The Perth Scorchers have secured a place in the Big Bash League finals with a nail-biting one-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes at Bellerive Oval.
With five wins from seven matches, the West Australian outfit is on top of the table and in with a strong chance to host a semi-final in the hunt for a third successive title.
Conversely, the Hurricanes’ finals hopes took a big blow in front of a sell-out 18,149 crowd on Sunday and they will need to beat the Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday to have any chance of a top-four finish.
Skipper Tim Paine top-scored for the hosts with 57 off 47, but Hobart was left needing 48 runs off the final four overs and did well to finish on 6-172.
Some late hitting by all-rounder Darren Sammy (28 not out off 12) and Jono Wells (20 off 10) took the fifth-placed Hurricanes close to the 174-run victory target but Sammy, battling a groin injury, was only able to hit a four off AJ Tye’s final delivery, rather than the six that was required.
Ashton Agar (2-38) was the pick of Perth’s bowlers.
The hosts were set a lofty target after the Scorchers posted 5-173, largely thanks to the efforts of British import Michael Carberry (62 off 35).
Left out of the Scorchers’ XI for the past three matches, Carberry was keen to prove a point as he belted nine fours and a six.
The 35-year-old later admitted he was not up to scratch when he first arrived in Australia for the summer tournament.
“I just had to sit and wait my turn but it gave me some time to go away and work in the nets,” Carberry told the Ten Network on the sidelines after he was dismissed.
“The last week I’ve been feeling in good touch.”
The left-hander was caught behind from a Shaun Tait (2-29) delivery.
Michael Klinger added 36 and was the other valuable contributor for the visitors.