Scorchers power into final
A stunning century from Craig Simmons inspired Perth Scorchers to a five-run win in their rain-hit Big Bash League semi-final against Sydney Sixers.
The left-handed opener smashed 112 from just 58 balls as the Scorchers kicked on from a steady start to post a daunting total of 193-5 at the SCG.
A rain delay in the innings break meant that the hosts' target was adjusted to 54 runs from five overs, and they were unable to chase it down, as Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins each bowled crucial overs to set up a title-deciding showdown with Hobart Hurricanes.
Sydney's English duo Michael Lumb (1) and Ravi Bopara (0) were both caught while trying to hit Behrendorff over the ropes, and the seamer would have taken three wickets from his solitary over had substitute fielder Hilton Cartwright not dropped a dolly at deep cover.
Nic Maddinson was on five when that chance went down and he went to smash 36 from 16 balls, but he could not make Perth pay the ultimate price when tasked with scoring 17 from the final over.
The Scorchers had earlier been put in to bat and were given an early reprieve when Bopara dropped Simon Katich (24) in the second over.
It took until the end of the 13th over for Perth to pass the 100 mark, but once they did so the scoring rate was ramped up spectacularly, with Simmons needing just 16 balls to go from 50 to his century.
The 31-year-old, who was called up from club cricket at the start of the tournament, hit a total of 11 sixes before he was run out in the final over. It was his second century in this season's Big Bash League.
Adam Voges was the other main contributor for the Scorchers, making a steady 31 before being bowled by Mitchell Starc.
It looked like Simmons' heroics could be in vain as rain threatened to force an abandonment, which would have given the spot in the final to the Sixers due to their higher finish in the league table, but the two teams came back on just before the cut-off time and it was the Scorchers who prevailed.