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15th Match (D/N), Hobart, December 20, 2021, Big Bash League
(20 ov, T:168) 125/9

Scorchers won by 42 runs


Kurtis Patterson, bowlers combine as red-hot Perth Scorchers remain unbeaten

It was two-in-two for Scorchers against Hobart Hurricanes, as a 53-run win last week followed a 42-run victory

Kurtis Patterson smacked a fifty in 26 balls, Perth Scorchers vs Hobart Hurricanes, BBL 2021-22, Hobart, December 20, 2021

Kurtis Patterson smacked 78 as Perth Scorchers again got the better of Hobart Hurricanes  •  Getty Images

Perth Scorchers 7 for 167 (Patterson 78, Agar 30*, Thompson 3-33) beat Hobart Hurricanes 9 for 125 (Parker 25*, Tye 3-19, Hatzoglou 2-29) by 42 runs
Unbeaten Perth Scorchers continued to set an early benchmark in the BBL with another thrashing of the hapless Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena. After a 53-run win last week, it was déjà vu for Scorchers in the rematch, with Kurtis Patterson powering them to a strong total before their brilliant attack again crippled Hurricanes' struggling batting line-up.
The match was shifted from the Optus Stadium in Perth due to Western Australia's strict Covid-19 border controls, which ensures red-hot Scorchers are on the road for the rest of the BBL.
Patterson is relishing opening
For the third straight match, Scorchers changed their opening combination, deciding to mix it up at the top and give their stars opportunities. Patterson, known as a technically correct batter who boasts a Test average of 144 albeit from only two matches, was perhaps a surprise choice as opener given their slew of big hitters. However, it has turned out to be an inspired move so far. Emboldened by the backing, Patterson has been a revelation with two quick fire half-centuries, proving he can be a highly effective T20 batter.
Against Hurricanes on the day, he started sedately before taking a liking to their spinners and unleashing his favoured slog sweep into the terraces. Patterson reached his half-century off just 26 balls, but his momentum was halted by wickets tumbling at the other end. With Scorchers tied down in the middle overs, Patterson eventually holed out but not before putting his hand up as the team's permanent opener.
With Scorchers' powerful batting order mostly underwhelmed, their deep reservoir reared with Ashton Agar smoking a timely 11-ball 30 to ensure they still posted a total that proved far too good for Hurricanes.
However, there was some concern over the fitness of Patterson, who sat on the sidelines during Hurricanes' innings.
Scorchers' irresistible attack
During their heyday under Justin Langer, Scorchers usually defended decent totals, and proved the same here with a suffocating performance against Hurricanes. Their pace attack already very versatile with Jason Behrendorff, Tymal Mills and Andrew Tye each offering something a bit different, their spinners Agar and Peter Hatzoglou have also been terrific in tandem after the four-over powerplay. Moreover, the attack further strengthened with Mitchell Marsh rolling the arm over for the first time this season to add to their embarrassment of riches.
Although given the nature of T20, they are bound to get clobbered at some point; but it is hard to envision that right now.
Hurricanes' batting missing a spark
Hurricanes' fortunes this season have rested on Matthew Wade, and thus their chances of a successful chase nosedived in the fourth over when he fell to Tye's second delivery.
Almost predictably, they were never in the hunt. Hurricanes desperately need D'Arcy Short to rekindle his destructive batting which once made him a T20 sensation. But once again, Short couldn't get going; his rough 18-ball 13 ended when Agar trapped him in front with a quicker delivery.
Perhaps for a spark they need to promote big-hitter Tim David up the order, with his current position of No. 6 too low, often coming in with his side under severe pressure. And against Scorchers, the Singapore batter was run-out for 6, as Hurricanes soon slumped to their fifth straight defeat against their opponents.
Meredith makes an impact in his only over
However, it wasn't all bad for Hurricanes. After all, they should feel at least better about their pace stocks with the return of speedster Riley Meredith, who has played five T20Is and one ODI for Australia this year.
Back from a hamstring injury, the 25-year-old opened the bowling and made an immediate impact with the wicket of Josh Inglis on the last ball of the over. Meredith, who clocked speeds over 150 kph, bowled sedately and accurately, with full-pitch deliveries frustrating the normally free-wheeling Inglis.
But it was one and done for Meredith, who was substituted out of the match as part of his recovery. It was a little bit of a head-scratcher, but Hurricanes coach Adam Griffith confirmed that Meredith wasn't quite 100% fit, having already planned to X-factor him out of the contest. Yet, his opening over set the standard for a disciplined Hurricanes pace-bowling effort, with all of Nathan Ellis, Tom Rogers and England's Jordan Thompson impressing.
It is at least something to take from another disappointing Hurricanes performance.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport

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