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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
With the Western Australia cricket trophy cabinet being quite bare recently, I wasn't going to miss the chance to see the Scorchers win some silverware. The inaugural Big Bash League shaped up to be a ripper. The Scorchers had been in hot form, so I predicted them to win in a very close match.
It was a... well... scorcher! It reached 42 degrees during the day, and was still 38 degrees when the game started at 5 o'clock. Luckily, it wasn't very humid. However, the heat didn't harm the Sixers, in the end.
Moises Henriques made a fantastic 70 off only 41 balls. It set up the platform for Sydney's innings. But the game could have been a whole lot different if Brett Lee hadn't removed Herschelle Gibbs off the first ball of the match and Luke Ronchi four balls later. It's worth mentioning that Lee was booed by the crowd every time he went near the ball after that.
One thing I'd have changed about the day
I would have made the first-ball Gibbs hook go 15 metres to the left or right of Dominic Thornely for four instead of straight into Thornely's hands. If that ball had gone for four, anything could have happened.
Face-off I relished
Although the contest ultimately lasted one ball, it was always going to be fascinating watching Lee v Gibbs. Lee won out this time. It was also good watching Henriques v Brad Hogg. Henriques started off well, but when Hogg got him stumped, he'd only scored eight runs off seven balls off Hogg. It was a great contest.
Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled two superb overs early in the Sixers innings. They went for just three runs. The batsmen, Henriques and Steve O'Keefe, had no idea what to do. He got the crowd going. Unfortunately, he was smashed in his next spell!
During the Scorchers innings, Ian Moran was fielding below me for most of the time at long-off/long-on. I didn't see him give any autographs, and he wasn't the subject of any heckling from the crowd. Moran had a quiet night in the field. When the Sixers were batting, Coulter-Nile was fielding below me for much of the innings. He didn't seem to give out any signatures either. However, a high ball was hit towards him, but it sailed into the crowd for six. He did a little frustrated jump as it went over his head.
Shot of the day
Having playing a reverse-paddle a few balls earlier, Paul Collingwood played an amazing reverse hook off Ian Moran. Although it could have gone anywhere, it outran Stuart MacGill to the third man boundary. It was awesome.
It was packed, all around the ground. There was a good atmosphere, although during the Sixers innings, some people started Mexican Waves and threw beach balls. Towards the end of the match there were a huge number of beer cup "snakes". One almost stretched across a whole block! This gave the security men a job to do, and they were loudly booed whenever they took the cups away. One ball was smashed into the Lillee-Marsh stand and caught by a man on the other side of the stand. The "Hoggy" chant was once again popular, as most of the crowd obviously supported Perth. However, Hogg didn't have his best night.
Most of the songs were very similar to the ones in previous matches: "Good Old Collingwood Forever" and "Another One Bites the Dust" were two popular ones. The Addams Family theme song was played often too. There were several fire shooters and fireworks were shot out often when a four, six or wicket occurred. Once again the orange men were up to their silly antics and the butterfly ladies on stilts wandered around the ground. There was also a "kids zone" with various activities, including a weird boxing game, where you used a big soft pole to hit each other. I didn't get it, even looking at it myself.
The head security guy obviously had some thoughts after seeing the security guards' orange vests clashed with the Scorchers' outfits. Security turned up in yellow tonight, and it was actually way easier to distinguish Perth.
Twenty20 v ODIs?
This Big Bash has been one of the most exciting and entertaining series I've ever seen. I loved it and it made the one-dayers seem bland. The boundaries, wickets and catches have been awesome to watch, and I believe that Ryobi (one-day) Cup, and possibly even ODI, crowd numbers will suffer.
Banner of the day
One banner said "Cricket is OK". I thought it was quite clever, with all the talk of too many Twenty20s and ODIs, the DRS, illegal streaming, etc. this game showed that cricket is OK indeed.
Marks out of 10
As a Scorchers fan, I'll give it 7.5, but it was a good contest and the entertainment was getting closer to being (but not quite just yet) IPL-esque.
The Sixers were good, the Scorchers were average, the crowd was distracted, the entertainment was nice, but I was disappointed the Scorchers couldn't come through yet again.
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