Teenager Cooper Connolly, the hero as the Perth Scorchers win the incredible Big Bash Grand Final
Cooper Connolly performed a miracle with the racquet to lead the Perth Scorchers to the Big Bash title after an incredible win over Brisbane Heat.
The 19-year-old combined with Nick Hobson to hit the final 41 runs as the Scorchers chased the three-ball Heat’s 175 total in front of a record crowd of 53,866 at Perth Stadium.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Stephen Eskinazi runs away in hilarious scenes.
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Connolly, who was playing only his fourth BBL game and had just 11 balls in that tournament, shot 25 of just 11 balls.
Hobson shattered 18 balls from just seven after nearly costing his side victory when he and captain Ashton Turner had a mix-up down the middle.
Turner, who was named Man of the Match, smashed 53 of 32 balls to turn the tide of the scorchers, with the skipper connecting with Josh Inglis (26 of 22 balls) for a crucial 86-run streak.
Turner’s disastrous run with 40 runs remaining put the game back on the razor’s edge.
Connolly then stepped onto the plate with his heroic performance before Hobson, who was responsible for turning Turner out, cracked a huge six and then followed up with a four to secure the win with three balls remaining.
The Scorchers players took to the field in wild celebration after the winning streak secured the franchise a record fifth title.
“I thought I absolutely nailed it with that skipper mix-up,” Hobson said after the match.
“Cooper came out and took the pressure off right away.
“He’s a 19-year-old boy with a huge future in football if you can do that. I was lucky enough to face the last time to get a few of these. Dude, couldn’t be happier.”
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It was the second weird run from the innings after opening batter Stephen Eskinazi had a nightmare in the fourth over.
After being called out for a quick single by teammate Cam Bancroft, Eskinazi inexcusably short-draw and casually touched his racquet in his crease.
Aware of the opportunity, heat fielder Max Bryant threw down the stumps at the end of the bowler with a great piece of fielding.
“He got lazy. Put the handbrakes on out there Eskinazi,” said Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting in a comment.
“The parachute went off way too soon. Terrible awareness of Eskinazi.”
The brave Heat did well just to make the decision.
The team sat bottom of the rankings just 22 days ago before winning four of their last five games to sneak into the final in fifth place.
The Heat then won the away final against the Sydney Thunder, Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers to reach the decider, but they started as underdogs against a Scorchers team chasing their further crown.
Brisbane was even dubbed ‘Nobody’ by the local Western Australia newspaper as Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson and Marnus Labuschagne were absent from Test tasks.
“Just FYI we keep our receipts,” the Heat tweeted Saturday alongside a picture of the liftout with the caption, “Scorchers versus a bunch of nobodies.”
These ‘nobodies’ stepped up to the table and gave the scorchers an almighty scare before Turner, Connolly and Hobson brought Perth home.
– with AAP
https://7news.com.au/sport/big-bash-league/teenager-cooper-connolly-the-hero-as-perth-scorchers-crowned-big-bash-champions-after-incredible-grand-final-c-9652820 Teenager Cooper Connolly, the hero as the Perth Scorchers win the incredible Big Bash Grand Final