BBL 2015-16: Wright stars for the Stars, while Scorchers stroll through Sixers
Game 1: Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades
Luke Wright became the second centurion of the Big Bash League 2015, as his unbeaten 109 off 63 single-handedly guided the Melbourne Stars to victory against their twin opponents, the Melbourne Renegades, by 7 wickets.
Becoming a witness to the capacity crowd of 80,883 that turned up at the MCG for the game, Wright provided ample entertainment with 11 fours and 4 sixes, including the winning shot off Nathan Rimmington that culminated into a victory roar from the Englishman.
Having been asked to bat after losing the toss, the Renegades’ superstar Chris Gayle didn’t fire this time around as he was the first to go, after being caught by Kevin Pietersen at mid-on off the bowling of John Hastings, for a score of 4 with the total being 17/1 in the 4th over.
Cameron White walked in thereafter and along with his skipper, Aaron Finch, led the Renegades’ comeback as they shared a 59-run stand for the second wicket before Marcus Stoinis dismissed Finch.
Matthew Wade then accompanied White, with the latter being brutal in his approach dismissing Adam Zampa for consecutive sixes. The duo put up 58 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as both of them departed at the score of 124, the Renegades’ innings lost momentum, and despite Tom Beaton and Tom Cooper’s efforts, could only manage a par score of 161.
Set 162 to win, the Stars never looked out of contention despite losing opener Stoinis and Pietersen for single digit scores. The difference between the two teams was Wright undoubtedly, which was evident from the fact that the first two wickets fell at scores of 38 and 50, despite the two batsmen to who got out being dismissed for single figures.
The English all-rounder also had a touch of luck when Beaton dropped a difficult chance when the former was on 64. That was it for the Renegades, as Wright deposited the next ball into the stands, and did so on three other occasions, including the one to bring up his hundred.
Glenn Maxwell, ironically, played second fiddle in the game with his 22, while Peter Handscomb chipped in with 13. John Hastings picked up 4/29 for the Stars thereby helping them restrict the opponents to a manageable total.
Brief Scores: Melbourne Stars (toss) 163/3 (Wright 109, Tremain 1/22) beat Melbourne Renegades 161/7 (White 54, Hastings 4/29) by 7 wickets.
Game 2: Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers
In the second game of the day, the Perth Scorchers put up a brilliant all-round performance to oust the Sydney Sixers by 9 wickets.
Some disciplined bowling by David Willey, Jason Behrendoff, and Andrew Tye saw the Perth Scorchers restrict the Syndey Sixers to a paltry score of 112/8 at the WACA.
Barring Michael Lumb, who made 47, none of the Sixers batsmen could get going with only Ryan Carters and Ben Dwarshuis reaching double figures. Ed Cowan, Nick Maddinson, Jordan Silk, Johan Botha all failed to click as the Scorchers bowlers reduced them to 48/4 in the 9th over.
Lumb, who had held the fort at one end then stitched up a 34-run stand for the fifth wicket with Carters which happened to be the only substantial partnership of the innings.
Scorchers’ reply was characterised by the opening duo of the captain Michale Klinger and Shaun Marsh, who had wrecked havoc in the last match, as they continued their good run by putting up 65 runs for the first wicket in 9.2 overs, thereby sealing the game in the first half itself.
Shaun Marsh carried on to complete his 50 off 46 balls and along with Marcus Harris completed the formalities by knocking over the remaining runs. Sean Abbott was the only successful bowler for the Sixers as he picked up the solitary wicket of the opposition’s captain.
Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers 114/1 (Marsh 63, Abbott 1/11) beat Sydney Sixers (toss) 112/8 (Lumb 47, Willey 3/22) by 9 wickets.