As we move into the New Year, the BBL is now in full stride. At the halfway mark of the group stages, the table is starting to take shape, and with Hobart beating the table-topping Thunder in Game 15 this week, there is now a three way tie at the top.
Game 13 – Wednesday 30 December
Melbourne Renegades – 170/4 (20) – Finch 72, Gayle 41 – Behrendorff 2-14, Tye 1-25
Perth Scorchers – 171/0 (18.4) – Klinger 90*, S Marsh 76*
Perth Scorchers win by ten wickets.
The Renegades openers, Aaron Finch and Chris Gayle, came out an attacked, and were together for the first 11 overs. Their 98-run partnership was ended when Gayle went for 41. Behrendorff had two wickets in two balls when Cameron White went for a first ball duck.Matthew Wade and Dwayne Bravo chipped in alongside Finch, who departed for 72, as the Renegades hit 170 off their 20 overs.
In reply, the Scorchers were magnificent. Well, two of them were, as Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh batted through. The two took on all six bowlers that faced them, and tore them apart, with the captain, Klinger, finishing unbeaten for the second innings running, on 90. His opening partner, Marsh, was unbeaten on 76, as Perth recorded the first ever 10 wicket victory in BBL history.
Game 14 – Thursday 31 December
Sydney Sixers – 176/5 (20) – Haddin 54*, Cowan 43, Botha 38* – Rashid 3-34
Adelaide Strikers – 182/5 (19.3) – Head 101*, Ludeman 26 – Dwarshuis 3-25
Adelaide Strikers win by five wickets.
The Sydney Sixers put a great total on the board. They started strongly with Michael Lumb and Ed Cowan, who put on a 66-run partnership in the power play overs. Brad Haddin came in at 4 and batted out the innings with a superb unbeaten 54 from just 35 deliveries. However, Adil Rashid stopped the total from being huge with three key wickets.
Craig Simmons and Tim Ludeman started the chase well for the Strikers, both hitting quick fire 20s but it was Travis Head that was the star of the show. His knock of 101 not out got the Strikers to the target, and it was much needed after Mahela Jayawardene was out cheaply. Ben Dwarshuis took three wickets, but the Strikers toppled the Sixers in this one to go joint top in the BBL table.
Game 15 – Friday 1 January
Hobart Hurricanes – 163/6 (20) – Bailey 56*, Wells 27 – McKay 4-28
Sydney Thunder – 152/9 (20) – M Hussey 71, Blizzard 23 – Tait 3-16, Reed 3-35, Boyce 2-24
Hobart Hurricanes win by 11 runs.
The Hurricanes started slowly in their innings, and when Clint McKay had taken the wickets of their top three, they were struggling at 60/3. However, a fantastic unbeaten half-century from George Bailey helped Hobart, along with contributions from Darren Sammy and Jonathan Wells down the order, to 163, a tough score to chase down in Hobart.
Shaun Tait ripped into the Thunder top order, dismissing Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson in his first over. Aiden Blizzard (23) and Ben Rohrer (20) added to the chase, but it was Mike Hussey that lead the way, with a great knock of 71. However, thanks to Jake Reed, who took three wickets, and Cameron Boyce, who took two, the Thunder were not able to chase the 164 target down.
Points Table (through 15 games):
Thunder – 4, 6
Strikers – 4, 6
Hurricanes – 4, 6
Scorchers – 3, 4
Sixers – 5, 4
Stars – 3, 2
Renegades – 3, 2
Heat – 4, 0