James Vince’s masterful 95 and magnificent catch have delivered defending champions Sydney Sixers a 27-run win over Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League final.
Something is happening on the Western front of state cricket. While rain and stoic innings by David Hussey and Matthew Wade denied them Sheffield Shield glory this year, Western Australia are shaping as a dominant force for the next decade.
Despite season-ending injuries to star quicks Jason Behrendorff and Joel Paris, the Warriors still managed to make the Shield final, thanks to their impressive bowling depth and outstanding batting line-up.
While title campaigns for the next two to three years will be led by veterans Adam Voges and Michael Klinger, Western Australia youth stocks are the truly daunting element of the squad.
Aforementioned quicks Paris and Behrendorff are young tearaway lefties, and will provide Mitchell Starc and company with plenty of assistance in the future national setup.
Nathan Coulter-Nile continues to provide an attacking option with ball and bat, and may become a mainstay in the Australian side in coming years. Andrew Tye was terrifying at times in the Scorchers’ latest Big Bash League, while giant quick Simon Mackin highlights the depth in the Warriors’ squad, performing well in the recent Shield final.
Meanwhile, the all-rounder Ashtons (Agar and Turner) continue to impress, with Agar a strong chance to make the Ashes squad this winter. His continued improvement with the ball and valuable contributions with the bat make him a great addition to any side.
At the top of the order, young openers Marcus Harris amd Cameron Bancroft were outstanding this season, while young keeper Sam Whiteman continued to shine in his second Shield campaign.
Perhaps the only thing standing between the Warriors and years of dominance is recognition from the national selectors. Whiteman, Behrendorff and Agar must be on the radar for higher honours, while Harris, Bancroft and Paris will force their way into the conversation with continued strong performances.
Voges and the Marsh brothers may be regular absentees next season thanks to national duty, testing the Warriors’ depth in a way New South Wales have long become accustomed to. How they respond to this challenge will go a long way to determining their future trophy count.
On the Twenty20 front, the Scorchers continue to be the premier BBL franchise, with sellout home crowds roaring their approval all season long. With back-to-back titles, and another Champions League campaign later this year, the Warriors have built a highly impressive and daunting juggernaut.
With coach Justin Langer instilling a disciplined, winning culture in a highly talented playing group, there is a lot to like in Perth.
The Scorchers have dominated the Big Bash League in its short history, while the Warriors were Matador Cup champions and Shield runners up this summer. With a great mix of youth and veteran experience, a Western dynasty is on the cards.