Sydney Sixers moved to the top of the table after a six-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Big Bash League. Though both teams came into the contest with contrasting results from last week – Scorchers started on a winning note with a massive 48-run victory at home against the Adelaide Strikers, whereas Sydney Sixers had crashed to a heavy 60-run defeat against the Hobart Hurricanes – Sixers had the measure of the Scorchers today.
Following an indifferent start after winning the toss and opting to bat, the Scorchers posted a total of 130 through a recovery act from Mitchell Marsh. In Sixers’ reply, Sam Billings starred with a brisk 40. However, Johan Botha, who hit the winning runs, was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for his handy contributions with bat and ball in the low-scoring encounter.Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers – 130/8 20 overs (Mitchell Marsh 31(29), Sam Whiteman 28(16); William Somerville 2/10(2), Sean Abbott 2/30(4));
Sydney Sixers – 132/4 18 overs (Sam Billings 40(30), Johan Botha 30*(19), Andrew Tye 3/15(4))
#5 Scorchers fail to live up to their name at the start
Openers Shaun Marsh and Michael Klinger didn’t exactly scorch the turf at Sydney after the Perth Scorchers won the toss and opted to bat first. Sixers’ captain Moises Henriques started by employing spinners from both ends to deny the batsmen pace to work with during the powerplay.
The ploy worked as the Scorchers’ opening pair found it difficult to get off the blocks. The spin duo of Johan Botha and Steve O’ Keefe bowled tidily and the Scorchers could manage only 15 halfway through the powerplay. Though they didn’t find a breakthrough, the pressure they had built up at the start had a telling effect throughout the Scorchers innings.
As soon as pace was introduced in the form of Doug Bollinger, the batsmen started to go for their strokes. Having run out of patience, they perished in quick succession. Shaun Marsh holed out to deep square-leg off Bollinger’s bowling, while Klinger followed in the very next over, chipping spinner Somerville to Bollinger at point.