Shane Warne has left fuming in commentary on Thursday night as the Brisbane Heat fluffed their lines and were knocked out of the BBL finals by the Perth Scorchers.
The Scorchers and Sydney Sixers will meet in Saturday night’s SCG final after Liam Livingstone lit up a lopsided semi-final at Manuka Oval.
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The Scorchers, having suffered a humbling nine-wicket loss to the Sixers in their qualifying final, crushed the Heat by 49 runs in Thursday night’s rain-affected contest.
Livingstone whacked 77 off 39 deliveries, helping rocket Perth to 1-189 from 18.1 overs in Canberra.
The Heat were woeful in the field, and one errant throw from Joe Burns left Warne gobsmacked.
The axed Test batsman unleashed an unnecessary throw when the Scorchers weren’t even attempting a run, skipping the ball past wicketkeeper Jimmy Pearson and conceding an overthrow.
“Terrible fielding,” Warne said in commentary for Fox Cricket. “There was just no need for that.
“Gets away with a beautiful dot ball and now it gets Mitch Marsh back on strike.
“There was just no need to throw that ball ... just hold onto it. Terrible throw.
“Joe Burns has had a bit of an ordinary night ... there was just a panic. Just a horrible throw that allowed Marsh to get back on strike.
“You love the enthusiasm but just a couple crucial errors from the Heat tonight and a few other players as well - I just wonder if the pressure’s getting to the Brisbane Heat a little in the field and they’re in a little panic because of the score.”
Scorchers set up final showdown with Sixers
Showers halted play on Thursday night and prompted a premature end to the Scorchers’ innings, setting Brisbane a revised target of of 200 from 18 overs.
It was an imposing equation, even before captain Chris Lynn departed in the fourth over.
It looked near-impossible come the eighth over, when the Heat crashed to 4-57 following Marnus Labuschagne's dismissal to veteran leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.
The required run-rate exploded as the Scorchers turned the screws, restricting Brisbane to 9-150.
Jason Behrendorff, who snared 2-19 and was on a hat-trick after removing Lynn and Joe Denly, set the tone for Perth’s star-studded attack.
Earlier, Livingstone’s match-winning knock was followed by an unbeaten 75-run partnership between Marsh (49 not out) and Cameron Bancroft (58 not out).
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) February 4, 2021
Jason Roy’s ankle injury, suffered during a soccer warm-up game, meant former Test opener Bancroft was recalled for his first BBL game since January 19.
The pressure was on Livingstone to start with a bang, especially with fellow Englishman Roy an enforced omission.
And he didn't disappoint, smashing six sixes as he brought up a half-century in just 27 balls.
“I know if I spend a bit of time at the crease then I can win games for the team,” he said.
“The way we played was pretty much perfect.
“I spent a bit of time this afternoon, (watching videos) of when I did well.
“See what I did well, try and give myself a bit of confidence. I felt totally different today. So pretty pleasing it's come together at the end of the tournament.”
The Scorchers and Sixers have dominated the BBL since clashing in its inaugural final, grabbing a combined five of nine possible titles.
This weekend will mark the fourth season-deciding final between the rivals.
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