Scorchers back on top after overcoming Strikers
The Perth Scorchers moved top of the Big Bash League table after a tense six-wicket win over the Adelaide Strikers in Alice Springs on Saturday.
Hot conditions and a slow pitch at Traeger Park led to a low-scoring clash, the Scorchers edging past their target of 113 with 10 balls to spare.
Hilton Cartwright (47 not out off 44 balls) and Ashton Agar (26 not out off 29) helped Perth to their total, moving them top and pushing the Strikers back into second place.
Agar also took 3-19 with the ball as Alex Carey (44) top-scored for Adelaide, who were all out for 112 in the final over after being put in to bat.
JOB DONE FOR SCORCHERS AFTER COSTLY SIDDLE NO-BALL
As usual, three-time champions Perth – undermanned due mostly to international call-ups – got the job done.
The Scorchers had to be patient, however, with Cartwright and Agar steadying the innings after they were reduced to 43-4.
The pair put on 71 off 61, but it may have been different had Peter Siddle (1-25) not overstepped in the 16th over.
Cartwright was caught at deep midwicket but Siddle overstepped and the right-hander made the most of the free hit, sending it for six and the Scorchers on their way to victory.
LAUGHLIN, JOHNSON TAKE SCREAMERS
Mitchell Johnson and Ben Laughlin took superb catches for their respective teams.
Johnson's diving effort to remove Jake Lehmann (1) and reduce the Strikers to 81-5 was just about bettered by Laughlin, whose catch got rid of the dangerous Michael Klinger (17).
STRIKERS UNABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE
Carey and Jake Weatherald (19) set up Adelaide with a 49-run opening stand from only 38 balls.
But the Strikers lost all 10 wickets for just 63 runs from there, with only Jono Dean (13) and Jonathan Wells (10) able to join their openers with double-figure scores.