The first encounter between Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes had various permutations and combinations etched to it. While a win would have ensured a top-four finish for the Scorchers, a triumph within 15.2 overs would have ensured a top-spot finish.
Though mathematically possible, the Hurricanes had a slender chance to make it, but the Scorchers were impeccable on the day as they scampered to a seven-wicket victory to book a place in the semis.
|D’Arcy Short||36(24)||Mitchell Johnson||2/15|
|Clive Rose||29*(18)||Tim Bresnan||2/20|
|Jonathan Wells||28*(25||Ashton Agar||1/22|
|Total: 134/6 (20 overs)|
|Shaun Marsh||57(34)||Clive Rose||1/28|
|Michael Klinger||29(29)||Stuart Broad||1/33|
|Adam Voges||20*(8)||Cameron Boyce||1/44|
|Total: 135/3 (13.5 overs)|
Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes by seven wickets
The second contest between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers panned out to be a cliffhanger as both teams were in contention for a victory. In a game of twists and turns, fortunes fluctuated, but the Sixers edged past the Stars to book a semi-final berth.
Melbourne Renegades would have been glued to the contest, hoping for a Melbourne Stars win, but it didn’t pan out as expected and the Renegades were eliminated by virtue of net run rate.
|Luke Wright||62(47)||Ben Dwarshius||3/25|
|Kevin Pietersen||39(36)||Nathan Lyon||2/18|
|Robert Quiney||35(19)||Moises Henriques||1/15|
|Total:156/8 (20 overs)|
|Daniel Hughes||34(33)||Scott Boland||3/37|
|Sean Abbott||33*(17)||Evan Gulbis||1/24|
|Johan Botha||25(13)||Ben Hilfenhaus||1/25|
|Total: 160/7 (19 overs)|
Sydney Sixers beat Melbourne Stars by three wickets
We take a look at the top five moments of the games:
#1 Mitchel Johnson’s chin music
Mitchell Johnson has hung up his boots from international cricket, but the veteran is yet to run out of gas. Albeit in the twilight of his career, Johnson’s intensity hasn’t died down as the Hurricanes batsmen found out on the night.
It’s key to churn out wickets during the powerplay and Johnson obliged by first snapping up Tim Paine and then pinning down Ben McDermott. With a spell of 3-0-12-2 during the first six overs, Johnson tilted the contest in the Scorchers’ favour.
The bouncer hurled in by Johnson was too good for Paine as he miss-timed the ball straight into the gloves of Sam Whiteman. Two overs later, it was McDermott’s turn to bite the dust, succumbing to yet another short ball by Johnson.
The left-armer, later, added one more wicket to his kitty to end with figures of 4-0-15-3 to stiffen the Hurricanes batsman.
#2 Late blitz by Rose and Wells
At 98/6 after 17 overs, the Hurricanes innings was in complete disarray. Nonetheless, some lusty blows by Jonathan Wells and Clive Rose helped the home side to a respectable total of 134.
The 18th over injected some sort of momentum with the Hurricanes piling on 16 runs off the bowling of Andrew Tye. Rose muscled the third six of the innings when he went downtown to tantalisingly clear long-on and then found the boundary again to give the Hurricanes fans something to cheer about.
The penultimate and the final over added 20 more runs as the duo smoked three 4s to craft out a partnership of 46 in 33 balls, much to the relief of the Hurricanes dugout.
#3 Shaun Marsh - The nail in the Hurricanes coffin
On a beautiful batting deck, a modest target of 135 was hardly going to set the cat among the pigeons for the Scorchers. Clive Rose produced a screamer to get rid of Sam Whiteman, but the Hurricanes were never allowed a foothold in the game.
Michael Klinger shepherded the Scorchers, but it was Shaun Marsh who took the bowling to the cleaners to register a thumping victory in their final encounter of the round robin. He racked up 57 runs that included seven 4s and two humungous 6s to humble the Hurricanes.
He peppered every corner of the ground with sheer ease and pushed the Scorchers not only to the semi-finals but also to the top of the table.
#4 Tale of two halves
On numerous occasions, teams have crumbled after dominating the first ten overs. Melbourne Stars were all over the Sydney Sixers when the likes of Luke Wright and Robert Quiney were going hell for leather.
Stars had an astonishing start after they piled on 59 runs in the initial six overs, with Wright looking ominous. The end of the 11th over, saw the Stars sitting pretty at 97 with Wright and Kevin Pietersen flexing their muscles.
However, the Sixers held their nerve and clawed their way back, picking up seven wickets at the cost of 59 runs. After Pietersen, no batsman could reach double figures as the likes of Ben Dwarshuis and Nathan Lyon picked up wickets at regular intervals.
Stars, as a result, were restricted to a below-par 156 runs for the loss of eight wickets. After Wright’s dismissal, the Stars lost six wickets for 26 runs, which was pretty shambolic, to say the least.
#5 Sean Abbott-Johan Botha: The game-changing partnership
In the chase, everything went erroneous for the Sixers till Sean Abbott and Johan Botha came together. At 97/6, the Stars were tottering with a required run rate of more than ten and were in dire requisite of a partnership.
In a matter of 28 balls, the duo strung together a stand of 59 runs and picked the bones out of every bowler. Abbott was pretty severe as he threw the kitchen sink at everything and hardly allowed pressure get to him.
Both batsmen effective manoeuvred the field to keep the runs flowing. Botha was eventually dismissed, but it was too late for the Stars to stage a comeback as they slumped to a defeat by three wickets.