Mitchell Marsh is quite strong down the ground © Getty Images
Perth Scorchers 3 for 213 (Marsh 93*, Bancroft 41*, Zahir 1-33) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 179 (Banton 55, Burns, Paris 2-29, Jhye 2-34) by 34 runs
A belligerent Mitchell Marsh powered Perth Scorchers to their highest BBL score and an important 34-run victory over Brisbane Heat at Perth Stadium.
After electing to bat, the Scorchers captain took advantage of a batting paradise with an astounding 41-ball unbeaten 93 highlighted by eight sixes to energise the Scorchers faithful. Marsh, who notched his highest BBL score, dominated a 124-run partnership with Cameron Bancroft (41*) to lift the home side to a mighty 3 for 213.
In reply, Tom Banton hit a rapid 55 but lacked support as the Scorchers easily won for just the fourth time from 12 attempts at Perth Stadium. It was their second straight victory over Heat in as many weeks.
Pattinson struggles amid Scorchers flurry
Australian Test fast bowler James Pattinson had a tough BBL season debut when a pumped-up Josh Inglis cracked his first ball to the boundary in a sign of things to come. Pattinson’s struggles forced captain Chris Lynn to turn to in-form spinner Zahir Khan in the third over, but Inglis – who hit six boundaries in his first 12 deliveries – was unperturbed as he pounced on uncharacteristically loose bowling.
Inglis looked unstoppable until he tamely chipped back to Josh Lalor. Inglis’ exit meant a return of Pattinson, but his horror start continued when Max Bryant dropped a sharp chance at backward point to reprieve Sam Whiteman in the fifth over.
After a sedate start, Liam Livingstone found his groove and attacked Zahir in the sixth over to cap off an outstanding Powerplay for the Scorchers, where they amassed 63 runs.
Ben Laughlin deceived Whiteman with a slower delivery as Heat dried the runs. But with big-hitters Livingstone and Marsh at the crease, Scorchers appeared well poised at 2 for 87 in ten overs.
Marsh eviscerates Heat
The Heat clawed back when a frustrated Livingstone ungainly fell to a Zahir full toss, as the contest tightened in the middle overs. The Scorchers failed to score a boundary for six overs with Marsh and Bancroft content on knocking the ball around on the wide expanses of Perth Stadium.
Marsh ended the drought in the 14th over when he clubbed a Laughlin short delivery into the crowd to signal his intentions. He set his sights on a returning Pattinson in the 16th over with two sixes to further dent the big quick’s grim figures, where he finished 0 for 52 from 4 overs.
Bancroft joined the party with several lusty blows to expose the Heat’s lack of bowling depth. Marsh was dropped by Banton on 54 and made them pay with an outrageous flick into the crowd off Lalor in the 19th over followed by another six.
Marsh then outdid himself with three successive sixes off Laughlin to complete the innings in style and ensure the Scorchers easily beat their previous highest BBL score of 7 for 203.
Heat lose wickets around aggressive Banton
The Heat needed a flyer and Banton got them rolling with a slew of boundaries off the Scorchers’ rotating quicks. His most astounding shot was a premeditated ramp shot off Jhye Richardson in the fourth over to fuel hope for the Heat. But his partner Bryant couldn’t get going and holed out moments later to bring Lynn to the crease.
Marsh unsuccessfully tried Fawad Ahmed inside the Powerplay with the spinner leaking 19 runs marked by a towering six from Lynn over long-off. The partnership menaced until Lynn holed out to a brilliant catch from a sliding Livingstone to put the onus on Banton.
Straight after the Powerplay, Joel Paris, who replaced youngster Matthew Kelly in the team, claimed Matt Renshaw as the Scorchers continued to chip away. Banton proved a thorn and brought up his half-century with a crunching straight drive off Marsh, but fell shortly after when he skied a return catch to Chris Jordan.
His dismissal left the Heat 4 for 89 at the halfway point with their faint hopes slipping away.
Party time for Scorchers
After his tough start, Ahmed bowled much better in the middle overs to shackle the Heat, who did not score a boundary for five overs. Ben Cutting needed to hit top gear immediately but couldn’t get going.
He had a reprieve in the 15th over when Cameron Green dropped a sitter and then smashed a six next ball. Green breathed easier when Cutting’s luck ended when he hit straight to backward square leg to effectively end the contest.
The backend was party time for the Scorchers on the disco themed night at Perth Stadium, as the Heat’s three-game winning streak ended.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo