Under-pressure Scorchers coach Adam Voges has been denied a precious win, after rain forced the abandonment of their crucial Big Bash League clash against the Stars on Wednesday night.
Colin Munro, Joe Clarke and Ashton Turner performed blistering innings before the rain made its presence felt and the match between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars had to be called off. Both teams were given two points each – 1.5 for a no-result and 0.5 for Bash Boost.
The Scorchers had belted 6-158 from 17 overs when the heavens opened, with imports Colin Ingram (49) and Joe Clarke (34) feasting on the Stars’ attack which didn’t include star bowler Adam Zampa. Asked to bat, Munro (36-ball 49), Clarke (16-ball 34) and Turner (17-ball 39) produced some fireworks before the Stars made a comeback and reduced Perth to 158/6 in 17 overs.
That’s when the rain intensified and the match was stopped for an hour and a half. Melbourne was given a revised target of 76 in six overs but only 1.1 overs were possible in the second innings as the rain made a comeback and the match had to be called off.
It was a bit cloudy at Launceston and Billy Stanlake and Nathan Coulter-Nile got decent movement with the new ball. Having got out cheaply in the first encounter, Munro and Josh Inglis were slightly cautious with their approach but managed a boundary each in the first two overs. Inglis, who slammed over 400 runs last season, however once again failed to contribute much as he was caught at mid-wicket after mistiming a pull shot off Stanlake. The two pacers bowled with pretty good control in the Powerplay and didn’t allow Perth to get off to a rapid start.
In at No. 3, Clarke, though, didn’t allow the Stars bowlers to dictate terms and went after Tom O’Connell. The legspinner was playing his first game of the season and Clarke didn’t allow him to settle in. The right-hander from England smoked him for a couple of sixes and then took the attack to Clint Hinchliffe in the very next over. Munro too started to get into his groove as Perth accumulated 32 runs in the space of two overs.
The Stars clearly missed the services of Adam Zampa who was rested for this game and skipper Glenn Maxwell straightaway introduced Liam Hatcher into the attack after two expensive overs from the spinners. The right-arm paceman, who took three wickets on his debut against Sydney Thunder, was at it again as he had Clarke (16-ball 34) caught behind off his very first delivery. Hatcher then got rid of Mitchell Marsh on the very next delivery and could have killed all the momentum Perth had gained from the previous two overs.
The onus was now on Munro to step up and the left-hander from New Zealand didn’t disappoint. The 33-year-old started finding boundaries at regular intervals and found good support from his captain Turner. The frontline spinners didn’t have a great day and Melbourne used their X-factor sub, replacing O’Connell with Ben Dunk to add more depth to the already long batting line-up, knowing they might be chasing a massive total.
While Munro was scoring at a decent rate, Turner turned the game on its head by smashing five sixes in the space of two overs. He first smoked Maxwell for a couple of sixes and then blasted Hilton Cartwright for 23 runs. Turner hit 39 off just 17 deliveries before falling to Nic Maddinson. The Scorchers were scoring at more than 10 runs per over and Maxwell had no other option but to bring his frontline seamers back into the attack.
However, it was the part-timer Maddinson who was getting all the important wickets. The left-arm spinner didn’t just slow things down but also had Munro (36-ball 49) caught at deep mid-wicket one short of a well-deserved fifty. Maddinson only conceded eight runs in his two overs and also picked up two massive wickets. The departure of Turner and Munro affected Perth’s scoring rate in a big way.
The Scorchers took the Power Surge (overs 17-18) to up the ante but kept losing wickets. Stanlake bowled his final over in the Power Surge and finished with figures of 2/28 before it started raining at Launceston and spoiled all the fun.