Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Perth Scorchers captain Michael Klinger led by example as he smashed a sensational 81 to not only lead his side to a 27-run win over the Brisbane Heat, but also to the top of the Big Bash League (BBL) points table.
Opting to bowl first, the Heat were on top of the Scorchers early on as they removed opener Shaun Marsh and wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman, who replaced by Cameron Bancroft at the start of the Heat’s innings after he sustained a concussion.
Klinger and Ian Bell had just begun to start rebuilding the innings when the latter was sent packing by Mitchell Swepson for 14.
Ashton Turner fell shortly after for 10, but Klinger continued to fight until his time at the crease eventually came to an end after he scored 81 off 54 balls, which included six boundaries and two sixes.
A useful 13 not out by Hilton Cartwright at the end of the innings saw the Scorchers finish on 156/5 off their 20 overs.
Swepson and Mark Steketee picked up two wickets apiece, while Jack Wildermuth chipped in with one.
Chasing 157 to win, the Heat found themselves in trouble right from the get-go as opener Jimmy Peirson was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson for two runs on the third ball of the innings.
To make matters worse, Sam Heazlett and skipper Brendon McCullum were on their way back to the pavilion shortly after.
Alex Ross and Joe Burns halted the Scorchers’ charge temporarily with a 43-run partnership before Burns was caught by Ashton Agar off the bowling of Andrew Tye for 23.
The Scorchers continued to lose wickets at regular intervals after Burns’ departure and despite a gutsy 39 from Ross, it was not enough to save his side from being bowled out for 129.
Tye, who became only the second player in BBL history to take a hat-trick, was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Johnson, Tim Bresnan and Jhye Richardson claimed two wickets each.
Klinger was named Man of the Match.