There were big wins for both Adelaide and Perth this week, while the Stars won the battle of Melbourne. The Heat won one and lost one in the space of two days, but it is the Scorchers and Strikers who lead the way with just six games left in the BBL this year.
Game 23 – Friday 8 January
Brisbane Heat – 175/6 (20) – Peirson 51, Reardon 40*, Lynn 34 – Rashid 2-17
Adelaide Strikers – 179/2 (18.4) – Ludeman 57*, Jayawardene 53, Head 50 – Badree 1-25
Adelaide Strikers win by eight wickets
The Heat’s innings started badly, with Lendl Simmons out for a duck in the second over. From there though, JJ Peirson and Chris Lynn attacked the Strikers bowling, with the former reaching his 50 off just 36 balls. Nathan Reardon hit 40 from in the latter part of the innings to push the score up to a respectable 175. Adil Rashid took another two wickets as he continued his good form.
The Strikers only used four batsmen in their reply, with three of them hitting half-centuries. Tim Ludeman batted through, scoring 57 off 49, but it was the quick hitting of Mahela Jayawardene and Travis Head that got Adelaide within sight of the target. 53 off 30 and 50 off 25 respectively, made it easy for Brad Hodge to come in and win the game with eight balls to spare.
Game 24 – Saturday 9 January
Melbourne Renegades – 155/6 (20) – Bravo 59*, Beaton 29 – Stoinis 3-11
Melbourne Stars – 156/2 (18) – Pietersen 67*, Handscomb 39*, Wright 37, Stevenson 1-28
Melbourne Stars win by eight wickets.
Chris Gayle was not his usual self, hitting just a run-a-ball 21. Marcus Stoinis took two wickets in two balls to dismiss Gayle and then Cameron White. Dwayne Bravo came to the crease and batted through to the end, hitting an unbeaten 59 from 37 balls. He was helped by Tim Beaton who hit 29 late on, but Stoinis took his third wicket to restrict the Renegades to just 155.
After taking three wickets, Stoinis was out cheaply, while Luke Wright continued his good form with a quick fire 37 from 26 balls. Kevin Pietersen and Peter Handscomb then put on an unbeaten 94 run partnership to end the game. Dwayne Bravo chipped in with a wicket but it was Pietersen, who finished on 67, who hit the winning runs.
Game 25 – Sunday 10 January
Perth Scorchers – 173/5 (20) – Carberry 62, Klinger 36 – Tait 2-29
Hobart Hurricanes – 172/6 (20) – Paine 57, Sammy 28* – Agar 2-38
Perth Scorchers win by 1 run.
Michael Klinger, the Scorchers captain, carried on his good form, hitting 36 from just 29, while Englishman Michael Carberry hit a rapid 62 to put the Scorchers in a commanding position. Shaun Tait was close to his best with 2-29 in his four overs, but Cameron Bancroft and David Willey got Perth to 173, finishing not out on 26 and 25 respectively.
Ben Dunk and Kumar Sangakkara were out cheaply in the Hurricanes reply, while Tim Paine hit 50 as opening batsman for the Hobart side. Dan Christian, Michael Hill and Jonathan Wells all made starts, but none of them could push on to reach a big score. Ashton Agar took two wickets, as the Hurricanes narrowly missed out on victory, losing by a single run.
Game 26 – Sunday 10 January
Brisbane Heat – 162/8 (20) – Burns 60, Simmons 54 – Abbott 3-8
Sydney Sixers – 156/8 (20) – Lumb 47, Haddin 42 – Swepson 2-26, Cutting 2-41
Brisbane Heat win by 6 runs.
JJ Peirson was out cheaply after his good innings just two days earlier, while Chris Lynn only scored 1. Lendl Simmons and Joe Burns then put on a great partnership, which saw both of them reach the half-century mark. Simmons was out for 54, before Burns was dismissed for 60, as Sean Abbott took three wickets in two overs, restricting Brisbane to 162.
Ed Cowan was out for just 4 in reply, while Michael Lumb went on to hit a quick-fire 47. Brad Haddin then hit 42 from just 24 after Sean Abbott had been dismissed for just a single. However, as their chase looked like reaching its target, Mitchell Swepson and Ben Cutting both took two wickets to seal victory for the Heat, a six run win, just their second in the BBL.
Points Table (through 26 games):
Scorchers – 7, 10
Strikers – 6, 10
Stars – 6, 8
Thunder – 6, 6
Hurricanes – 6, 6
Renegades – 6, 4
Sixers – 7, 4
Heat – 7, 4