Recent Match Report – Scorchers vs Thunder 36th Match 2021/22


Report

Scorchers remain at the top of the table despite the loss, while Thunder are now tied on points with second-placed Sydney Sixers

Sydney Thunder 4 for 137 (Sangha 34, Gilkes 32 Tye 2-38 ) beat Perth Scorchers 9 for 133 (Bancroft 30, Sanduhu 4-22, Mahmood 2-42) by 6 wickets (by DLS method)

Gurinder Sandhu claimed a BBL hat-trick as Sydney Thunder continued their stranglehold over league leaders Perth Scorchers with a six-wicket victory in a rain-affected match at Gold Coast.

Sandhu claimed his third hat-trick in Australian domestic competitions to help restrict Scorchers to a modest 9 for 133 off 18 overs on a slow Metricon Stadium pitch. Needing a revised 135 runs off 18 overs, Thunder overcame a late wobble to prevail with six balls to spare.

Thunder have inflicted Scorchers’ their only two losses in ten matches this season after a 34-run win in Canberra on December 28. And they have now pulled level with second-placed Sydney Sixers on 23 points after winning their fourth straight game.

Sandhu’s three-card trick
Sandhu is the only cricketer to have taken two hat-tricks in Australia’s List A competition and achieved the feat this time in the BBL.

It took a while to happen, though, with Sandhu’s first wicket, of Colin Munro, off the last ball of the 12th over, and then he returned to the attack only in the 16th, when he outfoxed Aaron Hardie with a slower ball and then got Laurie Evans when the batter attempted a slog. That made Sandhu the seventh bowler to claim a BBL hat-trick.
His heroics ensured Thunder did not miss Pakistani quick Mohammad Hasnain, who was unavailable because of Queensland’s Covid-19 border restrictions. Thunder showcased their array of talent with a disciplined performance as English import Sadiq Mahmood bade farewell to the BBL with two wickets.
Munro fails to get going
Even though there was a forecast of rain, Scorchers stuck with their preference of batting first, and opener Kurtis Patterson did his best to vindicate that decision with a couple of boundaries in the opening over. But a 25-minute rain break during the third over halted his momentum as Patterson fell giving a catch to extra cover shortly after resumption.

The onus was then on the big hitting Munro, who has had a superb season but looked out of sorts in his last start against Sydney Sixers with a scratchy 36-ball 27. Once again, Munro was unable to find his usual belligerence with a subdued knock of 18 off 20 balls.

Scorchers were rocked by Sandhu’s double-strike in the 16th over, but were given a nudge by Ashton Agar, who threw the bat around – quite literally in the last over – in a handy late cameo.
Thunder get home despite Hales’ struggle
Alex Hales has had a miserable BBL season, exacerbated by contracting Covid-19, which forced him to miss Thunder’s two matches against Adelaide Strikers. He returned, but his touch still deserted him as a frustrated Hales was completely overshadowed by Matthew Gilkes, who smashed Lance Morris for 14 runs in the opening over.

Gilkes’ pyrotechnics eased the burden on Hales, who only scored one run off his first seven deliveries before finally smashing a boundary to end the four-over powerplay. He demonstrated his famed power with a six over long-on to bring up Thunder’s 50 in the seventh over.

His partner departed soon after but Jason Sangha kept the momentum going with some blistering shots around the wicket to underline his burgeoning credentials.

Hales couldn’t shake off his struggles and his 32-ball 26 ended when he holed out in the 13th over and Thunder still had work to do. When Sangha was bowled for 32 in the next over, Thunder appeared tense, needing 40 runs off the final four overs.

But Oliver Davies and Sam Billings steadied the ship with the Englishman finishing his BBL stint in style with the winning boundary.
Scorchers left to rue sloppiness on the field
Scorchers rested spearhead Jason Behrendorff for the second straight game, perhaps sensing it was a good opportunity to give him an extended breather with Tymal Mills playing his final match of the season.
For much of Thunder’s chase, Scorchers seemed out of answers but in trademark style they slowly clawed back into the contest. Mills bowled tightly in the 11th over as Scorchers started turning the screws and they sensed another comeback when Matthew Kelly unleashed a superb yorker to knock over Sangha.
But Scorchers were unusually sloppy under pressure, marked by a crucial drop by wicketkeeper Cameron Bancroft to reprieve Billings when Thunder needed 19 runs off 14 balls.

Even though he struggled late, Mills will be an undeniable loss for Scorchers who will probably hope they don’t see their bogey team Thunder again this season.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth



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