Perth Scorchers came into this game having won four consecutive matches and that confidence showed as they produced a near-perfect performance and secured a comfortable nine-wicket win against Hobart Hurricanes at the Perth Stadium on Tuesday (12 January 2021).
ROY, LIVINGSTONE COME TO THE PARTY
While the Scorchers’ bowling has been really impressive in recent matches, their opening partnership has been a bit of a concern at times. Hence, they would have been so pleased to have seen Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone come to the party on this occasion. Roy had got off to starts but had failed to kick on and make a big contribution previously. That changed here as the Scorchers opener showed his class and brought up his first fifty of the season. His opening partner Livingstone, who rode his luck early on, also made his first half-century of BBL 10.
T20 cricket can be an uncharitable format at times for bowlers and that was the case in the opening over of the Scorchers' innings. Defending a total of just 139, Riley Meredith bowled quite a brilliant opening over and had England international Roy in all sorts of trouble, before the latter got a fortunate top edge which went all the way for six.
Then, off the first delivery of the second over, there was a chance but D'Arcy Short dropped a regulation catch presented by Livingstone. While the Hurricanes bowled well, they got no reward for their efforts in the Powerplay. And after that, it was all one-way traffic. Roy and Livingstone, after the shaky start, put on a stand of 123, the second-best partnership in an innings in this season's tournament. They also managed to secure the Bash Boost point as early as the seventh over.
Livingstone was eventually dismissed for 54 by Scott Boland, but it was too little and too late as far as the Hurricanes were concerned. Roy was unbeaten on 74 as the Scorchers got home with 22 deliveries left and nine wickets in hand.
SCORCHERS ON TOP FROM THE START
Earlier, after the Hurricanes opted to bat, one contest everyone was looking forward to was the one between Ben McDermott, the highest run-scorer in BBL 10, and Jhye Richardson, the top wicket-taker. Here, it was Richardson who came out on top. The right-arm pacer has played a pivotal role in his team's climb up the league table and he bowled superbly in the Powerplay, managing 10 dot balls in two overs, one of which was a wicket maiden.
The situation went from bad to worse for the Hurricanes in the final over of the Powerplay as star batsman Dawid Malan was dismissed by Jason Behrendorff without troubling the scorers.
After losing two wickets in the first Powerplay, the experienced duo of Short and Peter Handscomb had the tall task of rebuilding the Hurricanes innings. As a result of those early dismissals, they couldn't take many risks and that meant that the visitors' run-rate was well below-par. In fact, the partnership itself didn't last for as long as the Hurricanes would have liked with Fawad Ahmed dismissing Handscomb in his first over.
At the end of 10 overs, the Hurricanes were 50/3, their lowest score at this stage of the innings this season. Meanwhile, Mitchell Marsh bowled just three deliveries before an injury forced him off the field. As a result, Kurtis Patterson came in as an X-Factor substitute for the Scorchers.
Having fallen behind with regards to the scoring rate, the Hurricanes decided to take the Power Surge at the start of the 11th over. That proved to be a good call as they finally got some momentum going, with 24 runs coming in the two overs that followed. But Fawad Ahmed put the brakes back on immediately, conceding just two runs in the next over. The pressure told as Colin Ingram had to head back to the pavilion soon after, with Aaron Hardie getting the breakthrough.
Coming into the game, Short was having an underwhelming season with the bat and struggled to get his shots away at the start of his innings in this match as well. But the left-handed opening batsman showed great resolve to stick around. While wickets fell around him, Short held fort and went on to bring up his second half-century of the season.
After Short became Aaron Hardie's second scalp, Tim David and debutant Mitchell Owen put on an unbeaten partnership of 24 from 13 deliveries which propelled the Hurricanes to 139/5, but that was far from enough in the end.