After no wins in the first four matches, Perth Scorchers have now won four in a row with a 17-run win over Sydney Thunder in Match 34 of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21 at the Perth Stadium. They now move to fifth place with 16 points from eight games, while Thunder remain at the top with 23 points from nine matches.
It was Thunder who started off the match brightly, with Brendan Doggett removing openers Liam Livingstone (3) and Jason Roy within the first three overs. He then returned to break the 43-run stand between Josh Inglis (20) and Colim Munro (50). He would continue to wreak havoc later in the match, removing the dangerous Mitchell Marsh too for 15 to finish with figures of 4 for 22.
With Doggett’s spell out of the way, Munro joined hands with Ashton Turner, putting on 55 off just 22 balls for the fifth wicket to tilt the game in Scorchers’ favour. The duo took full toll of the two power surge overs in which they scored 40 runs. However, Turner was dismissed for 13-ball 31 right after that, but Munro went on to score his third consecutive BBL fifty off 40 balls, before he became Ben Cutting’s first victim.
Despite two well set batsmen being back in the pavilion, Aaron Hardie (19*) and Jhye Richardson (20*) scored 29 off the final over to set Thunder a stiff target of 186.
In reply, although Usman Khawaja (26) got Thunder off to a good start, he could not build on it as Thunder lost four wickets within the first six overs with just 46 runs on the board.
While many teams would have just folded after that, Thunder found heroes in Sam Billings (83) and Ben Cutting (31), who put on 83 off just 52 for the fifth wicket to give Thunder a glimmer of hope. However, the big difference between the two sides eventually came down to the runs they scored in the power surge overs. While Scorchers scored 40, Thunder could muster up only 18 and they also lost a couple of wickets, including that of Cutting.
Wagon Wheel - Sam Billings
After his sparkling knock, Richardson delivered with the ball – first removing Khawaja when he was looking dangerous and then picked up three more wickets at the death – to extinguish any chances of a Thunder victory. He followed his 20 not out off eight with figures of 4 for 24, which was too hot for Thunder to handle.
Thunder next play Sydney Sixers at the Manuka Oval on January 13, while the Scorchers are in action a day earlier against Hobart Hurricanes at the Perth Stadium.
Perth Scorchers 185 for 6 in 20 Overs (Colin Munro 50, Ashton Turner 31; Brendan Doggett 4 for 22) beat Sydney Thunder 168 in 20 Overs (Sam Billings 83, Ben Cutting 31; Jhye Richardson 4 for 24) by 17 runs.
Player of the match: Jhye Richardson