BBL 15: Perth Scorchers thrash Sydney Thunder to go top
Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Agar scored fifties, while Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye picked up three wickets to seal convincing win.
105-run fourth wicket partnership from Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Agar, coupled with some good bowling by the pacers ensured Perth Scorchers reclaimed top spot in the Big Bash League with a 30-run win over Sydney Thunder.
Thunder, who won the toss and elected to field, would have been delighted with their decision after they dismissed captain Michael Klinger and Marcus Harris inside the first 10 balls. But 118 runs conceded in the last 10 overs meant they had the ardous task of chasing down 176 against arguably the best bowling attack in the league.
When the visitors lost Shaun Marsh in the 11th over with the score at 64, they couldn’t possibly have foreseen a target in excess of 170, but thanks to Bancroft and Agar, two of Western Australia’s brightest young prospects, they got in excess of what Klinger would have wanted at the start.
Despite being the younger partner, it was Bancroft who kicked things off with two boundaries in three balls off Jacques Kallis in the 13th over. Agar then followed suit as he smacked two fours and a six in the next two overs, as the Scorchers went into overdrive.
From the 14th over onwards, it was pure carnage as Scorchers went from 98/3 to 169/4 in the space of five overs. As Mike Hussey looked to his medium pacers to finish the innings, the Scorchers’ pair milked every bowler around.
Between the 15th and the 19th over, the pair had smashed four sixes and a four, with Agar taking over the mantle and smashing 68 runs off just 34 balls, before he was eventually dismissed in the final over.
Bancroft departed just three balls before Agar, trying to lap Andre Russell, without success, but not before he had made 72 off 53 balls, a knock which included three sixes and fours apiece.
Only six runs came off the last over as the Thunder managed to restrict the total under 180. Andre Russell was the pick of the bowlers, with 2/31 in his quota of 4 overs.
Unfortunately for Thunder, after an impressive, despite another terrific performance from the West Indian, this time with the bat, they fell well short of the target as the Scorchers’ pacers continued to take wickets at regular intervals.
If the hosts needed a good start, Jason Behrendorff ensured that they didn't get one as he got rid of both openers in his second over, to leave the Thunder reeling at 17/2 at the end of three overs.
Although Shane Watson provided some stability, he was bowled by Andrew Tye on 18 and the match had already begun to slip away from the hosts. Kurtis Patterson followed two overs later and when he left, they needed 118 off 56 balls.
Russell walked in and smashes five sixes, each of which, seemed to travel further than the previous one and gave the hosts some hope. But when Behrendorff returned to the attack, he removed the West Indian, who tried one shot too many and the game was all but done.
Three wickets in six balls for just one run after the 15th over ensured Scorchers were cruising to a win. Although Clint McKay and Chris Hartley hung on for a while, they merely delayed the inevitable, which eventually arrived as the reigning BBL champions reclaimed top spot.
Scorecard: Sydney Thunder won the toss and chose to bat
Perth Scorchers: 175/5, Overs 20.0
Sydney Thunder: 145/9, Overs 20.0
Man of the Match: Cameron Bancroft