In a battle between two sides on the middle and lower half of the points table, the Perth Scorchers defeated the Adelaide Strikers by 7 wickets at the Adelaide Oval on Friday, December 31 to open their winning account in the ongoing Big Bash League.
With the help of this win against the Strikers, the Scorchers have gone up to the sixth position on the points table of the league with eight teams, while the Strikers are holding forth on the fourth position with three wins and three losses in their six matches this season.
Chasing a modest target of 147 runs, the Scorchers were powered off to a rapid start on the back of Jason Roy who went on to score a 32-ball-49 and followed by finishing efforts from the bats of Micthell Marsh and Josh Inglis. Marsh remained unbeaten on 24-ball-38 while Inglis carried his bat with 44 not out to help the Scorchers register their first win.
Roy was in exquisite form from the very first over off Daniel Worral and made his intention clear that the required rate of almost seven runs per over doesn't necessarily mean he will take his time to settle down. Coming to bowl from the other end, Peter Siddle was treated with the same disdain, but the pacer managed to get hold off Roy and ended up conceding only five runs.
The gap between Roy and his opening partner Liam Livingstone was growing wider and wider as Roy put Worral to the sword in his next over, taking 11 runs off him.
At the end of the mandatory powerplay, Scorchers were well on their way to chase 147 runs, but Carey had his main weapon—Rashid Khan up his sleeve and he was brought into the attack right after the field restriction. Roy wasn’t to be disturbed one bit and reverse swept Rashid on his first ball to send a signal to the Strikers’ camp that the run chase was well and truly on, that too at a more rapid pace than required. Worral was again treated with disdain in the next over and by the end of seven overs, Scorchers had piled more than 50 runs without losing any wicket.
Roy was equally aggressive as Wes Agar returned with his second over of the spell and the pacer was welcomed by Roy in emphatic fashion. However, Agar was good enough to find an element of surprise and extracted extra bounce off the pitch to leave Roy playing uncomfortably, and the leading edge was snaffled comfortably by Rashid Khan at the cover region.
Livingstone did not get too much of a strike when Roy was going all guns blazing at the other end, and he could not get going when he started getting the strike. In the end, Agar was better of him as well with his extra bounce as the right-hander tried to guide a delivery outside off stump to the third man for a single.
Colin Munro batted at the number three and Josh Inglis came to bat after the fall of Livingstone as the duo had to make sure the run-rate doesn't go higher than the manageable level, while also keeping wickets in hands. Munro throughout his career has struggled to pick leg spinners and in the end, Rashid Khan proved to be too good for him in the 11th over.
At the end of the 11 th over, the Scorchers were 85/3 with Mitchjellmarsh and Inglis at the crease and required rate plummeting down to 6.89 runs per over. The duo kept the scoreboard going with odd boundaries as Agar got on the wrong end of Marsh and yielded 15 runs in his third over that spoiled his bowling figure.
At the end of the 15th over, the Scorchers took the power surge and Agar was trusted by Carrey to keep a check on the Scorchers' duo, but it wasn’t to be as Both Marsh and Inglis took full toll of the field restriction and shifts the momentum that never allowed Strikers to come back in the game.
Earlier in the night, the Perth Scorchers’ captain Asthon Turner won the bat flip and they sent in the Strikes on an Adelaide Oval pitch that promised to offer some assistance with the new ball. Jhye Richardson vindicated his skipper’s call and dismissed Phil Salt in the very first over and when Aaron Hardie got Jake Weatherald top-edging to Inglis in the third over, the Strikers were on the backfoot in the initial phase of the game itself.
Jason Behrendorff released a bit of pressure in the fourth over as the pair of Matt Renshaw and Carey started to look fluent in the middle. Carey was particularly severe against Andrew Tye, who also did not help his cause bowling two back to back half volleys and the Strikers’ captain was not to miss out on the chance to get his team back in the momentum.
Aaron Hardie came back in his second over and dismissed Renshaw to peg back the Strikers and when Jonathan Wells got run out in the 10th over, Carey had his tasks cut out to take his side to a defendable total.
