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RESULT
30th Match (N), Sydney, January 08, 2024, Big Bash League
(19.1/20 ov, T:138) 140/3

Scorchers won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
2/6
ashton-agar
Cricinfo's MVP
95.77 ptsImpact List
ashton-agar
Report

Ponting slams Showground pitch as Thunder lose low-scoring game to Scorchers

Ashton Agar returned remarkable figures of 2 for 6, while Zak Crawley led the chase for the winners with a 56-ball 58

AAP
08-Jan-2024
Alex Hales loses his stumps to Cooper Connolly  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Alex Hales loses his stumps to Cooper Connolly  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Perth Scorchers 140 for 3 (Crawley 58, Inglis 26*, McAndrew 2-27) beat Sydney Thunder 137 for 8 (Hales 72, Kohler-Cadmore 27, Connolly 3-25, Agar 2-6) by seven wickets
Ricky Ponting has lashed the Sydney Showground pitch after Sydney Thunder's low-scoring loss to Perth Scorchers on Monday, calling it "substandard" and wondering if Thunder should abandon the stadium for Canberra.
Scorchers returned to the BBL's top two with the seven-wicket win, chasing down Thunder's 137 for 8 with five balls to spare. The result left Thunder needing results to fall in their favour to reach the finals, sitting in seventh place on the ladder with three games to play.
But the major talking point remained the pitch, after Ashton Agar took 2 for 6 from four overs and Cooper Connolly 3 for 25 from his four. Thunder spinner Tanveer Sangha also went for just 14 from his four overs, and Chris Green got 1 for 22 from 3.1.
Data from the Seven network showed an average spin of 3.9 degrees in Scorchers' bowling innings, well in excess of the 2.2-degree average across the BBL.
"The Thunder for years have talked about how much they love playing in Canberra, maybe that's a solution. They have some good young players in this squad, but they might not have them forever if the wicket continues to be this way"
Ricky Ponting
"We shouldn't be seeing balls react like that in the BBL," Ponting said in commentary. "That's unplayable, you can't hit that."We shouldn't be seeing balls react like that in the BBL. As far as I am concerned, this is substandard as far as BBL wickets are concerned."
Scorchers wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman also remarked that it "looked like Chennai", with Agar's figures the second-most economical in BBL history.
The pitch has become a problem for Cricket Australia, given that the league is viewed as a gateway to the sport for youngsters. In one of the most populated and culturally-diverse regions of Australia, the run rate of 7.76 at the venue throughout the competition's history is lower than at any other major BBL stadium.
Only one score of over 160 has been made in the past two seasons, with spin and off-pace deliveries generally dominating. So slow did things move in the Thunder innings that they scored only 19 runs in a six-over period late in the innings in front of a crowd of 8672.
Ponting went on to question if Thunder should move to Canberra permanently given the state of the Showground pitch, with the club already playing two games a season at Manuka Oval.
"The Sydney Thunder have been a struggling team for the last few years," Ponting said. "And how are you going to attract young players from around the team or overseas, if they're going to be batting on a wicket like that?
"The Thunder for years have talked about how much they love playing in Canberra, maybe that's a solution. They have some good young players in this squad, but they might not have them forever if the wicket continues to be this way."
Agar, however, defended the groundstaff after play. "I don't envy the groundsman, with conditions that were dished up. It poured down rain all day," he said. "Obviously the Big Bash is an entertaining game, and you want to see high scores and balls flying over the fence. But there's a lot to be learned from games like that. Things to be learned for guys who go overseas."
Alex Hales played a lone hand with the bat for Thunder, whacking three sixes over the leg side in his 72 from 55 balls. But he was also close to being the villain for Thunder, with three men run out at the other end while he batted.
In reply, Zak Crawley hit 58 from 56 balls to help steer Scorchers home in the last over.

Language
English
Win Probability
PS 100%
STPS
100%50%100%ST InningsPS Innings

Over 20 • PS 140/3

Scorchers won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
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Big Bash League

TEAMMWLPTNRR
BH1071160.972
SS1062140.339
PS1063130.725
AS1054110.331
HH10468-0.268
MS10468-1.051
MR10266-0.289
ST10174-0.652