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Hard graft key to Scorchers’ success

PERTH Scorchers quick Nathan Coulter-Nile says a culture of hard work has earned the franchise a place in its fourth-straight Big Bash League final.

The Scorchers will face the Sydney Sixers at Manuka Oval in Canberra tomorrow night after beating the Melbourne Stars by 18 runs in the semi-final.

Just back from a two-month injury lay-off because of hamstring troubles, Coulter-Nile took 2-31 as the Scorchers defended what seemed a reachable target of 144 at the WACA.

The Australian representative (pictured) said coach Justin Langer deserved credit for turning around the fortunes of WA cricket.

"We don't have better players than we did five years ago, but now we have 22 blokes or whatever it is ... just busting our a***s for each other," Coulter-Nile said. "JL has just smashed it into the boys and now we're seeing the rewards."

Outstanding bowling has been the key to the Scorchers' success this season. They have averaged only 151.8 runs per game, but have won five times with a score of less than 145 (three times with less than 140).

Jason Behrendorff, Yasir Arafat and Andrew Tye have each taken 14 wickets for the series.

Tye (4-18) and Arafat (2-22) again stood up in the semi-final against the star-studded Melbourne outfit.

One man who will look forward to bowling at Manuka Oval will be Sixers and Australian Test spinner Nathan Lyon. Lyon played grade cricket in Canberra and worked as a greenkeeper at the ground.



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