The contest began with the Sydney Sixers winning the bat flip and putting the Perth Scorchers into bat. But that was pretty much the only thing that went the way of the Sydney-based franchise on the day as they slumped to an 86-run defeat against the Scorchers at the Perth Stadium on Wednesday (6 January 2021).
After being put into bat, Liam Livingstone – despite a couple of uneasy moments – got the Scorchers off to a quick start, hitting Jackson Bird for three successive boundaries – including one six – but his stay in the middle didn't last long as Stephen O'Keefe dismissed him soon after for 16.
MUNRO SETS GOOD PLATFORM
After that, the experienced pair of Jason Roy and Colin Munro put on a 65-run partnership which set an excellent platform for the hosts. But the duo batted in contrasting fashion. On one hand, Munro was looking in ominous form and seemed to be taking the game away from the Sixers. In the second-wicket stand of 65, Munro scored 50 of the runs which is incredible considering Roy is one of the most aggressive batsmen in world cricket. But the Englishman struggled to get going here.
Meanwhile, the Sixers decided to make use of an X-Factor substitution, with Lloyd Pope replacing Ben Dwarshuis due to a groin injury. And as soon as Pope came into the bowling attack, Munro decided to take on the young leg-spinner. But after a six off the first delivery and then a couple of runs off the second which got the New Zealand left-handed batsman to fifty, Pope had the last laugh. Munro, attempting a sweep, was caught at square-leg.
Pope wasn't done as he dismissed Roy in his second over and the X-Factor substitution seemed to have worked in the Sixers’ favour. Roy looked far from his best during his stay at the crease, managing just 27 from 31 deliveries, while hitting no sixes.
FIREWORKS FROM MARSH
Despite the loss of the two set batsmen, a good foundation was put in place and at the start of the 16th over, the Scorchers decided to take the Power Surge. Their batsmen – especially Mitchell Marsh – then took advantage of the fielding restrictions, scoring as many as 30 runs in two overs. Marsh accounted for three fours and one six during that phase.
Josh Inglis also got into the act, taking the attack to O'Keefe soon after, before being dismissed for a 12-ball 20 by the left-arm spinner while attempting another big hit.
Marsh kept going though and brought up his fifty from just 25 deliveries and was unbeaten on 57 at the end. On the back of Marsh's heroics, the Scorchers managed 77 runs in the last five overs to finish with a total of 183/4.
TYE, RICHARDSON ENSURE SCORCHERS WIN
A target of 184 was always going to be a difficult task. And the quest became even harder for the Sixers when they lost two of their top batsmen in Josh Philippe and James Vince inside the first Powerplay, with Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson dismissing them respectively.
Thereafter, it was all one-way traffic as the defending champions lost wickets at regular intervals and the Scorchers remained in complete control throughout. The Sixers simply failed to get any partnership going, with three of their top six batsmen getting dismissed for a duck. Between the seventh and tenth overs, the team from Sydney lost a wicket every over which pretty much ended the game as a contest.
At the end of 10 overs, the Sixers were 58/6 which also meant that the Scorchers secured the Bash Boost point as they had scored 13 more runs at the same stage of their innings. Amidst the chaos, opener Jack Edwards did reasonably well to score 44, but he failed to get proper support at the other end.
Having lost half-a-dozen wickets in the first half of their innings, the match was heading in only one direction. And it ended as soon as the 17th over with the Sixers getting bowled out for 97.
While the Scorchers shone as a collective bowling unit, the two stand-out performers were Andrew Tye and Jhye Richardson, accounting for four and three wickets respectively.
While the Sixers still remain at the top of the table for now, the winners in the match between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder will climb above them on Thursday (7 January 2021). The Scorchers, meanwhile, have moved up to sixth and are just two points off a playoff spot after securing a third successive win.