Both Hobart and Perth played two BBL fixtures in the past few days, but neither could boast two wins from their games. The Hurricanes lost both while the Scorchers won one and lost one. That final win for the Scorchers has put them top of the table, with the Strikers, who also won this week, right behind them.
Game 19 – Monday 4 January
Hobart Hurricanes – 140/5 (20) – Christian 58, Dunk 37 – Doherty 2-19, Gannon 2-31
Melbourne Renegades – 144/5 (14) – Finch 60, Gayle 41 – Boyce 3-24, Rainbird 2-34
Melbourne Renegades win by five wickets.
Tim Paine was out cheaply for the Hurricanes, and when Sangakkara and George Bailey departed, Hobart were 20/3 off six overs. Ben Dunk and Dan Christian then came together and scored quickly to get the Hurricanes up to an average total, with Jonathan Wells finishing not out 26 as they reached 140. Both Xavier Doherty and Cameron Gannon took two wickets.
Aaron Finch and Chris Gayle went out, and went out hard. The Renegades had 84 off the power play overs, with the West Indian out for 41. Finch went on to pass fifty, eventually being caught for 60, but he had done enough as Cameron White got the ‘Gades over the line with a run-a-ball 15. Cameron Boyce took three wickets but it was not enough as the Renegades took victory.
Game 20 – Tuesday 5 January
Adelaide Strikers – 174/2 (20) – Jayawardene 57, Head 51* – Agar 1-12
Perth Scorchers – 138 (17.3) – Willey 31 – Rashid 2-23, Richardson 2-21, Stanlake 2-28
Adelaide Strikers win by 36 runs.
The Strikers came out with real intent, and did not look like losing from the off in this one. Time Ludemand and Mahela Jayawardene opened the batting with an 84 run partnership, with the Sri Lankan reaching fifty before losing his wicket. Tim Head and Brad Hodge then ended the innings not out, with the former reaching his 50 off just 31 balls. Only Ashton Agar really stemmed the tide.
Constant wickets led to the demise of the Scorchers batting chase. Michael Klinger, Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner and Joel Paris all got starts, but could not go on, dismissed before they got to 20. David Willey hit 31, but he had no help, as three wickets from Adil Rashid, plus two each from Kane Richardson and Billy Stanlake took the Strikers to victory.
Game 21 – Wednesday 6 January
Hobart Hurricanes – 124 (20) – Bailey 55, Wells 22 – Zampa 2-18, Boland 2-26
Melbourne Stars – 126/2 (15) – Maxwell 56*, Wright 51* – Rainbird 1-25
Melbourne Stars win by eight wickets.
After losing early wickets cheaply, once again, George Bailey was the man to play the steady innings, hitting 55 off 40 balls after the Hurricanes had been reduced to 31/4. Jonathan Wells had a little cameo with 22, but two wickets apiece from Adam Zampa and Scott Boland saw the Hurricanes all out on the final ball for just 124.
Marcus Stoinis and Kevin Pietersen were out cheaply for the Stars, but they did not have to worry, with both Luke Wright and Glenn Maxwell staying there till the end in an excellent 99-run third-wicket partnership. They both reached their fifties, with Wright finishing not out 51 and Maxwell not out 56. Just the two wickets were nowhere near enough for the Hurricanes.
Game 22 – Thursday 7 January
Perth Scorchers – 175/5 (20) – Bancroft 72, Agar 68 – Russell 2-31
Sydney Thunder – 145/9 (20) – Russell 42 – Tye 3-22, Behrendorff 3-26, Hogg 2-25
Perth Scorchers win by 30 runs.
The Scorchers captain, Michael Klinger, was dismissed third ball, and when Marcus Harris went, they were 1/2. However, 28 from Shaun Marsh before a 105 run partnership between Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Agar brought Perth back into it. They were both out in the last over, for 72 and 68, respectively, but they had pushed the Scorchers up to 175 in doing so.
The Thunder’s innings never really got going, with wickets falling at regular intervals. Only Andre Russell scored more than 20. The West Indian hit 42 from just 20 deliveries, while his batting partners fell around him. Three wickets each for Andrew Tye and Jason Behrendorff, and two for the old-timer Brad Hogg, saw the Scorchers to a comfortable victory.
Points Table (through 22 games):
Scorchers – 6, 8
Strikers – 5, 8
Stars – 5, 6
Thunder – 6, 6
Hurricanes – 6, 6
Renegades – 5, 4
Sixers – 6, 4
Heat – 5, 2