The Perth Scorchers spoiled the party for Australian pace great Brett Lee after winning back-to-back Big Bash League titles with a thrilling four-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers in Canberra on Wednesday.
The Scorchers snuck home with the last ball after a cameo by former English Test batsman Michael Carberry (9 off 7) nudged them past the Sixers’ target of 148.
In a game that took numerous twists and turns, the Sixers failed in their chance to tie the game and send the match into a super over after botching a run-out opportunity with the last ball.
Captain Moises Henriques fumbled a throw at the stumps with Yasir Arafat well short of the crease.
The match came down to Lee’s final over with the Scorchers requiring eight runs.
Just when it looked like the Scorchers would get over the line a few balls up their sleeve, Lee (3-25) removed Nathan Coulter-Nile and Sam Whiteman with successive balls.
Earlier, Shaun Marsh provided the platform for the Scorchers’ win, hitting 73 off 59.
The match was 38-year-old Lee’s last in a career that included 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 116 first class matches.
The Sixers looked to have fallen short after setting the Scorchers 148 for victory.
Lee and Australian Test spinner Nathan Lyon (2-34) took wickets at key moments but could not do enough.
Earlier, Henriques and Ryan Carters produced some late hitting to guide the Sydney Sixers to 5-147.
The Sixers looked to be in big trouble at 4-54 after 10 overs, after the Perth attack ripped through their top order.
However, Henriques (77 off 57) and Ryan Carters (35 off 25) dragged them back into the contest during a 98-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Jason Behrendorff, who the night before was named Australian domestic cricketer of the year at the Allan Border Medal ceremony, led the Scorchers attack with 1-19 off four overs.
Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Yasir Arafat and Brad Hogg all took one wicket each for the Scorchers.
Marsh admitted to a few nerves sitting in the dugout in the final over and praised his teammates for keeping their heads at key moments in the game.
“To go back-to-back is a really good effort and the boys should be really proud of that,” Marsh said.
“We’ve got a really good culture in WA and to go back-to-back now is a fantastic feeling.”
Henriques said he never stopped believing his team could get over the line and reserved special praise for Lee.
The talented allrounder wasn’t dwelling too much on failing to take the final ball stumping opportunity, explaining he simply fumbled a difficult throw.
“If you’re out there and someone pegs the ball at you from seven metres, it’s not that easy to catch, especially on a rough square like that,” he said.
“I’d have preferred it on the full to be honest but Lumby (Michael Lumb) made a judgment call and I back Lumby for that call.
“At the end of the day I should have taken it but I didn’t. So there’s nothing I can do about that now.”