The match in a tweet: Perth’s back on track! Scorchers bounce back from dismal defeat to Melbourne Stars with emphatic eight-wicket victory over Sydney Thunder at home #BBL09
The Score: Sydney Thunder 5-153 (Alex Hales 85; Chris Jordan 3-28, Fawad Ahmed 1-27) defeated by the Perth Scorchers 2-154 (Liam Livingstone 78, Josh Inglis 58; Gurinder Sandhu 1-33) with 27 balls to spare.
The Hero(es): Perth’s openers backed up their bowlers’ hard toil superbly as they combined for their third triple-figure stand of BBL|09 to blitz the run chase. Liam Livingstone nailed consecutive sixes to bring up his 28-ball 50, while Josh Inglis smashed 58-runs off 41 rocks at the other end.
Livingstone’s player-of-the-match 78-run knock included six fours and four sixes as he guided his Scorchers to a net run-rate boosting eight-wicket victory, and back into fourth spot on the BBL ladder.
The Supporting Cast: Chris Jordan signed off his second last game for the Perth Scorchers in emphatic fashion, proving the pick of the bowlers in a frugal display. Jordan started his night with just four runs off the final over of the power play, before inflicting a double blow in his second over.
The death specialist regularly deceived Thunder batsmen with his change-up deliveries, ending his night with 3-28 off four overs. Jordan’s departure will leave a huge void – a Morne Morkle-sized hole – for the Scorchers to fill.
The Consolation Act: As wickets tumbled around him, English import Alex Hales played a stellar lone hand to anchor the visitors’ innings. The 31-year-old brought up his third half-century of BBL|09 off just 40 balls, scoring 13 crucial boundaries on his way to 85. Hales scored more than half of his side’s runs, enabling the Thunder to have a respectable total to bowl at.
The Big Over: The Scorchers are missing a few overs with off-spinner Ashton Agar on Australia duty – and his replacement Tim David not being utilised – so they’re calling on the part-time leg-spin of Englishman Liam Livingstone a bit more.
And his compatriot Alex Hales certainly wasn’t going to let the over sneak past lightly. Hales executed two superb front foot drives to bring up consecutive boundaries, one over extra cover for four and one straight back down the ground for a maximum.
Hales maturely took a single off the last ball, deciding 14 runs was enough and he needn’t take any risks.
Nottingham opener 1 – Lancashire opener 0.
The Other Big Over: The Scorchers started their chase requiring 7.7 runs per over with the competition’s BKT Golden Cap wearing leading wicket-taker Daniel Sams (more on him shortly) with the cherry in hand.
Perth’s wicketkeeper Josh Inglis showed no respect to the Golden Cap, pummelling four boundaries off his first over. Throw a wide in there too and the over went for 17, immediately easing the pressure off the home side as their openers made light work of the below par total.
The Banter: Note to self: Don’t leave multiple Kiwis in the commentary box unsupervised. Former Bash Brother Brendon McCullum has made his presence felt in his debut commentary season, this time poking fun at his former New Zealand coach Shane Bond. The now Thunder coach enjoyed the playful banter as they hosed their former teammates together, making good use of the time on the microphone..!
The stat: Daniel Sams’ highest score this season is 13, and that’s the differential between his wickets taken (20) and runs scored (33) for BBL|09. The 27-year-old has had a brilliant tournament with the ball, leading the golden arm tally for the majority of the competition, but is averaging just four with the bat.
His dismissal tonight, for one, was the seventh time he’s been removed for less than five runs this campaign. Unfortunately for Sams that’s a Big Bash record, with Perth Scorchers vice-captain Ashton Turner holding the previous record of six last year.
Another stat: On his way to 85, Alex Hales scored a remarkable 55 percent of his team’s runs. Alex Ross was the nearest to the pin, with 22no, as the visitors’ first four wickets fell for the addition of just 27 runs.
The Next Stop: After two games in three days for both sides, they’ll each enjoy a few days off before their next outing. The Sydney Thunder next travel to Hobart to face the Hurricanes on Friday night. Meanwhile in a rarity, the Perth Scorchers won’t be jumping on a plane tomorrow. They’ll enjoy their first back-to-back home games of BBL|09, as they prepare to host the Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium on Friday night.
Perth Scorchers XI: Liam Livingstone, Joshua Inglis (wk), Cameron Bancroft, Mitch Marsh (c), Kurtis Patterson, Cameron Green, Tim David, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Matthew Kelly, Fawad Ahmed
Sydney Thunder XI: Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales, Callum Ferguson (c), Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Chris Morris, Jay Lenton (wk), Gurinder Sandhu, Brendan Doggett, Liam Bowe