BBL 07, Match 25 Review: Perth Scorchers almost pull off a miraculous comeback
Just three runs separated the Scorchers and one of the greatest comebacks in the history of BBL, if not T20 cricket.
Updated - Jan 11, 2018 6:29 pm
A dramatic and exciting game between the Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers at Sydney personified what BBL is all about. There’s something with this tournament and last over finishes, which never fails to mesmerize the fans. Just three runs separated the Scorchers and one of the greatest comebacks in the history of BBL, if not T20 cricket.
Batting first, the comeback King Usman Khawaja stroked a majestic knock. He was the architect of Thunder’s BBL winning campaign a couple of seasons ago and once again, he’s proven his worth. All this while, he was busy in the Ashes. Despite having a forgettable series, he scored a breathtaking 176 in the final Test which pumped his energy.
And after a few days, he picked up where he left off in the Ashes. After giving a thunderous start to the Thunder in the powerplay, he stitched crucial stands with Shane Watson and Callum Ferguson. One thing that remained the talking point of the innings was the sheer dominance of Khawaja, who didn’t just keep the bowlers quite but also scored the bulk of the runs. Everyone who batted with him, had to play the second-fiddle.
Khawaja eventually fell short of a well-deserved hundred in the 16th over. He was sent back, not before scoring a mind-boggling 85 off 51 balls. Callum Ferguson and Ben Rohrer whipped a few boundaries towards the end, which eventually helped them post 175 in their 20 overs. Tim Bresnan was the pick of the bowlers, who returned with figures of 2/38.
Bancroft and Cartwright do the unthinkable!
People keep talking so highly of the Chennai Super Kings or Mumbai Indians, but it’s important we give the same status to Perth Scorchers. Time and again they manage to bewilder people with the amazing depth they have in their squad. What Cameron Bancroft and Hilton Carwright did on Thursday was flabbergasting, but they still fell three runs short of the target.
After losing 4 wickets inside 7 overs, Scorchers scored just 35 runs on the board. The chips were down, with two youngsters who recently made their international debut in the middle. The targer from that point seemed a million miles away, but these two young guns went walked a long way, with patience and perseverance.
Starting off on a cautious note, the scoring rate started to augment with the required rate creeping up at an alarming rate. Despite adding 50 runs together, no one still expected these two to get anywhere close to the target. But Hilton Cartwright and Cameron Bancroft went berserk in the third quarter of the innings. This eventually led to the game turning from a one-sided dead rubber into an action packed thriller.
Both players completed their half-centuries and 19 runs off the 17th over brought them right back in the game. They needed 45 runs in 3 overs and that was the closest they could’ve come to the target. But a tremendous penultimate over from Gurinder Sandhu meant the Scorchers needed 24 off the final over.
Hang on! The game was still not over. Hilton Cartwright hit a six and a four off the first two balls. Mitchell McCleneghan bowled a no-ball and the equation boiled down to 9 needed from three balls. But the Kiwi fast bowler held his nerve and the Scorchers fell short of their target by 3 runs. It was one of the finest exhibition of strokeplay and courage one can ever come across and this 134-run stand between these two players will remain etched in the memory for a long time.
Sydney Sixers: 175/4 in 20 overs (Usman Khawaja 85; Tim Bresnan 2/38)
Perth Scorchers: 172/4 in 20 overs (Hilton Cartwright 65, Cameron Bancroft 75)
Player of the match: Usman Khawaja