BBL03: No home semi-final after Stars defeat Perth Scorchers

The Perth Scorchers will travel to Sydney to play the Sixers in the semi-finals after losing to Melbourne Stars by 20 runs at the MCG on Monday afternoon.

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The Scorchers needed to win the contest to secure second spot and a home semi-final against Sydney Sixers, but fell short in their pursuit of the Stars’ total of 6-161. The defeat also ends the club’s four-match winning streak ahead of the finals.

Brad Hodge batted well with 61 off 43 balls for the hosts, who were undermanned with a number of first-team players unavailable including Lasith Malinga, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron White. However, John Hastings stepped up in their absence and was named Man of the Match after a fine bowling performance, finishing with 3-20.

Michael Beer, back in the side after missing the past five matches, was Perth’s best with the ball, taking 2-27, while Simon Katich top scored with 30.

Katich combined with Adam Voges for an important fourth-wicket partnership which threatened to take the Scorchers towards the target, but both fell attempting to increase the run rate.

Some late sixes from Jason Behrendorff and Brad Hogg were not enough to help the Scorchers to victory as they ended 9-141.

Earlier, the Stars won the toss and elected to bat with Hodge’s 61 the key to their score. However, Beer claimed two early wickets, while Katich brilliantly ran out David Hussey to have the Stars 3-51.

Despite losing wickets, the Stars continued to maintain a good run rate with Marcus Stoinis (25 off 19) and Peter Handscomb (25no off 17) producing good cameos. Voges claimed the wicket of Stoinis, trapping him LBW.

In reply, the Scorchers lost record-breaker Craig Simmons in the first over, while Mitch Marsh and Sam Whiteman both got starts but couldn’t go on with it. Katich and Voges’ 54-run fourth-wicket stand appeared the key to victory, but the required run rate continued to climb on the experienced duo who eventually hit out.

Hastings dismissed Voges and Ashton Turner in quick succession, before Katich fell caught in the deep off Clive Rose to signal the end for Perth.

“It’s very disappointing”, said Simon Katich. “I thought we had a good start and Michael Beer, after missing about a month of cricket, was brilliant for us and got us off to a good start. After that, after probably five overs, that’s when they got back in the game.

“On that wicket, I thought about 140 was par and that turned out to be the case”, he continued. “We could have batted better, but at the same time, the wicket was gipping a bit and 140 would have been a good score. Towards the back end of the innings, we bowled too many knee-high full-tosses when we were trying to execute death bowling.”

The Scorchers’ semi-final against Sydney Sixers is on Wednesday 5 February at the SCG. Perth enjoyed a famous super over win over the Sixers earlier this season at the same venue, while the Scorchers also beat Sydney at the SCG in BBL|02. The two sides also played out the BBL|01 Final with the Sixers prevailing at #TheFurnace.

“It’s obviously a place where we have played well, but at the same time, if we’re going to be really serious with ourselves, then we’ve got a lot of improving to do with ball and bat”, said Katich about the semi-final at the SCG. “Against the good teams and when the pressure is on, we can’t afford to lapse like we did today.

“At no stage did we string together a partnership that got us back into the match”, he added. “As it was, we were fortunate at the end that the score probably flattered us. The way Jason Behrendorff batted, he performed beautifully and probably made it look a little bit closer than it actually was.”

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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