The match in a tweet: Wickets for AJ Tye, runs for Cam Bancroft and an all-important second win of BBL08 for the Scorchers!
The Score: Melbourne Stars 6-146 (Dunk 62, Gulbis 37; Tye 4-18) lost to Perth Scorchers 4-147 (Bancroft 59, Turner 43*; Bravo 2-18) by six wickets in 17.4 overs at the MCG
The Hero: Andrew Tye picked up the first four-wicket haul of the season, with his brilliant spell helping restrict the Stars after Ben Dunk and Evan Gulbis (37) made a promising start. He found his first breakthrough when he had new Stars captain and recruit Nic Maddison out caught behind fending away a bouncer – one that closely resembled the delivery which broke his arm at the same venue late last year – and his second came when he bowled the dangerous Dwayne Bravo for a two-ball duck. Jonathan Merlo and Seb Gotch, both caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile, capped off a superb spell.
The Comeback: Cameron Bancroft struck his biggest score since his Big Bash return, powering his way to 59 from 42 deliveries. Bancroft’s first three innings back in the Scorchers orange had yielded scores of 2, 19 and 24, but the 26-year-old found form at the MCG. He brought up his first half-century of BBL|08 from 36 deliveries and cleared the ropes twice before finally coming unstuck in the 14th over, stumped by a short-sleeved Seb Gotch off the bowling of Liam ‘the Wizard’ Bowe.
The Big Knock: Ashton Turner doused any hopes of a Stars victory with his entertaining 43no from just 22 deliveries. The Scorchers skipper reached the boundary twice and cleared it three times during his short-but-sweet stay at the crease, steering his team to just their second win of BBL|08.
The Consolation Act: After a torrid start to BBL|08, Stars opener Dunk finally started to find his groove against the Scorchers. Before Wednesday, his highest scores of the season had been the 32 he scored against the Renegades, followed by 13 against the Thunder. He had a bit of luck against Perth and was able to capitalise, hammering six fours and a six in a 47-ball 62. Twice the BBL’s leading run-scorer, the Stars couldn’t have asked for a better time for their opener to break his drought, given the absence of stars Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis from their batting line-up.
The Fielding Blues: The Scorchers were let down by a series of errors in the field during the Stars’ batting innings. First, Dunk was dropped over the rope by Usman Qadir, allowing the Stars opener to reach fifty, before a missed run out opportunity handed Seb Gotch a life. Gotch was then given a second chance when Will Bosisto dropped a sitter.
The Next Stop: The Stars now fly to Adelaide, where they’ll meet the Strikers on Friday night. For the Scorchers, they return west and will host the Sydney Sixers at Optus Stadium as part of an epic BBL triple-header on Sunday.
Stars XI: Ben Dunk, Evan Gulbis, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson (c), Seb Gotch (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Jonathan Merlo, Liam Plunkett, Scott Boland, Michael Beer, Liam Bowe
Scorchers XI: Michael Klinger, Cameron Bancroft (wk), Ashton Turner (c), Hilton Cartwright, William Bosisto, Aaron Hardie, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, David Willey, Andrew Tye, Usman Qadir.