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Dan Christian masterclass not enough to topple Scorchers

05 January 2022

A late call-up to replace the COVID-hit Heat, the Perth Scorchers proved their BBL|11 title credentials by routing the Sydney Sixers top-order en route to a big win on the Gold Coast

The Perth Scorchers have extended their lead at the top of the KFC BBL ladder after surviving a Dan Christian masterclass and some last-minute rescheduling dramas to defeat the Sydney Sixers by 10 runs at the Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium.

After limiting the Scorchers to a seemingly modest 8-143 on Tuesday night, the Sixers slumped to 4-16 courtesy of a searing new-ball assault from firebrands Lance Morris and Tymal Mills, who both pushed the speedgun past the 150kmh mark.

The Sixers remained in trouble in the top-of-the-table blockbuster at 6-67 when Sean Abbott, the hero in their miraculous win over the Brisbane Heat, nicked off to the impressive Andrew Tye (3-17).

The Sixers' flickering hopes remained in the hands of ageless Twenty20 master Christian, who threatened a similar miracle, riding his luck in an entertaining 73.

He started slowly, survived two confident caught-behind shouts and a missed stumping before launching a flurry of big blows late to give the Sixers a sniff before finally succumbing to Tye in the penultimate over.

The Sixers ended their innings on 8-133.

Earlier, Christian proved miserly with the ball (2-14), combining with speedster Hayden Kerr (4-32) to keep the Scorchers in relative check.

Christian snared two wickets in the 11th over – after spinner Stephen O'Keefe left the field with a suspected broken right middle finger – before taking a wonderful one-handed catch at short cover to dismiss Perth captain Ashton Turner (1).

The Scorchers blasted 70 off the last six overs, thanks chiefly to a career-best 45 from Aaron Hardie as a difficult day ended on a sparkling high.

The Scorchers were originally slated to play the Sydney Thunder on Thursday before being bumped into the Tuesday night timeslot to replace the Heat at short notice after positive COVID-19 cases were recorded in Brisbane's squad.

The Heat became the fourth BBL club to be hit by COVID-19 in the past week after members of the Heat camp returned positive results in rapid antigen testing on Tuesday morning.

That forced a fixture reshuffle, with the planned Heat-Sixers clash postponed a day, with the Scorchers stepping in to face the Sixers instead.

With those three teams plus the Sydney Thunder all in Queensland already, officials have shuffled the order of this week's games as the Heat await the results of PCR tests.

Those results are expected on Wednesday morning, with the Heat to provide an update on any squad changes.

The league is expected to move to a hub-style situation to ensure the season can be completed with increasing case levels around the country. 

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