He wasn’t helped by his teammates and wickets kept falling around him but the left-hander held his composure and made sure that his side did not wither away before reaching a total his bowlers could attempt to defend.
He cut loose once again against Tye and deposited him over the sightscreen in the 19th over that yielded 16 runs for the Strikers. He would have hoped for similar returns in the remaining two overs, but Jhye Richardson and Aaron Hardie were too good and gave away only four and eight runs in their respective overs. Carey was dismissed by Richardson after a magnificent 59-ball-82 that helped the Strikers post a respectable total.
This Scorchers’ win has opened up the contest in the Big Bash League with the Strikers equaling their number of wins and losses this season while the Scorchers coming off the mark with their first win the BBL this year.
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The end of the year has brought delight for Kane Williamson as he has moved to the top spot in the ICC Test Rankings for the batsmen. Apart from this injured Umesh Yadav is returning home while T.Natarajan has been roped in the side for the Tests against Australia. Here are the more updates from the day. Kane Williamson takes top spot New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has surpassed Virat Kohli and Steve Smith to take the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for the batsmen. Williamson scored a fine double ton against West Indies at home and then smashed 129 runs in the first Test against Pakistan in Hamilton. The home side eventually won that match by 101 runs. The hundred against Pakistan gave Williamson 13 points taking his tally to 890. The right-handed batsman is now ahead of Kohli and Smith by 11 and 13 points respectively. Umesh Yadav ruled out of remainder against Australia Umesh Yadav has been ruled out of the Test series against Australia after sustaining a calf injury during the second match in Melbourne. T.Natarajan has been included in the squad after Yadav’s departure. Natarajan made his limited overs debut against Australia earlier on this tour. The four-match series between India and Australia is levelled at 1-1 after the visiting team won the second match by 8 wickets. Neil Wagner to miss Christchurch Test New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner will miss the Christchurch Test against Pakistan. Wagner had injured his toe during the first match of the series. The left-arm pacer showed some intent and continued to bowl during the first encounter and even picked up the important wicket of Fawad Alam who scored a ton in the second innings. He eventually returned with figures of 2/55. "Neil was absolutely outstanding," Stead was quoted as saying by Reuters. "I don't think there are too many individuals who could do what he did in that test match.” "Neil hasn't travelled with us. The injections he was getting (to lessen the pain) were wearing off (quickly) and we can't let him go through that again." The second match between the two sides Is slated to begin on January 3 at Hagley Oval. BCCI denies Yuvraj Singh’s request to come out of retirement The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has turned down Yuvraj Singh’s permission to come out of retirement and play in domestic circuit. The Punjab state team had requested Yuvraj to play for the domestic side and also mentor the young players. Talking to Asianet Newsable, Yuvraj’s father Yograj has said, “Meanwhile, besides playing, giving back to the boys and Indian cricket is very important. If he can produce four-five players for the country in the coming years, it would be great. I will be very, very happy. He continues to practice even today.” Perth Scorchers beat Adelaide Strikers Perth Scorchers defeated Adelaide Strikers by 7 wickets in Adelaide. Chasing 148 in 20 overs, Perth went over the line in the 18th over. Jason Roy struck 49 off 32 while Josh Inglis and Mitchell Marsh remained unbeaten at 44 and 38 respectively. Earlier, Jhye Richardson scalped three wickets for 19 in 4 overs for Perth. For Adelaide, it was Alex Carey who was the lone warrior for the side as he scored 82 in 49 balls.
