Scorchers v Thunder, BBL, Perth January 4, 2013

Scorchers crush lacklustre Thunder

Perth Scorchers 1 for 117 (Marsh 56*) beat Sydney Thunder 9 for 113 (Khawaja 56, Hogg 4-29) by nine wickets

Perth Scorchers have catapulted to second on the Big Bash table after a thumping nine-wicket win over the lacklustre Sydney Thunder.

Thunder's loss was a result of a dismal batting performance. Their captain, Chris Rogers, was out of the game before the toss with a fractured finger, and they lost their way not long after the coin fell in Chris Gayle's favour.

The Thunder slumped to their worst powerplay score of the tournament, just 2 for 23 after six overs. 22-year old left-arm swing bowler Jason Behrendorff, in just his third game, used the pace and bounce of the WACA to his advantage. Gayle guided a catch to slip from a good length outswinger. Matt Prior fell for the third match in succession trying to loft over mid-off. Alfonso Thomas took a spectacular catch running back with the flight.

Thunder's position worsened when Michael Beer induced mistakes from Simon Keen and Ryan Carters to leave them at 4 for 33 after nine overs.

Usman Khawaja was called upon to mount another rescue mission. After his classy, unbeaten, 66 against the Sixers, the left-hand batsman backed it up with another half-century. He started slowly, with a couple of streaky leading edges through point. He clicked into gear against Beer in the 13th over, using his feet twice to find the rope at midwicket and then clear it at long-on.

Khawaja and Mark Cosgrove combined to score 47 before the latter cut Nathan Coulter-Nile to deep point.

Without Khawaja's efforts the Thunder would have failed to reach a three-figure score. He passed 50 with a magnificent lofted six over cover from the miserly Thomas. Extraordinarily, it was only Khawaja's third six of his T20 career, equalling his tally of half-centuries. He fell in the last over to Brad Hogg, the first of three wickets in the over. The Thunder posted their lowest total of the tournament thus far.

The Scorchers made light work of the chase, despite losing Herschelle Gibbs early. Gurinder Sandhu, in just his second game, bowled well to collect his first wicket at this level. The 19-year-old conceded just 18 from his four overs.

After that Shaun Marsh and Marcus North took control. Marsh cruised to his third half-century of the tournament, and superseded Aaron Finch as the BBL's leading scorer. Marsh's unbeaten 56 allayed any fears about his thumb injury, having been struck by Doug Bollinger on January 1 in Hobart. Marcus North found some much-need touch, scoring an unbeaten 39 from 30 balls. The partnership was trouble-free, and helped by a 12-ball over from Scott Coyte, who delivered 5 wides and a no-ball before leaving the ground with an elbow problem.

The win moved the Scorchers from sixth on the table, thanks to enormous boost in net run-rate, and they now have a chance at hosting another BBL semi-final. The Thunder, meanwhile, have lost 12 consecutive matches as a franchise, with this arguably their most disappointing.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mariam on January 5, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    I have to say that Scott Musgrave is on the ball, Marsh is a very good T20 batsman but has failed in shield so badly that he was dropped for his state this year, i am happy for Marsh to be selected for the Aus T20 side but Khawaja is a must for the test team with Hussey retiring, not to mention that Khawaja is showing another layer to his game with some very aggressive batting in the shorter format, boof has done wonders for him.

  • Rahul on January 5, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    @Scott is correct, Khawaja's innings was much classier and when everyone was falling around him, he has scored heavily in shield, Ryobi and big bash and no doubt deserves Hussey's spot for the Indian series and Ashes.

  • Anish on January 5, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    @Scott Musgrave Marsh was not out so he would have added to his score

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    Yes, let's all laud Marsh when Khawaja scored the exact same amount off the exact same amount of balls with the exact same ration of 4's and 6's. Not to mention that this was against a (arguably) better attack in a struggling team. Big props to Usman for thriving in difficult conditions.

  • Michael on January 4, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    So CA want to take Adam Zampa to India....why ? The Scorchers have proven he's not good enough here, imagine what the subcontinental players will do to his mediocre bowling.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Gayle is badly out of form. His wicket is a boost to opposition and a shattering of ego to his team. he should bat lower down in the order till he regains his form,

  • Stephenson on January 4, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Marsh need to get back on the international stage

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    marsh is an great plus for scorchers

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