Josh Philippe clearly enjoys batting at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. After an excellent knock against Sydney Thunder at the same venue earlier in the week, the wicketkeeper-batsman played a sublime innings to guide Sydney Sixers to a seven-wicket win against Perth Scorchers on Saturday (16 January 2021).
PHILIPPE STARS ONCE AGAIN
In pursuit of 164, Philippe got the Sixers off to a terrific start just like he had done against the Thunder. Although they lost out on the Bash Boost point, the defending champions were in the driver’s seat for most of the run-chase.
There were times, especially just after Jason Behrendorff got the wicket of Justin Avendano, when the scoring rate might have been a bit of a worry as James Vince struggled to get going at the start of his innings. While the partnership between Philippe and Vince began slowly, the duo upped the ante with 10 runs coming in each of the ninth and 10th over.
By the time the death overs came about, the Sixers were cruising to victory. Despite losing both set batsmen – Philippe and Vince – in quick succession, they never really looked in any discomfort. After all, with their 106-run stand for the second wicket, Philippe and Vince had more or less made sure of the result.
While Philippe was the star of the show, scoring 84 from just 52 deliveries, Vince moved up a few gears once he got set and notched up his second fifty of the tournament.
Skipper Daniel Hughes and Daniel Christian then completed formalities as the Sixers finished their run-chase with more than an over to spare.
INNINGS OF TWO HALVES
Earlier, after opting to bat, it was an innings of two halves for the Scorchers. In the first 10 overs, they scored 103 and lost just one wicket. In the second half, they managed only 60 runs as they just weren't able to get partnerships going, with six of their batsmen dismissed during this period.
Liam Livingstone was dropped off the first delivery he faced against Hobart Hurricanes in his previous innings and he was lucky once again early on here. Batting on one, he was dropped by Hughes off the bowling of Stephen O'Keefe. And a couple of overs later, it was O'Keefe himself who was on the receiving end of a 27-run over, the most expensive one this season thus far. It was Livingstone who did the damage, hitting three sixes and two fours in the over.
While he might have had a subpar start to BBL 10, Livingstone has now notched up two successive fifties. He was quite brilliant after presenting that early chance, bringing up his half-century in just 26 deliveries.
At the other end, Jason Roy supported his fellow England batsman well but couldn't kick on. It was Christian, who is having a fantastic season, with the wicket. The opening partnership yielded 76 runs from just 43 deliveries which gave the Scorchers a superb platform.
The wicket didn't slow down proceedings though as the team from Perth reached 100 in just 9.2 overs. Due to this impressive start, they managed to secure one point in the end, thanks to the Bash Boost rule.
Having found themselves in an outstanding situation, it was no surprise to see the Scorchers take the Power Surge as soon as it was available at the start of the 11th over. But that decision proved to be counterproductive. Livingstone, who was batting brilliantly, was dismissed off the first delivery of the Power Surge by Jake Ball and it all fell apart for the Scorchers from thereon.
Due to the circumstances, Ashton Turner promoted himself up the order, but his stay in the middle didn't last long as he became Ball's second wicket later in the same over.
After that, the Sixers grabbed the initiative with Josh Inglis and Cameron Bancroft having to head back to the pavilion without making much of a contribution. Colin Munro scored 34 from 32 deliveries, but even he wasn't able to accelerate as wickets fell in quick succession during the middle phase of the innings.
In the end, the Scorchers managed 163/7, with Brathwaite, Christian and Ball accounting for two wickets each and O’Keefe one. It was well short of the par score on this surface as the Sixers showed later in the match.
With this win, the Sixers have built a nine-point lead at the top of the table. The Scorchers remain third as their five-match winning streak has come to an end.