Perth Scorchers 8/130 (20 Overs) v Sydney Sixers @ SCG
1. Sixers Get Their Tactics Right In Powerplay
I have been calling for the Sixers to call on more experience in the Powerplay and that's exactly that they did at the SCG tonight. Employing both spinners Both and O'Keefe for the first 4 overs the Sixers were able to put a strangle on the Scorchers initially and maintain it throughout by taking regular wickets. Games can we won and lost in those first 6 overs and the experience of O'Keefe, Botha and Bollinger is a far better proposition then Dwarshish and Mennie up front. By bowling more economically they were able to prize out the key wickets of openers Klinger and Shaun Marsh before Perth could really get going. With the wicket holding up a touch it was a much more disciplined and controlled performance with the ball and in the field from the Sixers. The likes of Abbott and Dwarshish were far more comfortable bowling outside the Powerplay's and really displayed the skills they have to offer. The Sixers also took some sharp catches and their bowlers appeared to execute their plans a lot better. Three games into this campaign its exactly what you would expect from a professional outfit, a much improved performance and an adjustment of tactics to suit the skills and relative experience of the team.
2. Scorchers Fail To Fire On Slower Track
The Scorchers were way blow their best with the bat here losing wickets at regular intervals just then they were reasserting themselves in the game. I said I didn't think they would be at home on the slower track at the SCG and they gifted some wickets here particular to the spinners. Shaun Marsh was a tad unlucky to pick out deep square leg after he played a nice pick up pull short off a long hop from Bollinger. However Michael Klinger, Ian Bell and Adam Voges were all guilty of really soft dismissals to Will Sommerville and Steven O'Keefe. Perhaps they wanted to take down Somerville down early and wreak his confidence however both dismissals cost the Scorchers dearly with plenty of overs left to bat. I would be surprised if Perth bat this poorly again as a unit in the BBL. On an off night you might expect one or two guys to play soft shots however there were a host of them tonight to leave them with a real mediocre score. Sometimes you just have one of those days, and the Scorchers bats did as a unit today, - it won't happen again.
3. Sam Whiteman Looks A Serious Cricketer
The 24 year looks like a Test Wicket Keeper Batsman in waiting for me. That might spell bad news for Matthew Wade and Peter Neville in the next couple of years if Whiteman starts piling on the runs. With The National Selection Panel showing a strong inclination to punt on youth Whiteman would only have to be matching Wade, and Neville's output to edge ahead of them in the long term. At 24, Whiteman is 5 years younger then Wade and 7 years younger then Neville. With a solid First Class average of 34 after more then 50 games you would suggest he is right on the cusp of breaking through. Even though he only made 28 here from 16 balls, Whiteman looked a classy player capable of scoring all around the wicket. He has always been rated highly as a wicket keeper so if batting continues to progress I think he could put some real heat on Wade and Neville as early as the upcoming Indian series.
4. Ben Dwarshish Makes His Mark
I've been harsh on young bowling all rounder Ben Dwarshish however he looked much more at home without the pressure of having to bowl up front. He bowled outstandingly well tonight and he was deployed by his side in a much more suitable role. Deployed in the middle overs Dwarshish was able to use his natural angle to slant the ball into the left handers with a big leg side boundary to protect. He bowled an impressive full, making him very hard to get underneath. That tactic has been sadly lacking from some of the faster bowlers in this competition so far. However a key point is the SCG has long straight boundaries, teams do like to bowl yorkers earlier in the innings as if you miss one your unlikely to go the journey as you might in Brisbane, or pert where the straight boundaries are much shorter.
5. The Lurker On Track for 6 Out Of 7 to Start BBL 6?
The Lurker went out on a limb tonight tipping the Sixers in a boilover despite them missing Jason Roy and the Scorchers getting Shaun Marsh back. He cited the fact that the Sixers would be really fired up at home to make amends for their sloppy display against the Hurricanes and at halftime he is favourite once again to get the chocolates. Without Jason Roy it won't be a cakewalk for the Sixers however they have enough experience to manage to eek out the runs, even if it is not pretty.