Recent Match Report – Strikers vs Scorchers 16th Match 2022/23

Perth Scorchers 136 for 7 (Turner 48*, Short 2-11) beats Adelaide Strikers 133 for 7 (Lynn 35, Tye 3-30) by three wickets

Captain Ashton Turner held his nerve to steer Perth Scorchers past league-leaders Adelaide Strikers in a low-scoring thriller at Optus Stadium.

Chasing a modest 134, Scorchers were in disarray at 72 for 6 before Turner and Jhye Richardson combined for a 43-run partnership.

It came down to the decisive 19th over with Turner smashing 16 runs off three deliveries from quick Henry Thornton to effectively ice the match.

Their batting largely revolves around Faf du Plessis and Josh Inglis, both of whom smashed rapid half-centuries against Stars, but fell amid a disastrous first 10 overs here.

Scorchers’ chances appeared slim but Turner never lost his composure and received strong support from Richardson. Turner wisely kept the power surge up his sleeve and finally claimed it in the 19th over with Scorchers needing 19 runs for victory.

Richardson fell first ball in the over before Turner flipped the match on his head with a trio of big blows to whip the home crowd into a frenzy. It was a return to form for Turner whose batting across formats has nosedived in recent years.

Turner, who has played nine ODIs and 18 T20Is for Australia, is highly regarded for his tactical nous and is seen as arguably the best captain in the BBL.

More performances like this could see him return to the national fold, especially with Australia looking for more leadership options in limited-overs cricket.

But Strikers’ brains trust had a plan. They believed Scorchers’ batters weren’t as proficient with the pace off so selected offspinner Ben Manenti for his Strikers debut after crossing over from Sydney Sixers.

It looked like a masterstroke with Manenti snaring the key wicket of Inglis. It was one of four picked up by Strikers’ three spinners.

A tense game went down to the wire and captain Peter Siddle had a major decision to make ahead of the 19th over. He was deliberating between in-form quick Thornton, who had been expensive, and spinners Manenti and Matt Short, who had both performed well earlier in the innings.

Siddle went with Thornton in a move that ultimately backfired.

Spinner Hatzoglou justifies selection

Scorchers’ strong pace attack has been the backbone of their success since the BBL’s inception, particularly on bouncy home surfaces. But for this game, they decided to back legspinner Peter Hatzoglou over seamer Matt Kelly, who was expensive in their season opener against Sixers at Optus Stadium.

Hatzoglou, a key part of Scorchers’ title-winning team last season, didn’t put a foot wrong in their games on the road against Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars. Against Strikers, he repaid the faith with a miserly performance to concede just 22 runs from his four overs.

He bowled well after the powerplay in conjunction with frontline spinner Ashton Agar, which is a blueprint for their attack on the slower pitches on the east coast.

Hatzoglou might just have to be an automatic selection at home too as Scorchers’ spinners superbly backed up a trademark clinical effort from their quicks.

Lynn again fails to capitalize on start

There has obviously been a lot of attention on Chris Lynn, whose long career with Heat netted him the most runs in BBL history. With his new team, Lynn has shown glimpses of his muscular batting but hasn’t been able to play a signature innings yet.

Lynn had a golden opportunity after coming to the crease when Henry Hunt fell in the opening over. Against trademark accuracy from Scorchers’ quicks, Lynn was tied down as Strikers endured their lowest ever four-over powerplay with just 18 runs.

A determined Lynn shed the big shots as he played within himself. Working into his innings, Lynn looked ready to put the foot down with a thumping drive to the boundary off Agar but once again it proved a tease.

Scampering for a quick single, Lynn was brilliantly run out by a direct underarm throw from Jason Behrendorff at cover. His 33-ball 35 top-scored for Strikers, but he would have hoped for so much more.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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