Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, BBL December 12, 2012

Malinga helps Stars thrash Scorchers


Melbourne Stars 29 for 0 (Wright 23*) beat Perth Scorchers 69 (Malinga 6-7) by 24 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

As heavily as the rain tumbled at various stages in Perth tonight so too did the wickets and records at the WACA ground, as Perth Scorchers were thrashed by Melbourne Stars in one of the most bizarre games of cricket ever witnessed in Australia.

After Lasith Malinga ripped through the Scorchers, taking record figures of 6 for 7, to bowl the home side out for just 69, the Stars were 0 for 29 after two overs of the chase when rain halted play at 6.39pm local time. Under normal circumstances, the side batting second has to bat a minimum of five overs to constitute a match. The match had to recommence by 7.52pm to ensure a five-over chase. The rain stopped, but the confusion was caused by the revised Duckworth/Lewis target, which was 5. In which case, only one ball was required to be bowled as the score had already been reached. The Scorchers argued the ground was unfit for play, but Hilton Cartwright bowled one ball without issue, the players shook hands, and the Stars walked off as winners by ten wickets. To compound matters, that extra ball was later expunged and the margin of victory changed from 10 wickets to 24 runs*.

The confusion of the result overshadowed the star performance of the night. Malinga took the second-best figures of all time in domestic T20s to help dismiss the Scorchers for the lowest total in Australian T20 cricket. Had Malinga not delivered two wides, he might have claimed the record from the unlikely holder, Somerset's Arul Suppiah.

With intermittent rain throughout the day, Stars captain Shane Warne had no hesitation in bowling first on a lively wicket. It paid dividends with four wickets in the first four overs. James Faulkner had Herschelle Gibbs dropped first ball as it reared off the gloves and went through two sets of hands, that of wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb and first slip Cameron White, although it was incorrectly ruled leg byes.

Gibbs fell three balls later for a duck, bunting a full-pitched ball back to Faulkner. Malinga then knocked Marcus North's off stump out of the ground the next over, before Faulkner induced a nick off Simon Katich to leave the Scorchers reeling at 3 for 7.

It became 4 for 16 when the debutant Marcus Stoinis closed the face on one that seamed away and parried a leading edge to gully. Another T20 debutant Cartwright and veteran Adam Voges tried to salvage the innings and got through the next four overs unscathed. Enter Warne, with his supposed bruised ego from opening night. His control of a slippery ball was, well, Warne-esque. He delivered the perfect slider to Voges to trap him lbw.

Having held Malinga back for the middle order, Warne called upon his trump card the following over to finish off the innings. A brilliantly disguised slower ball had Cartwright spoon a catch to midwicket. Malinga then delivered a thunderbolt outswinger past the edge of Nathan Coulter-Nile before trapping him plumb in front with another superb slower ball.

Malinga's fourth and last over was another exhibition in deception. Tom Triffitt fell in identical fashion to Coulter-Nile, before Joe Mennie became the sixth victim for the Sri Lankan as another slower ball hit the base of off stump.

Extras was the third-highest score for the Scorchers as their total of 69 eclipsed the previous lowest Australian T20 total of 71, which New South Wales managed three seasons ago at the same venue.

The chase began nervously as Simon Katich dropped Luke Wright at mid-off the third ball. Wright then smashed five boundaries, the same number the Scorchers managed, in the next eight deliveries before the heavens opened and mass confusion reigned.

After the drama, the Stars won their first match of the tournament while the Scorchers started their campaign with back-to-back losses.

*09.07GMT, December 14: This article has been updated.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    year ryt the guy means business - Malinga

  • David on December 13, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    @Jeremy Hicks, thanks for the explanation. Although the "only if both teams have batted 5 overs" clause is pretty pointless - as last night's farce proved. If they've got the runs, they've got the runs, whether or not they've completed the 5, and coming back out for one delivery is ridiculous.

    Not as ridiculous, though, as calling a 5 over game a match! If they can't get through 20 then call it a draw. It's not like cricket is unfamiliar with that concept!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    @drinks.break: The reason why they had to go back and play one delivery is that the rules of the competition state that if the second innings is curtailed *and it is not possible to resume play*, then the Duckworth/Lewis method is applied, but only if both teams have batted for at least five overs. So when the rain came, the Stars had 29 off 2 chasing 70 to win, and if there had been no more play the game would have been a no result.

    However, the rules also state that if the team batting second scores enough runs to win, the requirement that they bat for at least five overs does not apply. So as soon as play was resumed with the bowling of that extra ball, the target score became 6, and as the Stars already had more than that they won.

    It was nothing to do with proving the fitness of the ground. That is the umpires' decision, and they don't have to prove it to anybody.

  • John on December 13, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @Robrene on (December 13 2012, 02:31 AM GMT) Maybe it was awarded to MS because the target had been reached early. If it was a tight affair I would be with folk who'd call it a draw but I feel the right result came about. I think it would have been unjust if it was a draw

  • Peter on December 13, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    This has to be a joke, surely. D/L for a a 20 over game with this result? And people wonder why true cricket followers don't take this game seriously.

  • David on December 13, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Having thought about it, I suspect the reason they had to bowl the extra ball was to "prove" that the ground was suitable for the match to restart. Otherwise it would have been a draw.

    HOWEVER, that just goes to show what a joke the target was - or else what a joke it is to think that 5 overs can constitute a match. Because if it hadn't stopped raining it would have been a draw, even though the Stars had already scored nearly 6 times the 5 over target score.

  • Rob on December 13, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    I cannot believe Melbourne team was awrded this game under D/L rules when the conditions stipulate 5 overs to be bowled to constitute a game. Surely the D/L method should favour both the batting and bowling sides. The revised target of 6 runs after 5 overs had been reached but there was a chance of wickets falling during overs 3 - 5 which would have altered the target upwards with the fall of each wicket. I believe this has put in place a very dangerous precedent for future rain affected games. Saying this it would have been a crying shame for the Stars not to have taken points from this game and it will be interesting to see haw the awarding of this game effects the total standings at the end of the tournament.

  • Kuldeep on December 13, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    It is, pity that Malinga has chosen money over his country. Sri Lanka can use his services in Test Matches.

  • John on December 13, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    WA drag a kid out of Melbourne grade cricket to bat 4 while the guy voted as WAs best cricketer last year sits in the stand What a joke

  • Adrian on December 13, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    The Scorchers wanted the draw. Poor sportsmanship by them. Well done by Hilton Cartwright, on debut, bowling the 1 ball required to make it a result. If they get all out for 69, they don't deserve the draw.

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