BBL 07, Match 38, Review: Perth Scorchers seal the top spot by beating Strikers in a thriller

BBL 07, Match 38, Review: Perth Scorchers seal the top spot by beating Strikers in a thriller

Voges was named the player of the match for his heroic knock.

Adam Voges
Adam Voges of the Scorchers. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Perth Scorchers have defeated Adelaide Strikers by four wickets in their final league game at the historic WACA ground on Thursday. By the virtue of this win, the defending champions have sealed the top spot after playing all their 10 matches of the league stage. It was the top of the table clash in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) which expectedly went right down to the wire. However, both the teams have already made it to the knockout stages and are likely to clash again in the finals.

After being invited to bat first, Strikers lost their new opener, Jonathan Dean, early even as his partner Jake Weatherald farmed more strike. All the batsmen seemed to be struggling on a slow pitch as the bowlers also used their variations cleverly. The likes of Jonathan Wells and Colin Ingram were dismissed soon after. But it was Weatherald who held the innings together and slammed a crucial 56 off just 43 deliveries and was sent back to the hut in the 16th over.

However, it was the assault from Alex Carey and a calm hand from Jake Lehmann which propelled Strikers to a competitive total of 137/6 after their 20 overs. Jhye Richardson celebrated his maiden Test call-up to the national side by bowling with the sheer raw pace picking 2 wickets conceding only 23 runs. Matthew Kelly and Tim Bresnan were the other wicket-takers for the home side.

The thrilling chase

Adelaide Strikers were not going to make it easy for the Scorchers in the chase. They hustled and bustled the batsmen by unleashing their variations with the ball. Soon the hosts were reeling at 28/4 with Rashid Khan picking key wickets of Hilton Cartwright and Ashton Turner on successive deliveries. Earlier, the openers Sam Whiteman and Michael Klinger were sent back to the hut. Then the skipper Adam Voges and Cameron Bancroft came together and resurrected the innings.

They mixed caution with aggression and stitched a partnership of 77 runs in less than 11 overs. Though Rashid Khan returned for his final spell and castled Bancroft on 49 which brought back the visitors in the game once again. Ben Laughlin bowled an excellent penultimate over then and conceded only 4 runs scalping Ashton Agar in the process. Michael Neser took the ball in the last over with 10 runs to defend.

However, Voges ended the contest by smashing a sensational six off the first ball of the over which also brought up his brilliant century. Bresnan finished the game with yet another six as Scorchers sealed the game with 3 balls to spare. Credit has to be given to the bowlers of Strikers who made the match out of a small total and at one stage it even looked like they would win the game.

But the resilient Voges stood in their way and stole the match to end up at the top of the tree in the points table. He remained unbeaten on 56 off 45 balls with 6 fours and a solitary six and was deservedly awarded Man of the Match. Rashid Khan was at his best again picking 3 wickets while going for just 20 runs in his 4 overs. Billy Stanlake and Laughlin were also economical during their spells picking a wicket each.

Brief Scores

Adelaide Strikers 137/6 after 20 overs (J Weatherald 56; J RIchardson 2/23)

Perth Scorchers 141/6 after 19.3 overs (A Voges 56*, C Bancroft 49; R Khan 3/20)

Result: Scorchers won by 4 wickets

Man of the Match: Adam Voges