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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Turner impact makes team walk taller

Perth Scorchers assistant coach Beau Casson is full of praise for skipper Ashton Turner, who hauled his side into the BBL final with a brilliant knock on Saturday night.


The Scorchers were in an early spot of bother in the Qualifier at 3 for 22 in pursuit of the Sixers’ score of 151, but Turner’s 84 not out from 47 deliveries in partnership with Cameron Bancroft (53* from 45 balls) saw them over the line.


Casson said the team walked taller with Turner in charge.


“Fantastic knock from the skipper, I think he’s cool, calm, and collected nature to go with his aggression at the crease was on display, and it was great for the crowd to be able to witness that firsthand,” Casson told Sports Breakfast.


“It wasn’t clinical as such, in terms of there were a few wobbles along the way, but that’s finals cricket, and as we’ve seen in T20, on any given day if a couple of players perform well for any side, they’re always a big chance of winning that game.


“I know players, staff, the WACA as a whole, and the West Australian public are super pumped. We went to Forest Chase yesterday, the players got to meet the fans and talk about the game, and it’s just wonderful to feel the buzz in the air.”


Both teams made several blunders in the field on Saturday night despite their reputations as strong fielding sides, highlighted by Aaron Hardie and Andrew Tye dropping catches for the Scorchers and a miscommunication between Josh Phillipe and Daniel Christian for the Sixers where neither attempted to claim a high ball.


“I think it was contagious because the Sixers certainly grabbed ahold of it as well, and unfortunately couldn’t grab ahold of it,” Casson said.

“Strange thing pressure does, I suppose, and players probably feeling like the moment’s bigger than what it was, because I think all of them would’ve mentioned, there’s a lot of catches that unfortunately went down on Saturday night from both sides that they would’ve caught 999 times out of 1000.


“We’re certainly aware of it, we’ve put some things into place this week to rectify it, but all I can say is during the whole tournament, we’ve made some catches we probably wouldn’t have taken if we weren’t aggressive and always having the offensive intent when we’re in the field.”


Casson said hosting rights were important with the parochial Perth crowd gave the Scorchers a strong home ground advantage.


“Definitely there will be some nerves, you’re only human, everyone will have nerves and that’s something we’ve identified, but I suppose we’re trying to use the terminology of dancing with the nerves, use them to your favour, how can you actually use that energy to a positive effect,” Casson said.


“When on the sidelines, you can even see during the team warmup, players are just looking around and smiling from ear to ear. Coming from last year where we were very fortunate to get through a whole tournament through the whole COVID situation, but playing games close to midnight in front of no one out at the Showgrounds in Sydney, and now being able to play [in front of] an absolute capacity crowd at Optus Stadium, the players are super pumped.


“It was great to see the Scorchers fans being able to see the spectacle of the game and players being able to actually interact with them and show their appreciation, because we really value the support and when we’re on the road we do feel it.”


The Scorchers will lose Lance Morris for the final as he takes his place on the Test tour of India, but Casson was extremely confident that Matt Kelly would be available for selection after recovering from concussion.


The Brisbane Heat will take on the Sixers on Thursday night at the SCG for a spot in the BBL final, which will be held at Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon


A record BBL crowd is expected for the game, with yesterday’s first release of tickets selling out in a matter of hours.


IMAGE: FILE


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