Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers, BBL 2014-15 December 22, 2014

Hodge, tail seal last-over win for Strikers


Adelaide Strikers 9 for 147 (Hodge 42, Behrendorff 4-22) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 146 (Klinger 49, Richardson 3-31) by one wicket

Brad Hodge's 36-ball 42 set up Adelaide Striker's chase © Getty Images

Two excellent bowling performances and one brutal six produced the first close finish of this Big Bash League season as the Adelaide Strikers clambered over the line to beat the Perth Scorchers by one wicket at the WACA.

Chasing 147 and with seven required off three balls with just one wicket in hand, 22-year-old legspinner Adam Zampa struck a six over midwicket off Yasir Arafat before taking a single off the next ball to haul the Strikers to their second consecutive victory and end the Scorchers' five-match unbeaten run at home. Just two balls before becoming the hero for the Strikers, Zampa was very much the villain having wildly swung and missed at the first two balls of the final over before running out Kane Richardson, desperately trying to bring him on strike.

Arafat's final over was typically accurate with the first four balls being inswinging yorkers, but his accuracy was perhaps his downfall with Zampa confident of the ball's length, able to swing hard and fast through the line to hit the fourth for the match-winning six.

The Scorchers bowled superbly throughout the Strikers chase, taking wickets at regular intervals meaning no partnership managed more than 27 and the run rate never exceeded 7.80 after the first over.

The Strikers' innings pivoted in the 13th over, when after a steady start with just 55 required off 48 balls, seven wickets in hand and Brad Hodge and Kieron Pollard at the crease, Jason Behrendorff punctured the Strikers' momentum with two wickets in an over, removing Pollard and then Johan Botha. Behrendorff was the standout bowler for the Scorchers finishing with 4 for 22 from his four overs. After the 13th over the required run rate climbed steadily, reaching 8.33 at one point.

Hodge marshalled the subsequent tense overs nicely, scoring 42 off 36, but when he was dismissed with just 13 balls remaining, it seemed as if the Strikers would fall just short. However, a huge six off the last ball of the 18th over from Richardson and some energetic running in a brilliant over bowled by Andrew Tye brought the Strikers back into contention.

Earlier on, the Scorchers, who elected to bat, gave opportunities to five new signings - Michael Carberry, Marcus Harris, Michael Klinger, James Muirhead and Tye in the absence of Simon Katich (retired), Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh and Brad Hogg (injured). And the Strikers made one change to their side, bringing in Trent Lawford for the injured Shaun Tait.

Scorchers' total of 7 for 147 was defined by the effort of Carberry, who struggled for timing, fluency and rhythm. He scored just 27 from 35 deliveries, eating up plenty of balls and swallowing momentum, casting a long shadow over the overs that preceded his dismissal. He was evidently anxious when once he swung so hard he let go of his bat which traveled further than many of his shots.

The Scorchers exited the Powerplay at 0 for 40 and lost their first wicket to the first ball of the seventh over, Marcus Harris falling for a cameo of 26 from 19 balls to a superb low catch taken by Alex Ross at long-off. The Strikers bowled really well, yet again, and kept the Scorchers to just 1 for 65 after 10 overs. Carberry finally got himself out in the 13th over and the Scorchers were stagnating at 2 for 84, with just 45 deliveries remaining.

Klinger, who made the move from Adelaide to Perth in the off season, was the lone flag-bearer for the Scorchers. His 33-ball 49 elevated his team's run rate as wickets fell around him. Outside the top three, no batsman made more than 12 for the Scorchers.

Richardson's figures suggest he was the best bowler for the Strikers with 3 for 33, but their success was more subtle than merely the efforts of one man. Botha shuffled his bowlers cannily, bowling himself in solely one-over spells throughout the innings, taking 1 for 25 in the process. Only Pollard, who bowled just one over, conceded more than eight runs per over. Twice the Strikers have now bowled well and twice they have won.

Freddie Wilde is a freelance T20 journalist. @fwildecricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on December 24, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Antony_Lucas: I'm a South Australian and striker fan but I wouldn't get too carries away there is still plenty of time for the redback curse. The curse that turned a great batsman in Younis KHan into a dud for 4 weeks. The curse to the worlds best T20 batter Adam Hales who still hasn't recovered. The xurse that took Andrew McDonald from touching distance of a baggy green to a perennially injured player. The curse that turned shield finalist in Cosgrove to a dud. I will wait a bit before calling semi finalist.

  • Ant on December 23, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Strikers looking good for a semi final spot this year, finally

  • Terry on December 23, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Scorchers handicapped by the absence of Coulter-Nile, Marsh S , Marsh M & Hogg who are probably their best 4 but a great effort to get so close after not making enough runs. Agree Whiteman was a bit off-key behind the stumps compared to his usual high standards but he will play for Australia at some point. The injury to Clarke may reprieve Haddin to add experience for Smith for a bit longer and that may help Whiteman as well. Like what Justin Langer is doing with WA/Scorchers in bringing through young players and giving them chances.

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    Scorchers were ripped off! Zampa definitely gloved one to the keeper and the umpire turned it down. Time to let video umpires intervene.

  • Matt on December 23, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Strikers need to keep bowling well if they are to win it. Their batting looks a little vulnerable apart from the evergreen Hodge.

  • Philip on December 22, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    The final over was an interesting affair (given I don't like T20). Zampa finally got it right with a big heave, but before that, in that last over, Perth appeared to believe they had it in the bag after Whiteman's brilliant run out of Richardson. It would seem that Whiteman has a Test cap in his bag. Gilchrist said on channel Ten that Whiteman was an heir apparent of Haddin's. Well, Whiteman must have had an off day last night (his run out aside). His keeping was lack-lustre to say the least. Contrast that to the silky skills of Adelaide's Ludeman. He too, was involved in a run out, only his will be credited to the bowler no doubt.

  • Paulo on December 22, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Great entertainment. Great way of spending the mornings of the Christmas break from uni. Excellent game. Expect the unexpected.

    As a Hampshire member my interest was in Carberry. His signing surprised me a bit, given his poor and uncomfortable international career. Also this T20 Blast he was pretty poor, except on a couple of occasions when the sky cameras came down. I hope he can show everyone what he can do.

    Also a word on Pollard. He has a point to prove having been removed from the ODI squad (though he might have just been rested). For me he doesn't deserve his place, with a career average of 25 in nearly 100 games. He needs to show a bit more maturity and temperament, as well as radically improve his game vs pace. Maybe the BBL with give him opportunity to improve.

  • Prasanna on December 22, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Behren.. seems to bowl well - brought the ball into the right-handers. Add him to our ever-growing pile of fast bowlers !! If and only if our batting stocks are this robust !!

  • travis on December 22, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    With no big hitters for Perth (losing simmons), they are going to struggle to post large totals.

  • Android on December 22, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Best match i have seen in BBl

  • No featured comments at the moment.