Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges predicted Josh Inglis’ match-winning knock would happen
Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges’ midweek prediction that Josh Inglis had a match-winning innings in him came true in Saturday night’s 49-run qualifying-final thrashing of Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium.
Inglis, who had just 45 runs in six hits for the tournament before a player-of-the-match performance, bounced back from a lean period to blast a career-high Big Bash League score of 79 off 49 balls.
The hard-hitting right-hander set the platform for a mammoth Scorchers innings of 3-189, putting on a 120-run opening stand with Kurtis Patterson (64 off 41) in 12.2 overs to help their side book a spot in Friday’s decider.
In reply, the Sixers never really looked in the hunt, losing three wickets during the power play and another two before the mid-innings drinks break on their way to getting bowled out for 140 in the 20th over.
Voges noted Inglis’ “calmer” nature in the nets during the week after a frustrating run of form.
“I said to him after he had a hit in the nets the other day that I reckon there’s a match-winning in him,” Voges told Channel 7.
“He batted beautifully today, we’ve just seen it over the last week in the nets, he looked a lot calmer and he was playing some really nice cricket shots.
“He showed his full array tonight which was great.”
Inglis admitted himself during the week that “I haven’t scored a run all year”, with being in and out of various squads without playing a massive amount not helping his cause.
The gloveman was part of three different Australian squads since October, starting with the victorious T20 World Cup in the UAE followed by Australia A’s clash against England Lions in December and a late call-up for the Ashes as cover for Travis Head when he caught COVID.
He’s only played 10 games in that time, a T20 World Cup warm-up match in October, the Australia A game nearly two months later followed by seven BBL appearances with three weeks in between the fifth and sixth.
But the English-born talent has come good at the right time of the tournament, blasting nine fours and a six and using the full 360 to lead the Scorchers to their seventh BBL final.
“I was due,” Inglis joked post-match.
“It’s been tough, I’ve in and out and not playing much cricket this year so I went searching a bit.
“I just tried to go back to basics tonight and so what I do well.”
The Scorchers will monitor the fitness of star allrounder Mitch Marsh, who suffered a hamstring injury while batting.
Voges was hopeful Marsh will be good to go as the team chases a record fourth BBL title.
“It’s just a bit of tightness from what I understand,” Voges said.
“The physio seems to think it’s the minor end of some tightness.
“All his strength testing was pretty good. It was very cautionary not to put him out on the field tonight.
“We’ve got six days so we’ll monitor him over the next little bit and hopefully he’ll be ok.”
Returning Test speedster Jhye Richardson (2-21 off four including 15 dot balls) was the star with the ball, getting the better of last season’s player of the tournament Josh Philippe to set the tone for a brilliant team bowling performance.
Richardson should have dismissed his WA teammate for a duck second ball of the innings if not for a missed caught-behind decision from the umpire, but it only cost five runs with Philippe chopping one onto his stumps soon after.
Fellow opener Justin Avendano (0) and Jordan Silk (1) also didn’t last to see the fielding restrictions lifted with left-armer Jason Behrendorff (2-31 off four) getting both.
Spinner Ashton Agar (2-16 off four) was also important, picking up his 50th BBL wicket, racking up 14 dot balls and even landing a leg-spinner.
Patterson reached his fourth 50-plus score of a breakout campaign, off 33 balls, last delivery before drinks before hitting one down Dan Christian’s throat in the deep off in-form seamer Hayden Kerr who was his team’s only multiple wicket-taker with 2-37 off four.
The two-time reigning champs looked a bit off after losing two top-order batters in the lead up, including Dan Hughes who hurt his ankle in a fielding drill and opener Jack Edwards (COVID close contact).
Hughes was replaced by debutant Nick Bertus, part of the Local Replacement Player pool, after the team was announced with permission from the opposition.
Bertus (4) was one of six Sixers batters in the top seven out for a single-digit score.
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