Stars suffered a huge collapse losing 10 for 52 after a brilliant opening stand of 78 between Clarke and debutant Roger
Perth Scorchers 8 for 180 (Patterson 54, Ahmad 2-26) beat Melbourne Stars (Clarke 52, Mills 3-28) by 50 runs
Stars were without 10 first-choice players and their entire coaching staff due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the side and had to call up four players from outside the squad to make up an XI. Scorchers also lost two players and an assistant coach to Covid-19 isolation but Patterson’s 54 and Colin Munro’s 40 from 19 underpinned a winning total of 8 for 180 before Hatzoglou, Tymal Mills and AJ Tye took seven wickets between them to bowl Stars out for just 130.
Stars suffered a huge collapse losing 10 for 52 after a brilliant opening stand of 78 between Joe Clarke and debutant Tom Rogers gave them a chance. Clarke became just the second Stars player to make three consecutive BBL half-centuries with a stunning 52 off 32 while Rogers looked right at home at the level having been plucked from Melbourne grade cricket only a couple of days ago.
Patterson powers and Munro mauls
It was a case of no Marsh and Inglis in the top order and no worries for the Scorchers in the first 10 overs. Patterson and Munro continued their fabulous form. Patterson was savage on anything short, thumping the extra pace of both Brody Couch and Haris Rauf over square leg for six. He lost opening partner Cameron Bancroft to an outstanding direct hit run out from Tom O’Connell, after Bancroft tried to take him on at mid on. But Stars’ joy was only momentary as Munro mauled them with a brutal display of hitting. He tucked into debutant Xavier Crone launching him over long-on with the breeze. He reverse swept Qais Ahmad with power behind square and then destroyed Glenn Maxwell as he tried to sneak in a fourth over to the two left-handers. Munro clubbed consecutive sixes down the ground to ruin Maxwell’s figures and set Scorchers on their way. The pair put on 68 in 6.2 overs to move to 1 for 95 from 8.5 with Munro torching 40 off 18. But he gifted his wicket away to O’Connell off his 19th ball and the last of the 9th over, hitting a waist-high full toss straight down deep square’s throat. It sparked a collapse with Scorchers losing 3 for 21 in 19 balls, Patterson the third to fall also picking out deep square off Haris Rauf.
Oxenford overturns himself
There is no DRS in the BBL due to difficulties getting the equipment to Australia because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Experienced umpire Bruce Oxenford used his own personal DRS to reverse a decision he made in the 14th over. Crone bounced Ashton Turner who tried to hook and the ball brushed the helmet on the way through to keeper Clarke. Stars appealed for caught behind and Oxenford gave it out straight away only to cancel his decision immediately. His correction came at the same moment Turner gestured that the ball hit his helmet. Maxwell politely inquired with Oxenford as to what happened, with the exchange broadcast on Fox Cricket. “I realised the second I put my finger up,” Oxenford told Maxwell. “Don’t get sucked in by it,” Maxwell said in reference to Turner gesturing to his helmet. “No, no, I’m not,” Oxenford said. It was an important moment in the game as Turner was 10 off 9 and he went on to make 27 off 19. He was eventually out in another interesting incident. He was run out backing up after Ashton Agar thumped a straight drive back at Couch and the quick got a touch on it before it hit the stumps. Oxenford casually walked away to check with Couch that he touched it before giving Turner out, without ever checking with the TV umpire. Laurie Evans was also given out lbw earlier by Oxenford when he may have hit it. Scorchers had a good power surge taking 26 thanks to Turner and Agar’s mix of power and touch. Agar made 19 from 16 including a powerful strike off Rauf. But Qais bowled superbly either side of the surge to take 2 for 26 from four, as Scorchers scored just 77 from their last 10 overs.
Classy Clarke finds an ally
Clarke looked a class above at the start of the chase but he got outstanding from Rogers in his first T20 game, and first domestic game of any description. Rogers looked right at home in his first over pulling Jason Behrendorff through square leg and then charging to drill a length ball over mid-off. Clarke then smashed six boundaries in the next 11 balls. He sat very deep in the crease and punished anything fractionally back of a length. The pair delivered Stars’ first half-century opening stand in 29 matches and scored a boundary in every over in the first eight overs, bar the sixth, as they put on 78. Clarke was the main aggressor bringing up his half-century from 29 balls with an incredible strike off Agar into the breeze. But Rogers wasn’t to be outdone slog sweeping Hatzoglou out of the ground.
Stars tied up by Tye and Hatzoglou
Tye’s international experience proved the difference. Bowling into a strong breeze with a short boundary straight he was brave enough to back his slower balls in and it paid dividends with Clarke miscuing one to long-off. Hatzoglou could then switch ends and wheel away down breeze and he took two key wickets. Rogers had clobbered him twice, once over midwicket downwind, and then once inside out over cover. But a well-executed reverse sweep picked out backward point and Stars fell in a heap. Maxwell scored just 4 off 7 and was cleaned bowled through the gate by Hatzoglou’s trademark drift and angle into the right-hander. It sparked a collapse of 10 for 52. The legspinner finished with 2 for 27 from 4 overs while Tye took 2 for 11 from three. Mills picked up three late wickets.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo