Perth missed a golden opportunity to secure top spot after after dropping all four points against Brisbane Heat in Adelaide, despite a brilliant late Mitch Marsh knock.
The Scorchers will be sweating on the result of tonight’s final regular-season match at the MCG after falling short six runs short of their tough target of 182.
Marsh nearly won it off his own bat, blasting an unbeaten 54 off 26 balls to turn take the game to the final ball, with 5-94 in the 14th over becoming 6-175 by the end.
A whopping 74 runs were hit off the last five overs including 49 off the last 21 balls as Marsh sparked a stunning revival when the game looked dead and buried.
The big-hitting allrounder needed 17 off the last over to win and a maximum off the Ben Laughlin’s final ball to force a super over, but couldn’t get the leverage required.
Reigning champs Sydney Sixers only need to grab the Bash Boost Point against Melbourne Stars to snatch the minor premiership and the all-important home qualifier at the SCG on Saturday.
Either way the BBL’s two most successful franchises will meet for direct entry into the final on February 6, but the Sixers will be desperate to avoid Optus Stadium after a horror showing in their last visit.
Australian Test star Marnus Labuschagne was the hero with bat and ball, backing up his 38-ball 46 with a stunning bowling display to help book the Heat’s top-five spot.
It appeared to be game over after the part-time leg-spinner’s double-wicket third over, sending dangerous duo Josh Inglis (12) and Ashton Turner (0) packing within four balls on his way to figures of 3-35 off four.
The Heat were sent in and posted 7-181 after an innings kickstarted by Chris Lynn (51 off 25), anchored by Labuschagne and capped off by Jimmy Peirson (16 off nine).
Lynn’s early fireworks meant the Scorchers needed 97 for the 10-over bonus point which they missed out by 30.
Perth enjoyed a positive start to the run chase, taking 49 off the first five overs thanks to some typically aggressive batting from Englishmen Jason Roy (41 off 32) and Liam Livingstone (32 off 22).
Both openers were dropped in consecutive deliveries from X-factor substitute Jack Wildermuth in the third over on one and 19 respectively, while Roy got another slice of luck on 21 when his faint edge to gloveman Peirson off Laughlin wasn’t given.
But Heat spin twins Labuschagne and Australian limited-overs leg-spinner Mitch Swepson (2-20 off four) created a middle-order collapse of 3-3 that left the Scorchers behind the eight ball.
Earlier in the match, Labuschagne batted for all but 25 balls and was involved in two important half-century stands with Lynn and Englishman Lewis Gregory (36 off 23).
Andrew Tye (2-23 off four) and Jason Behrendorff (2-30 off four) were the pick of the Scorchers’ bowlers.
Tye bowled the delivery of the match, a knuckle ball during the power surge which uprooted Gregory’s off stump, while fellow seamer Behrendorff had 2-11 off three overs before a 19-run final over.
BBL10 leading wicket-taker Jhye Richardson’s radar was off in his 50th appearance, going for 26 runs during his two power play overs and 1-44 all up.
Reliable left-armer Behrendorff kept it tight at the other end and snared the early scalp of Max Bryant for three.
In the story of Lynn’s tournament, he threatened to be the match-winner before throwing it away.
The Heat skipper hit eight boundaries including four sixes in his 25-ball 51, but fell to part-time tweaker Livingstone one ball after bringing up his fifth half-century of BBL10.
Lynn took veteran leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed for 20 in the seventh before skying one to Aaron Hardie, who held onto a difficult catch in the deep, next over in pursuit of more quick runs.
There were seven consecutive single-digit overs after Lynn departed as the Heat suffered a mini collapse of 3-26.