Voges, Bresnan rescue Scorchers' Furnace farewell
Adelaide Strikers did their best to gate-crash the Furnace's retirement party on Thursday, only for Adam Voges and Tim Bresnan to ensure Perth Scorchers signed off on Big Bash League cricket at the WACA with a four-wicket victory.
The hosts chased down a target of 138 with three balls remaining to seal top spot in the 2017-18 BBL table and secure the right to hold the decider at the gleaming new Optus Stadium, should they progress to that stage.
The Scorchers will get a first taste of life at the multi-purpose arena in the semi-finals next Thursday, with their opponent yet to be determined.
And the Strikers, having been forced to settle for second in the standings, could well be back in Western Australia next week if they come through their own last-four clash at Adelaide Oval.
The surprise decision to drop newly-capped Australia international Alex Carey down the order may have backfired on the visitors, as they posted 137-6 up against some disciplined Perth bowling.
Jake Weatherald top scored with 56 and Jake Lehmann made 21, Carey's cameo of 25 from just 10 deliveries arriving too late to salvage a stuttering innings.
Cameron Bancroft's 49 helped steady Perth's run chase after the hosts fell to 28-4 and Voges (56 not out) had to keep his cool late on, the skipper slogging a Michael Neser full toss over deep midwicket for six off the first delivery of the final over to ease the tension.
And Bresnan's upper cut for another maximum two balls later finished the job in style, providing the cue for fireworks to mark the occasion of the last BBL match at the popular venue.
WEATHERALD BATTLES WITHOUT SUPPORT
Weatherald was the only Strikers batsman to make any headway against a punitive Scorchers attack, as Bresnan (2-34), Matthew Kelly (2-31), Mitchell Johnson (0-17) and Jhye Richardson (2-23) kept it tight and prevented the visitors from scoring freely.
Weatherald found the boundary rope four times and cleared it on as many occasions, twice lifting Ashton Agar (0-30) into the stands.
An emphatic smack over long-on proved a highlight, before a Kelly yorker got the better of the 23-year-old, who came down the ground and miscued his attempt to dispatch the full, quick delivery down the leg side.
RASHID RATTLES SHAKY SCORCHERS
Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (3-20) has starred for Adelaide this season and he was up to his usual tricks on Thursday, removing Hilton Cartwright (2), who picked out Neser at midwicket trying to pull, and then Ashton Turner (0) lbw with successive deliveries to finish the fifth over.
He missed out on a hat-trick but returned to dislodge dangerman Bancroft, a googly beating the bat and clattering into the stumps.
But that good work was not backed up by his pace colleagues, as Voges and Bresnan snuck the Scorchers across the line.