BBL: Scorchers Won by 8 wickets over Brisbane Heat in Big Bash 2023, Match 37

BBL12, By eight wickets, Perth Scorchers 157 for 2 (Inglis 67*, Hardie 65*, Bartlett 1-31) defeated Brisbane Heat 155 for 6 (Bryant 36, Behrendorff 3-21) After veteran quick Jason Behrendorff grabbed three wickets, Josh Inglis and Aaron Hardie struck half-centuries to help Perth Scorchers maintain their eight-wicket lead against the Brisbane Heat.

Behrendorff led a usually disciplined Scorchers assault to block the return of Australia Test star Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, and Matthew Renshaw after skipper Ashton Turner decided to bowl on a batting-friendly Gabba surface. Inglis and Hardie then easily chased down the low score of 156 in a blistering 132-run combination to give the Scorchers their second victory against the Heat in four days.

Behrendorff takes his 100th BBL wicketBBL Scorchers Won by 8 wickets over Brisbane Heat in Big Bash 2023, Match 37-1

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The Scorchers were smashed early for the second consecutive game against the Heat, prompting Turner to employ returning left-arm spinner Ashton Agar in the third over. It didn’t work for Agar, who generally bowls after the powerplay, who gave up 13 runs. The Scorchers might have been in worse danger if it hadn’t been for Behrendorff’s in-swinging deliveries to the leg stump, which proved kryptonite for rampaging opener Josh Brown.

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At one stage, the left-arm seamer delivered five dot deliveries in a row before removing Brown, who unfortunately played on in a tangle similar to David Warner’s against Tim Southee in the last T20 World Cup. Behrendorff then removed Labuschagne and Renshaw, assisted by outstanding catches by Stephen Eskinazi and Andrew Tye. He used all of his expertise to stop Heat’s power surge, as Behrendorff joined Tye as the only Scorchers bowlers to have 100 BBL wickets.

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Bryant outshines the returning Test players.

BBL Scorchers Won by 8 wickets over Brisbane Heat in Big Bash 2023, Match 37-2

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The return of skipper Khawaja, Labuschagne, and Renshaw suits the bill for the struggling Heat. However, switching formats only three days after the third Test against South Africa was challenging in the face of a dismal Heat performance in advantageous circumstances. Khawaja made his Heat debut after joining the Sydney Thunder on a multi-year contract. He battled early on and was smacked in the head with a scoop shot.

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He also escaped an unreviewed confident shout for caught behind Behrendorff. Khawaja then constructed a platform but was unable to convert it, as was Renshaw. Labuschagne, who has a mediocre BBL record, began slowly before holing out to deep cover at No. 3. It was left to big-hitting Max Bryant, who smacked three sixes to elevate the Heat to a respectable position, but it was far from enough. Bryant, who was formerly part of a lethal opening duo with Chris Lynn, has struggled this season but may have found a spot hitting at No.6.

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Inglis has a point to make.

BBL Scorchers Won by 8 wickets over Brisbane Heat in Big Bash 2023, Match 37-3

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The Scorchers were in danger at 25 for 2 after the powerplay, but the strain was relieved when Khawaja risked in the fifth over by employing part-time spinner Labuschagne. Inglis hit a six off his first delivery and then hit consecutive boundaries in a game-changing over. By counterattacking spinner Matthew Kuhnemann, he showed off his superb use of the feet and hit a stunning six over cover.

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Inglis got his third half-century of the BBL season, which would have been especially rewarding given that he had missed Australia’s impending Test trip to India earlier in the day. He worked well with Hardie, who began with a beautiful drive to the boundary on his way to his second half-century against Heat. Scorchers beat the target with 22 balls to spare, with Hardie scoring a six.

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Johnson is a threat in his BBL debut.

Johnson is a threat in his BBL debut.

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Heat’s assault was revamped in the absence of fringe Test bowlers Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson. It didn’t reverse their fortunes, but towering fast Spencer Johnson took most of his chance in an impressive BBL debut. With his tremendous height extracting substantial lift from a benign surface, the left-arm fast bowled exceptionally sharply, with one ball timed at 147kmph.

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The 27-year-old has previously represented South Australia in the 50-over Marsh Cup and was on the Adelaide Strikers’ roster last season. Many, though, were seeing Johnson for the first time, and he showed enough to deserve a lengthy run with the Heat.

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