Perth Scorchers won their second consecutive KFC BBL championship, thanks to the heroics of young left-hander Cooper Connolly. In a high-stakes match against the Brisbane Heat, Connolly was called up to the crease following the run-out of his team's captain, Ashton Turner, with a seemingly insurmountable 40 runs still needed from 20 balls. But Connolly proved up to the challenge, smashing two clutch sixes off his second and seventh balls to reduce the equation to 10 from the final over.
Turner, who had been leading the team with a 53-run inning off 32 balls, had put on 80 runs with Josh Inglis (26) for the fourth wicket after Perth found themselves in early trouble at 3-67. But when both Turner and Inglis fell within two balls, it looked like the undermanned Brisbane Heat were poised for victory until Connolly and Nick Hobson stepped up to deliver on the biggest stage. Hobson finished the job with four balls to spare, hitting a six and four off Michael Neser to send the record 53,886 fans into a frenzy with a five-wicket win.
The Brisbane Heat had a stop-and-start innings after electing to bat first, with a fast start and finish punctuated by a middle period where they lost their way. The replacements for their Test stars, including Josh Brown, Sam Heazlett, Nathan McSweeney, and Max Bryant, got going but were all dismissed before they could inflict serious damage.
In reply, Perth Scorchers' Stephen Eskinazi and Cameron Bancroft took the score to 0-31 after the Powerplay, but a mix-up resulted in Eskinazi being run out, leaving the game once again on Turner's bat. However, Turner's unfortunate run-out with victory in sight put the pressure on the rest of the team, making Connolly's clutch performance even more impressive.
Despite the loss, Brisbane Heat's Max Bryant delivered a powerful cameo, hitting three sixes and two fours in his 14-ball performance. Bryant and Harry Hain took Matt Kelly, Andrew Tye, and David Payne during a three-over stretch, helping the Heat post 7-175 from their 20 overs.
In the end, it was the young gun Cooper Connolly who stole the show, announcing himself on the national stage with his incredible sixes and delivering Perth Scorchers back-to-back KFC BBL championships.