Sydney Sixers 4/132 (18 Overs) Defeated Perth Scorchers 8/130 (20 Overs) @ SCG
Sixers Demolish Perth
The Sydney Sixes 6-wicket victory over the Perth Scorchers at the SCG has propelled them to the top of the BBL ladder as things stand. It's a bit of a false economy as the Sixers have played three games for two wins, while the Stars, Renegades and Heat have won their only game of BBL 6 so far. However the Sixers put in by far their best team performance last night by really strangling and never letting go of an experienced and strong Scorchers line up. I have already talked about their outstanding bowling and fielding display and they backed that up with a cautious but sensible run chase. Despite keeping the Scorchers interested by not getting too far ahead of the going rate the Sixers were always in control with plenty of wickets in the shed throughout.
Sixers Find Options With the Bat
In the pre game I called for the Sixers bats to stand up outside of their guns in Roy and Henriques and they did that last night. It was good to see Sam Billings, Jordan Silk and Johan Botha all make telling contributions throughout to steer the home side safely over the line. Sure, there wasn't the pressure of chasing 180, or even a moderate total of 155-166. However, they all batted sensibly and rotated the strike well to steer the home side over the line. Botha is a really underrated, quality cricketer. He is tough, canny and a smart player and, now being a local player, the Sixers effectively almost have three imports of quality, which gives them an advantage roster wise. The Sixers had been bogged down a bit and needed more than a run a ball, then Botha came to the crease and he was able to find a couple of big boundaries to release the pressure. Earlier he was his usual wily self with the ball, claiming a tidy 1/26 from four overs.
Andrew Tye Plays Lone Hand For Scorchers
Andrew Tye was hugely impressive for the Scorchers, playing somewhat of a lone hand with the ball last night. Tye finished with the fantastic figures of 3/15 from his 4 overs to almost single handedly keep Perth interested in a game they had no business in for the most part. Tye is a slingy, short of fast bowler, who can skid the ball on quicker than you think. However it is his variations that set him apart. He totally bamboozled Brad Haddin with a knuckle ball that came from out of space. They're the sorts of skills that T20 cricket has really brought out of players. Many thought the invention of T20 cricket was just going to be a slogathon and bowlers would be lambs to the slaughter. However it's advanced the game of cricket immeasurably with a range of different skills sets and tactics applied by both batters and bowlers, once deemed unconventional or down right silly, now not so.
Scorchers Order Questionable
It's always easy to say change the order when a side makes 8/130 from their 20 overs. You could call me prisoner of the moment as the Scorchers racked up a huge 7/197 and everything worked perfectly in their first game at the WACA against Adelaide. I still think you give your most damaging player, which is Mitchell Marsh, as many overs as possible to do as much damage as possible. I think he should be batting no lower than Number 4, and potentially Number 3, if the Scorchers' openers bat for longer than 8 overs. Last night, Marsh came in at Number 6 and ran out of partners towards the end of the innings. Marsh was forced to try and farm the strike and shield the tail enders for fear the Scorchers would be bowled out. While Marsh made 31 n/o from 29 balls, you wonder what damage he might have done if he had another 4 or 5 overs to play with, as Marsh is only ever one or two big shots away from really taking an attack apart. The Sixers' bowlers did bowl really well to him at the death to keep him in check.
Lurker 6 from 7 and Flying High
"The Lurker" continued to defy his critics last night by steamrolling his way to his 6th win from 7 games this season. Not many experts would be sitting at over 85% success rate, but that's exactly where The Lurker is, after tipping us into a big upset last night as the Sixers routed the Scorchers. Will he go for another upset tonight when the winless Thunder take on the Heat at Spotless Stadium?