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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
This was the game that could end the season for the Sydney Thunder and keep the Perth Scorchers' season alive. I expected it to be a close match, as the Thunder would be aiming to end their losing streak, while the Scorchers would be hoping they could keep their chances of making the semi-finals.
As always I was hoping the Scorchers would come away with the win.
Simon Katich was the difference between the two teams. He was the only batsman who converted a start into a big score and he guided the Scorchers' run chase very well. His experience proved to be vital.
One thing I'd have changed
As a Western Australian I would have loved it if Michael Hussey was still playing for the Scorchers. As it is, he chose to move to the Thunder and in doing so joined a team without a lot of recent success. He got the odd boo but didn't cop too much sledging from the WACA crowd. The revenge was his team losing!
Face-off I relished
It was interesting watching Brad Hogg bowling to Eoin Morgan: two world-class players battling it out. Morgan attempted a couple of reverse sweeps, one of which went for four, however, he didn't really look comfortable against Hogg. Unfortunately Morgan got run out, in rather strange circumstances, between Hogg's second and third overs, preventing any more face-offs between the pair.
The run-out of Morgan by Mitch Marsh. The ball on which it occurred was a free-hit. Marsh bowled a yorker that Morgan just managed to squeeze out. Not realising the ball had bounced straight down the pitch to Marsh, Morgan left his crease. Marsh flicked the ball at the stumps, and Morgan dived back. The ball hit the stumps but Morgan appeared to be comfortably in. There was a half-shout from the Scorchers, so the third umpire decided to go upstairs just to be sure. The Scorchers were not too confident. They all returned to their positions in readiness for the next ball. There were a couple of replays played on the big screen which seemed to confirm Morgan had made his ground, and then it cut to shots of the crowd. A minute later more replays were shown, and the crowd soon realised that Morgan might just be out. Hogg ran in from the boundary at deep midwicket to congratulate Marsh, and the rest of the team soon followed. The verdict was delivered soon after and the crowd cheered.
Craig Simmons fielded in front of me during the Thunder innings and took a great diving catch to dismiss Michael Hussey. Dirk Nannes was there when the Scorchers were batting. He fumbled once to allow an extra run and got a cheer from the crowd. A couple of balls later when he fielded one cleanly, he got an even louder cheer and he doffed his cap to the crowd.
Shot of the day
Katich's six over cover off the bowling of Tillakaratne Dilshan was a marvellous shot, timed beautifully and easily clearing the fence.
There was barely a spare seat anywhere. The crowd was enthusiastic and cheered the Scorchers loudly. There were lots of beach balls being thrown around, and whenever a security guard took it upon himself to pop one he got a huge boo. There were also a fair number of Mexican Waves towards the end of the match.
There wasn't a whole lot of fancy dress at this game, just lots of orange everywhere. There were orange wigs, face-paint, hairspray, and anything else you could think of.
There were the usual fire and fireworks when the Scorchers entered the field. Under the Inverarity Stand there were three people playing big drums with drumsticks with fire on the end of them. There was also a dance group dressed in orange that performed during the innings break.
It was an exciting game of cricket with plenty of runs and wickets and a fairly close result. The crowd was good as always, so overall it was another great experience.
Marks out of 10
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