With victory in the final game before Christmas, the Sydney Sixers took top spot in the BBL05 table over the festive period. The Scorchers finally played their first game of the tournament as well, but it ended in defeat in Game 6 against the Strikers. With a quarter of the group stage matches played, anyone could still make that top four.
Game 6 – Monday 21 December
Perth Scorchers – 151/6 (20) – S Marsh 47, Voges 45* – Laughlin 2-20, Rashid 2-21
Adelaide Strikers – 152/6 (19.1) – Jayawardene 42, Ross 38 – Willey 2-24, Paris 2-39
Adelaide Strikers won by four wickets.
The Scorchers came out firing in their first match of the tournament, with both Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges falling just short of their 50s. They gave Perth a platform, but two quick wickets from Englishman Adil Rashid slowed their progress. Nathan Coulter-Nile added a quick-fire 18 at the end to push Perth past the 150 mark.
He then took the first Strikers wicket, but Mahela Jayawardene and Travis Head added some quick runs to put the Strikers within touching distance of the victory. Despite David Willey and Joel Paris both taking two wickets, an excellent 38 from Alex Ross helped the Adelaide side over the line. They recorded their second straight win.
Game 7 – Tuesday 22 December
Hobart Hurricanes – 184/3 (20) – Paine 87*, Sangakkara 43 – Cutting 1-32, Fekete 1-32
Brisbane Heat – 164/8 (20) – Floros 42, Reardon 41 – Rainbird 3-37, Christian 2-22
Hobart Hurricanes win by 20 runs.
Ben Dunk was out cheaply at the start of the Hurricanes innings, but from there on, they were always in control. Tim Paine hit a fantastic 87 not out from just 58 balls, at a strike rate of 150, as he lasted the full 20 overs. He was joined by Kumar Sangakkara and George Bailey, who hit 43 from 31, and 40 from 21 respectively, pushing Hobart to a great total of 184.
Jason Floros looked like getting the Heat within touching distance with his 42 from just 23 deliveries, but the Hurricanes kept on taking wickets, with Sam Railbird picking up three from his four overs. Nathan Reardon helped the Brisbane side get closer, but they were never on the same level as Hobart, who get their first win of the tournament.
Game 8 – Wednesday 23 December
Melbourne Renegades – 172/4 (20) – Gayle 46, Bravo 45* – Botha 1-13, Henriques 1-27
Sydney Sixers – 174/7 (18.5) – Lumb 63, Henriques 62 – Rimmington 4-26, Tremain 2-48
Sydney Sixers win by three wickets.
Chris Gayle started the Renegades innings well, hitting a quick fire 46. However, they soon faltered to 94-4 when Matthew Wade was bowled for just 4. The Melbourne side had Darren Bravo and Tommy Beaton to thank for getting them up to 171, with both finishing the innings not out, on 45 and 41 respectively.
After losing Brad Haddin for a first ball duck, Michael Lumb kicked off the Sixers’ reply with a fantastic knock of 63 from just 35 deliveries. He was joined by Moises Henriques, who hit 62 from 38 as they steered the Sixers towards victory. Nathan Rimmington took four wickets towards the end but it wasn’t enough as the Sydney side took victory with seven balls to spare.
BBL05 Table – through 8 games:
(Team – Played, Points)
Sixers – 3, 4
Thunder – 2, 4
Strikers – 2, 4
Renegades – 2, 2
Hurricanes – 2, 2
Scorchers – 1, 0
Stars – 2, 0
Heat – 2, 0