Perth Scorchers 3 for 178 (Bancroft 87*, Turner 60) beat Sydney Sixers 5 for 177 (Henriques 38) by seven wickets
Scorchers’ season was hanging in the balance after an even batting performance lifted Sixers to a seemingly sizeable 5 for 177. Turner and Bancroft, however, flipped the match with a blistering 98-run third-wicket partnership in the chase as Scorchers won their second straight match.
Turner, who was called up to Australia’s first ODI against India but not selected, dominated the partnership with a spectacular 30-ball 60. Bancroft sealed the deal in the 19th over with a boundary to finish 87 not out from 61 deliveries – his second consecutive half-century as he returns from the ball-tampering scandal.
Sixers rued their batsmen failing to convert starts as they slipped to a 4-4 record, while the rejuvenated Scorchers are back in the finals hunt at 3-5.
Steady Sixers as Vince debuts
After deciding to bowl, a weakened Scorchers attack hoped to make inroads against an unsettled Sixers who lost opener Justin Avendano during the warm-up. The visitors, however, enjoyed a solid top-order effort with late inclusion Jack Edwards combining in a 42-run opening partnership with Daniel Hughes.
The towering Edwards, even more eye-catching with his flowing blonde locks, had a slice of luck when he was dropped in the second over but settled to blunt Scorchers’ quicks. There was bounce and movement off the green-tinged wicket although it played slower than in previous BBL matches and last month’s low-scoring Test match.
Without Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson, who both starred for Australia in the opening ODI against India, Scorchers looked to out-of-form David Willey for inspiration but the England import was wayward and conceded 17 runs in his first over.
After Edwards fell in the sixth over to a spectacular catch diving forward by debutant Cameron Green, James Vince came to the crease in his first match of the tournament after his compatriot Joe Denly departed for England’s tour of the Caribbean.
The stylish Vince showcased several of his trademark flowing drives against the quicks, but struggled to pick legspinner Usman Qadir and ungainly used his feet in a bid to break the shackles. Vince looked to hit out against pace at the other end, but fell lbw to quick Matt Kelly in the 13th over. He made 28 off 25 balls and helped lay a platform for the Sixers.
Sixers fire at the death despite Tye’s trickery
Sixers were rolling towards an imposing total through Moises Henriques’s belligerent batting. In a purple patch, he smashed 38 off 21 balls, including consecutive sixes off Nathan Coulter-Nile, before spooning a return catch to Andrew Tye.
Much of the burden rested on Tye to restrict the Sixers and he tapped into his bag of tricks with a cross-seam delivery to deceive Henriques. He then removed Jordan Silk to start the 19th over as the Sixers fell to 5 for 150 and appeared to be falling short of their desired score.
But Tye faltered on the fifth ball of the over with a short delivery that flew over wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman and conceded five wides. With newfound momentum, Sixers added an invaluable 18 runs after that with Tom Curran and Josh Philippe, who has the second highest strike rate in the BBL, cashing in.
Klinger’s rut continues in farcical fashion
A chunk of Scorchers’ woes this season can be attributed to Michael Klinger‘s struggles. The BBL’s all-time leading run-scorer has failed to fire putting into question his position at the top of the order.
Klinger’s poor run continued making just 2 after bizarrely being dismissed on the seventh legal delivery of the second over, slicing a short Ben Dwarshuis delivery to Stephen O’Keefe at third man.
O’Keefe dived forward to complete the catch but was unsure if his fingers were underneath the ball. Third umpire Nathan Johnstone was satisfied O’Keefe’s catch was clean but everyone seemed oblivious that Dwarshuis had bowled a seven-ball over – a stunning oversight in modern cricket.
“The incident will be followed up in Cricket Australia’s general match review process and feedback will of course be taken on board,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.
Turner demolishes Sixers
When Whiteman fell in the eighth over, Scorchers were 2 for 65 with the match in the balance. Enter, Turner. His bat sizzled from the get go as he thumped an O’Keefe delivery into the stands with ease on his sixth delivery.
Turner did likewise to Ben Manenti in the next over as he quickly turned the match around with a pyrotechnics show to flatten a shell-shocked Sixers attack. He reached his half-century in just 22 deliveries before falling in the 18th over with victory in sight.
With 210 runs in his past four innings, higher honours await the imperious Turner.