James Bazley has taken one of the great catches to seal Adelaide’s upset win over Perth in the knockout Big Bash League final on Saturday night.
Chasing 156 in the knockout final, the Scorchers were 0-38 before being rolled for 105 to end their chase for a third-straight BBL title.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Bazley’s outrageous catch.
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The final wicket of Cooper Connolly (31 off 22 balls) will be remembered for years to come as Bazley produced an incredible effort on the boundary line.
The Strikers fielder took a clean catch as he jumped over the rope before calmly jumping back into the field of play and tapping the ball again before finally completing the catch.
Bazley’s stunning catch. Credit: Channel 7
It was a second successive loss for the Scorchers at the one-time Optus Stadium fortress where they had tasted defeat just once in their previous 18 games.
The Strikers will play Brisbane on the Gold Coast on Monday, with the winners to face Sydney Sixers in an SCG final on Wednesday.
The visitors looked dead in the water at 4-48 in the 10th over after being sent in, but rallied to 7-155 despite the absence of star pair Chris Lynn and Adam Hose.
It proved to be more than enough for the Strikers, who spun a web around the Scorchers, leg-spinners Cameron Boyce (3-20) and Lloyd Pope (4-24) silencing the partisan crowd.
Missing Laurie Evans and Zak Crawley, the Scorchers’ new-look batting unit were unable to fire despite debutant Sam Fanning’s fluent 20-ball 31 offering a viable platform.
FULL MATCH COVERAGE: Runs, wickets, stats and more from Optus Stadium
It was the introduction of leg-spin from both ends that turned the tide, Pope picking up Marcus Harris (eight) and Aaron Hardie (six) while Boyce dismissed Sam Whiteman (two) and Josh Inglis (12).
Captain Matt Short then dived to his left to dismiss Nick Hobson off his own bowling for four, before Ashton Agar’s duck left the hosts 7-78.
Short celebrates the wicket of Hobson. Credit: GARY DAY/AAPIMAGE
Connolly (31 off 22 balls) hit out to give Perth some hope but Pope popped up again with wrong-uns that bowled AJ Tye (eight) and Jason Behrendorff for a duck to complete a devastating spell.
Connolly went down swinging before Bazley’s heroics sealed the win.
The host’s pace and swing had them on top early on, Tye producing arguably the ball of the tournament to knock over in-form Short for a run-a-ball 13.
The veteran unexpectedly floated up a 112km/h slower ball that hooped back into Short – only one ball has swung more this BBL season, according to Fox Sports – to knock him over.
Jake Weatherald’s blazing innings (56 off 32) was the rearguard Adelaide needed, Ben Manenti (23 off 20) and Henry Thornton (28 not out off 21) chiming in with crucial late runs.
“It’s funny what can happen,” Boyce told Fox Sports.
“You’re always hopeful; 150 is not a great score but it’s the way our season’s gone.
“The boys always had belief and … we rode that wave in.
“Our plan was just to be different. A lot of teams come here pace-heavy and .. it can work against you.
“I’m rapt for Popey, we’ve been working really well together.”
– With AAP