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Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers beat Brisbane Heat to reach final

Canberra (Agencies): England’s Liam Livingstone hit a brutal 77 off 39 balls as Perth Scorchers thrashed Brisbane Heat to book their place in the Big Bash League final. Cameron Bancroft made an unbeaten 58 and Mitch Marsh 49 not out off 28 deliveries before rain cut short the Scorchers’ innings at 189-1.

The Heat never threatened a target of 200 in 18 overs, slipping from 37-0 to 88-6 en route to a 49-run defeat.

The Scorchers will play Sydney Sixers in Saturday’s final at the SCG.

It will represent another meeting between the top two sides from the group stages. Defending champions the Sixers, who topped the table, secured their place in the final with a nine-wicket thrashing of the Scorchers in the Qualifier on Saturday – a game notable for Andrew Tye bowling a wide to deny James Vince the chance of a match-winning century.

Lancashire batsman Livingstone, who played two Twenty20s for England in 2017, hit five fours and six sixes as he dominated an opening stand of 114 with Bancroft, recalled in place of injured England opener Jason Roy.

The Heat’s daunting chase floundered as early as the fourth over, England’s Joe Denly and captain Chris Lynn perishing to successive balls from Jason Behrendorff.

Sam Heazlett and Jimmy Peirson – the Heat’s match-winners in the Knockout triumph over Sydney Thunder on Sunday – were among Aaron Hardie’s 3-46, and an Andrew Tye dropped catch in the final over was a rare blemish on a near-perfect Scorchers display.