kept out of the team for most of the season by Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth. But, with du Plessis now in the SA20 and Lyth demoted after a poor run of form, Bancroft is a pivotal figure in the Scorchers’ pursuit of back-to-back championships.
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Bancroft hit seven fours and two sixes in a 111-run stand with Hardie that set up the victory. Hardie smashed five fours and three sixes before getting caught in the 12th over. The Scorchers reclaimed first place, with the Heat dropping to sixth after winning only two of their first eight games. The Heat got off to a flying start due to departed import Colin Munro. Munro, who will play in the ILT20 next week, hit three fours and three sixes on his way to 45 off 26 balls.
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He and Josh Brown (34 off 21 balls) helped the Heat reach 81 for 0 by the middle of the eighth over. The Scorchers’ assault, however, responded well, with Andrew Tye (3 for 37), Matt Kelly (2 for 28), and Lance Morris (2 for 40) triggering a 9-90 collapse. Heat only managed 25 runs from their last four overs, losing three wickets in the penultimate – as their bid for fast runs at the end fell short.
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Morris was hit for 16 in his opening over, but he came back with the scalps of Munro and Jimmy Peirson (23 off 19 balls). Morris’s return to the Test team helped offset the absence of Jhye Richardson, who is expected to miss two to three weeks with a hamstring injury.
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