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by Sandeep Shivam Tuesday 24 January 2017
Perth Scorchers 139-3 (Marsh 56no) beatMelbourne Stars 136-8 (Johnson 3-3) by seven wicketsBig Bash League Semi-final at WACAScorecard
Mitchell Johnson bowled the most economical spell in the history of Big Bash League as Perth Scorchers restricted Melbourne Stars to 136 for eight and then chased the target down in 17th over with seven wickets in hand at WACA to become the first team to reach the final of this season.
This is also Perth Scorchers' fourth win in the five semi-finals over Melbourne Stars spread across all the six season.
Scorchers won the toss and elected to bowl first. Johnson (3-3) picked both the openers Rob Quiney (0) and Luke Wright (0) in the first over without conceding a run. His next two overs saw him concede just one run and also ended up snaring Kevin Pietersen (5) in his third over.
Jhye Richardson (1-32) joined the destruction act as he had Marcus Stoinis (5) caught at deep square leg in the last over of the powerplay by the end of which Melbourne Stars were 26 for four.
In his final over, Johnson conceded just three runs and overall in his four overs, he had figures of 4-2-3-0, making him the most economical bowler in the history of the tournament.
David Hussey (26) along with Seb Gotch (48) tried to resurrect the innings with a 52-run stand which had four sixes in it as well.
Despite, wickets falling at the other end, Gotch tried to keep the innings going and fell short of a deserving half-century by two runs when he was caught in the deep brilliantly by Shaun Marsh in the 18th over bowled by Ashton Agar (1-25).
Useful contributions from Ben Hilfenaus (10), Daniel Worrall (13 not out) and Scott Boland (8 not out) ensured Scorchers ended the innings at 136 for eight.
Michael Klinger (7) tried to inject momentum into the chase early with a six in the second over but was snared Worrall (1-40) a couple of deliveries later.
Sam Whiteman (31) and Marsh (56 not out) added a solid 54 runs for the second wicket to calm the nerves of Scorchers.
Even though, Stars made a brief comeback with the wickets of Whiteman and Adam Voges (13), Marsh completed his back-to-back fifty and along with Ian Bell (26 not out) ensured the Perth Scorchers secured a home final with a seven wicket win.
Johnson was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant spell with the ball.
© Cricket World 2017