Scorchers thump Heat on the back of Bancroft, Hardie stand
Cameron Bancroft and Aaron Hardie have cracked quick-fire half centuries to power the Perth Scorchers to a seven-wicket win over the Brisbane Heat at Optus Stadium.
In reply to the Heat's 9-171 on Saturday night, the Scorchers reached the victory target with 21 balls to spare in front of a home crowd of 28,029, courtesy of big knocks from Bancroft (76no off 48 balls) and Hardie (57 off 33 balls).
Bancroft was playing just his third match of KFC BBL|12 after being squeezed out of the side by imports Faf du Plessis and Adam Lyth for much of the campaign.
But with du Plessis now having joined the South African T20 league and Lyth dropped for what would have been the last of his eight-game stint with the club following a horror run of form, Bancroft looms as a key player in the Scorchers' bid to win back-to-back titles.
Bancroft cracked seven fours and two sixes, combining with Hardie for a 111-run stand that set up the win.
Hardie was also brutal with five fours and three sixes before being run out in the 12th over.
The result lifted the Scorchers (6-2) back to the top, with the Heat seventh after posting just two wins from their first eight games.
The Heat made a dream start to the match thanks to their departing import Colin Munro.
Munro, who will link up with the new UAE International League T20 tournament next week alongside their other import Sam Billings, blasted three fours and three sixes on the way to 45 off 26 balls.
The New Zealand blaster combined with Josh Brown (34 off 21 balls) to lift the Heat to 0-81 by midway through the eighth over.
But the Scorchers' attack hit back strongly, with AJ Tye (3-37), Matt Kelly (2-28), and Lance Morris (2-4) sparking a collapse of 9-90.
The Heat only scored 25 from their final four overs, losing three wickets in the last over as their search for quick runs at the death fell flat.
Morris was pummelled for 16 off his first over, but the speed demon bounced back with the scalps of Munro and Jimmy Peirson (23 off 19 balls).
The return of Morris from Test squad duties helped offset the loss of Jhye Richardson, who is set to miss two or three weeks with a hamstring injury.