Scorchers v Strikers, BBL 2012-13, Perth December 9, 2012

Striking Hughes burns Scorchers


Adelaide Strikers 4 for 164 (Hughes 74) beat Perth Scorchers 6 for 162 (Voges 58, Marsh 57) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Australian selectors talk of PONIs - Players of National Interest. Phillip Hughes has been a PONI for some time but is widely regarded as a Test specialist. But he proved, once again, his limited-overs potential with a match-winning 74 from 48 deliveries to guide the Strikers home in a nail-biting chase.

Set 163, the Strikers had recent history against them, as only two of the last 12 matches at the WACA had been won by the chasing team, and neither had run down more than 157.

Hughes started slowly before back-to-back boundaries in the fifth over, one a streaky edge, the other a cracking trademark cut, got his strike-rate above 100. He and Michael Klinger put on 39 before Klinger fell to Joe Mennie.

The introduction of Brad Hogg in the eighth over saw Hughes accelerate further. He raced to 50 off 35 balls and continued to confound Scorchers captain, Simon Katich, and keep the chase on track.

Hughes abstained from last year's BBL to concentrate on rebuilding his technique after being dropped from Australia's Test XI. But his T20 record makes for impressive reading. He now has 1003 runs from 26 matches, with an average of 52.79 and a strike-rate near 120. He led the run tally during the domestic T20 tournament in England earlier this year and is also averaging 80 in the Ryobi Cup this season.

Hogg eventually got Hughes in the 15th over, with a mistimed heave that carried to long-off, but the damage was done.

Nathan Reardon then picked up where Hughes left off by crushing 42 from 26 balls, including three enormous blows into the crowd. Reardon's striking talent has never been fully appreciated and hence he's playing for his third T20 side in Australia. But he came up with the goods here to leave the Strikers needing just 9 off 11 balls.

Theo Doropoulos and Johan Botha had some nervy moments, but they guided Adelaide through with four balls to spare.

Earlier, Katich won the toss and had no hesitation in batting. Shaun Marsh showed hesitation and apprehension on his Scorchers return after his off-field dramas at the Champions League but he battled to 28 off 30 before his class shone through. Marsh made 57 from 45 balls and was involved in a partnership worth 82 with Adam Voges. The latter made a composed 58 to guide the Scorchers to a competitive but underwhelming total of 6 for 162.

The craft and guile of two world-renowned T20 spinners in Johan Botha and Saeed Ajmal meant the Scorchers fell short of a winning total. Their combined eight overs cost just 45 runs and also yielded the all-important wicket of Marsh.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hrishikesh on December 11, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    i love watching him. Horrible technique, but a damn good player

  • Andrew on December 10, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    @lazysnoopy787 on (December 09 2012, 15:39 PM GMT) - whilst I agree Hughes is cleaning up in List A games, (& T20s), I hope he is kept as a Test specialist. Until a player as at the peak of their game, they shouldn't be distracted by the Short Forms. Take Cook as an example, he was dropped from ODIs, re-built his game & came back a better cricketer, that can handle the demands of Tests & ODIs. @ Stark62 on (December 09 2012, 16:49 PM GMT) - fact is Ajmal doesn't seem to mind Ozzy mentality, also both took one wicket, whilst Ajmal was more economical, Lyon's wicket was more crucial - so I don't think your observations have any validity - particularly based on two lots of 4 overs. @disco_bob on (December 09 2012, 22:18 PM GMT) - here, here. I'd rather he be playing in the Future League this week! @Marcio on (December 10 2012, 04:17 AM GMT) - yep, several & counting! @ eyballfallenout on (December 10 2012, 14:07 PM GMT) - I agree, but the scheduling is crud!

  • Graham on December 10, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Stark62- We can only judge on test cricket matches we have seen. Unfortunately, Ajmal has only played one test against Australia and it wasnt great. More gold from Front-Foot-Lunge players can bounce back. He is in the test team which is barely popcorn cricket. Aussies have destroyed the likes of Ian Bell and Alistair COok in test series and I am not naive enough to say they are not good cricketers they have bounced back.

  • Ray on December 10, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Following his stellar performance with the ball in the recent SA series (12 @ 40.5), I see that Lyon has moved up to #2 spinner in the world!

  • chris on December 10, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    personally, i would much prefer our test players to not be in these T20 games. Better off focusing on real cricket

  • GeoffreysMother on December 10, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    I watched a bit of this - 'technique' was not the first word that came into my mind.

  • Marcio on December 10, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Wonder how many Poms will turn up to this article to spin this into a Hughes negative yet again... and again, and again, and again...

  • Bryn on December 10, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    hughes just continuing his domination. watching it was a real pleasure, batsmen dont know how to bowl to him anymore. i cant wait to watch him in the tests. was cool to see the two best spinners in the world bowl together aswell ajmal and lyon

  • paul on December 10, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    I seem to have heard of similar losses, somewhere before?

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    As I keep saying Australia should use him as a odi/20 20 specialist like India should do with yuvraj Singh. Hughes does not have the technique or the temperament to have a decent test career. I noticed Hughes big shots in limited overs cricket are basically leg side.

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