The scores: Perth Scorchers 1-189 off 18.1 overs (Livingstone 77, Bancroft 58*, Marsh 49*) defeated Brisbane Heat 9-150 off 18 (Burns 38, Hardie 3-46) by 49 runs on the DLS system.
The next stop: The rampant Perth Scorchers will take on the Sydney Sixers in the KFC BBL|10 Final for the fourth time after the Brisbane Heat’s hopes of a fairy-tale finish were washed away on Thursday in a rain-affected Challenger final defeat.
The hero: With his regular opening partner Jason Roy missing due to injury, Liam Livingstone stepped up in a thrilling cameo that he revealed had been inspired by watching his own batting highlights from last season.
Livingstone took advantage of some wayward bowling, cracking six sixes on the way to his third half-century of BBL10.
He popped Mark Steketee’s first ball over the square-leg fence before a ferocious cut off Xavier Bartlett cleared the same boundary, and he only accelerated after bringing up a 27-ball fifty.
Marnus Labuschagne (0-36 off two) came in for the most brutal punishment, with Livingstone crashing three sixes and 25 off one over, neutering the leg-spinner who has proved the Heat’s most dangerous bowler in recent games.
While Labuschagne redeemed himself to take a good catch on the boundary for the Scorchers’ only wicket, the damage had been by Livingstone after he had gone without a fifty from his last five games.
"It is about time I scored some runs for the boys," he told Channel Seven.
The support cast: Set a revised DLS target of 200 to win from 18 overs, Jason Behrendorff landed the two knockout blows in as many deliveries with a pair of deceptive slower balls.
He may have been a fraction fortunate to get Joe Denly with a full toss but there was no luck involved when he went 'pace-off' again the following delivery and Chris Lynn, who had loomed as the major threat in the rain-shortened run chase, played all around it to be bowled for just 22.
It was met with a vigorous celebration from an emotional Behrendorff, who has spoken openly of the challenges of being away from his newborn baby and wife in locked-down Perth.
The promotion: When Livingstone departed, Mitch Marsh only continued the onslaught against the Heat.
Usually employed as a middle-order finisher, Marsh was promoted to No.3 after the 114-run opening stand and picked up when Livingstone had left off by elevating his strike-rate to 175.
He and Bancroft took 33 off the Power Surge, with X-factor sub Morne Morkel smashed for 22 off an over including a classical lofted on-drive for six from Marsh.
The Scorchers allrounder is playing as a specialist batter after suffering a side strain last month and is more than justifying his new role, with 304 runs at 43.42 for the tournament at a strike-rate of nearly 150.
The consolation act: Mitch Swepson bounced back from a rough start to finish as the Heat's only wicket taker and the only bowler that did not go the journey.
After Livingstone helped take 14 off the leg-spinner's first over, he showed strong character to concede just 12 from his next three while also picking up the scalp of Livingstone.