Sydney Thunder’s off-spinner Chris Green had started the year 2020 on a horrible note, even before the pandemic had hit the world. He was reported for illegal action by umpires Nathan Johnstone, Mike Graham-Smith and third umpire Paul Wilson on January 2 after Thunder’s game against Melbourne Stars. A week later, he was banned from bowling for three months after the testing found his arm extending beyond the limit of 15 degrees, but his return to competitive cricket got delayed to the pandemic that wreaked havoc across the world. The start of the year 2021 will mark the completion of one year of him begging reported for the first time, and ironically it was in the game against the Melbourne Stars that Green claimed his best bowling performance in the Big Bash League. In the 19th match of the ongoing edition of the BBL, Green registered his best bowling spell where he took four big wickets of Marcus Stoinis and Andre Fletcher, Ben Dunk and Nic Maddinson. Now, after making a successful return to cricket, Green is looking back at the time of his suspension and the subsequent period of lockdown that delayed his return as a blessing in disguise. He believes the pandemic provided him extra time to go back to the basics and change the mechanics of his action to come back even stronger. "I was one of the few that probably took COVID as a blessing. I had a six-month training block pretty much instead of three months to train hard and make the necessary changes. So it did take a lot of time. But I had the time to groove it and had the support to groove it,” Green told Australian Associated Press (AAP). Green’s assertion of the Covid-19 hel[ping him regain focus and work with changed action has borne fruit as the off-spinner has scalped 19 wickets in T20 cricket at an average of 20.50 runs per wicket. Green’s stock ball—off-spinner, and as well as faster deliveries under the scanner and Green has worked hard to eradicate the flaws. He has changed the momentum in the crease and with the effort of putting his body in a better shape, he believes his control of bowling those deliveries have actually got better. The changes I made meant that my body is working together, rather than fighting against it. I've ensured that that's happening now and when it's all working together it gives me more opportunity to have control over the ball and execute. It has helped me incorporate new deliveries that I wasn't physically capable of doing before,” Green said. Green is pragmatic about the limited prospect of him becoming an out and out spinner of the ball in the Australian condition, but he also relishes the challenges when he has to be depended on the spin on the ball to bring results. “I've now just got a better shape on the ball and particularly in spinning conditions. In Australia, I'm not really going to spin the ball much but overseas when conditions do help I am spinning the ball and feeling good,” Green added. Green has taken 10 wickets in the five matches his team the Sydney Thunder have played in the ongoing edition of BBL, and he will be looking forward to helping his side maintain its standing on the points table where they are currently at the number two position.
New Zealand’s pacer Neil Wagner has been ruled out of the second and final Test of the ongoing series against Pakistan. The left-arm pacer has not travelled with the team to Christchurch where the second Test will be played from January 03. Wagner injured his toe while batting on the second day of the first Test and had to take pain killer actions to bowl through both the innings of Pakistan and head coach Gary Stead said that the team does not want him to go through the same pain again. Wagner will need up to six weeks of time to recover from the injury. “Neil hasn’t travelled with us. The injections he was getting were wearing off and we can’t let him go through that again,” coach Garry Stead said to reporters. He braved broken toes to bowl lengthy spells on the final day where the Blackcaps needed six wickets in the final session, and he got the better of centurion Fawad Alam and the top score for Pakistan in the first innings—Faheem Ashraf. “Neil was absolutely outstanding. I don’t think there are too many individuals who could do what he did in that test match,” Stead told reporters after the team’s arrival in Christchurch. Right arm pacer Matt Henry who often finds a place in the playing XI in case of any injury to first-choice quicks, is under contention to find a spot in the XI at the Hagley Oval.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has turned down former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh’s request of returning back to the game and play domestic cricket. The Punjab Cricket Association had earlier requested Yuvraj to play the domestic cricket for the state team as well as mentor the youngsters. Talking to Asianet Newsable, Yuvraj’s father Yograj has said that the left-handed cricketer still practices and can mentor the young crop. Meanwhile, besides playing, giving back to the boys and Indian cricket is very important. If he can produce four-five players for the country in the coming years, it would be great. I will be very, very happy. He continues to practice even today," Yograj told. I think it's all about how you feel. I believe it is very important to give back. If you are doing so, I think that is the greatest thing you are doing rather than playing cricket,” he added. Yuvraj had hung his boost in June last year but was set to come out of retirement. He was in fact included in Punjab’s list of 30 probables. The former cricketer played a massive role in India’s successful run during the World T20 in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011. India won the two tournaments under the leadership of MS Dhoni.