BBL rivals brace for another spicy final

Murray Wenzel and Rob Forsaith
·3-min read

Perth Scorchers captain Ashton Turner concedes his side's most-recent clash with Sydney Sixers will stoke the fire further when the Big Bash League's greatest rivalry resumes in Saturday's final.

The Scorchers emphatically ended Brisbane Heat's fairytale-run in Thursday's challenger final to set up a fourth decider in just the BBL's 10th season against the Sixers at the SCG.

Defending champions Sydney cruised into the final a week ago on the back of James Vince's unbeaten 98, the Englishman's century denied when Scorchers' quick AJ Tye bowled a wide with one run to win.

The moment has split opinion and dominated discussion ahead of their rematch, with Turner admitting it remained a factor despite lathering praise on Vince and insisting Tye's wide was not intentional.

"I'll say yes (that it will add tension), so you can write about it and create some more hype," a grinning Turner told reporters on Friday.

"But there are so many factors that come into creating tension in a game, and probably no more motivation than lifting the trophy to incentivise playing well.

"We've started to create some great rivalries ... it can be a great spectacle but sometimes emotions do get involved.

"It's no secret the Sydney Sixers are a team we've had some battles against and they are a team we love to beat."

Sixers counterpart Moises Henriques shot down talk of Tye's wide being a point of lingering angst, declaring there was no controversy.

But Perth opener Liam Livingstone's quip, that he hopes the Sixers are "running scared" after watching Thursday's clinical dismantling of Brisbane, hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I'm not sure where we're running to. It's an interesting comment, I'm sure he is just trying to get a rise," Henriques said.

"He actually played really well. It'll be up to him to try and do that against us."

Henriques didn't expect or encourage an on-field war of words at the SCG.

"Things happen so quickly in T20 cricket. It's not like four-day cricket, when you can plant a few seeds," the allrounder said.

"If they want to come that way, that's fantastic, but I feel like for our guys it'll be water off a duck's back.

"They've been a good team all season ... we've had a lot of great battles."

The Scorchers are chasing a fourth title and first since 2017, Turner arguing it would be their finest considering the COVID-19 logistical hurdles and their 0-4 start that saw the finger pointed at coach Adam Voges.

"It would have been easy to forgive guys to push the panic button," Turner said.

English opener Jason Roy's arrival has coincided with their form surge, although the ankle injury that saw him miss Thursday's game could keep him out for the final.

He'll have a fitness test on Saturday morning, with Cameron Bancroft likely to make way if Roy's fit despite the former Test opener making an unbeaten half century against Brisbane.