Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers
James Faulkner played a starring role at the beginning and end of the contest as Big Bash League leaders Hobart Hurricanes edged out Perth Scorchers in an absorbing contest on Friday.
Faulkner single-handedly reduced the Scorchers to 7-3 with a trio of wickets in his first seven deliveries, yet Perth still managed to post a healthy total of 177-9 - thanks largely to Sam Whiteman's superb 44-ball 68 and excellent cameos from Andrew Tye (25 off 12) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (31 not out off 15).
Coulter-Nile blasted three sixes in the 20th over of the Scorchers innings, putting a huge dent in Faulkner's figures in the process.
However, Faulkner (28 not out from 20 balls) made a decisive impact in the final over of the reply, bowled by Tye, thumping the 16 runs Hobart needed in just three deliveries to seal victory by four wickets.
Prior to Faulkner's fantastic finish, which saw the all-rounder hit two sixes either side of a four that almost cleared the rope at deep midwicket, George Bailey had kept the Hurricanes in the hunt by striking 69 from 39 balls.
Hobart have now won seven of their eight matches this term and boast a healthy lead at the top of the table.
WHITEMAN DELIVERS FINE DISPLAY
Whiteman was unfortunate to finish on the losing side following his wonderful, counter-attacking innings in response to Faulkner's initial heroics.
A feature of the left-hander's knock, which featured five fours and four sixes, was his ability to sweep the ball extremely fine, while he also excelled on the pull before picking out the man at deep backward square-leg in the 15th over.
ARCHER OFF TARGET
Hobart's hopes of restricting Perth were dented by Jofra Archer's removal from the attack in the eighth over. The fast bowler delivered a second full toss above waist height, forcing the umpires to take action.
DEBUTANT DUO MAKE THEIR MARK
The Hurricanes fielded two debutants in David Moody and Caleb Jewell, and both men contributed to a hard-fought victory.
Moody proved somewhat expensive with the ball, but was responsible for three wickets in his third over as he produced a superb piece of fielding off his own bowling to run out Aaron Hardie before ousting top-scorer Whiteman and Will Bosisto.
Jewell then scored 32 from 20 balls in Hobart's reply, all but two of his runs coming from boundaries.