Scorching century lifts Perth into finals

 Little-known batsman Craig Simmons scored the fastest century in Big Bash League history to inspire the Perth Scorchers to a thrilling five-run win over the Adelaide Strikers in last night's Twenty20 clash at the WACA Ground.

Simmons cracked eight fours and eight sixes on the way to his 39-ball ton, easily eclipsing the previous record of 44 balls set by Melbourne Stars blaster Luke Wright in 2012.

The blistering knock of 102 lifted Perth to 7-203, and the Strikers were in the hunt for an upset win after quick-fire knocks from Phil Hughes (58), Alex Hales (31), Nathan Reardon (30) and Jono Dean (29).

The Strikers needed 17 runs for victory off the last over - bowled by Pakistan paceman Yasir Arafat.

That equation became six off the final ball after Tim Ludeman cracked two boundaries.

But Ludeman couldn't land the winning blow, scuffing Arafat's straight full toss to square leg as Adelaide finished at 6-198 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,495.

The win guaranteed the Scorchers (5-2) a spot in this summer's finals, but Adelaide needs to win its last two games to join Perth in the top-four.

Returning paceman Pat Cummins snared 1-40 from his four overs in his Scorchers debut.

The 20-year-old, on the comeback trail from his latest bout of back stress fractures, regularly bowled around 140km/h against the wind in a solid hit-out.

The spotlight was firmly on Cummins following two years of injury problems.

But it was Simmons who well and truly stole the show.

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