Perth Scorchers clinch record fifth BBL title in Brisbane Heat thriller

Cooper Connolly and Nick Hobson's unbeaten fifty partnership guide the Scorchers to back-to-back titles for the second time, denying Heat a second success and first since 2012/13


Perth: Brisbane Heat 175-7, Perth Scorchers 177-5 - Perth Scorchers won by five wickets


Cooper Connolly came of age to power Perth Scorchers to a record-breaking fifth men's Big Bash League title after a dramatic victory over Brisbane Heat.

Nineteen-year-old Connolly (25 not out) put on an unbeaten 41-run partnership with Nick Hobson (18) as Scorchers stormed to victory by five wickets.

Heat, defending 176, were in charge for long periods and some frugal bowling left the defending champions needing 99 from the final nine overs.

Ashton Turner (53) did much of the heavy lifting but his disastrous run-out in the 17th over appeared to turn the tide again.


Connolly showed no fear to send Scorchers to victory (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

But a fearless Connolly, who was captaining Australia at the Under-19 World Cup 12 months ago, struck 18 off James Bazley's final over to put Scorchers on the brink.

He was put down by Josh Brown at deep point and Hobson took full advantage with a six and a four off successive Michael Neser deliveries in the final over to secure the most dramatic of victories with three balls to spare, in front of a record crowd of 53,886.

Jimmy Peirson's Heat were bidding to become the third side to finish outside the top three during the regular season to claim the title.

Batting first, Sam Heazlett (34) and Nathan McSweeney (34) put on 74 for the second wicket to lay the groundwork for an imposing innings.

Sam Hain (21 not out) and Max Bryant (31) added 38 between them but with just 17 coming off the final two overs bowled by Matthew Kelly and Andrew Tye, Scorchers recovered well.


Heat fell short of a second title and first since 2012/13 (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The pick of the attack, Jason Behrendorff, took 2 for 26 and Kelly claimed 2 for 37.

It was a steady start to the Scorchers reply, which suffered a series of early setbacks with the loss of Stephen Eskinazi (21), Cameron Bancroft (15) and Aaron Hardie (17).

Josh Inglis and Turner got the ship back on track with a fourth-wicket stand worth 80 but both were dismissed in a dramatic 17th over.

Connolly displayed no fear in just his fourth senior T20, depositing two sixes into the crowd in a game-changing 18th over off Bazley when went for 18.

Brown crucially put down the teenager at deep point, spilling a high ball that he failed to grasp. Ten were needed off the last and Hobson stayed cool, hitting successive boundaries to spark wild celebrations.

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