Five takes from Sydney Thunder vs Perth Scorchers

Eddie Otto Roar Guru

By Eddie Otto, Eddie Otto is a Roar Guru

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    The Thunder snuck home by three runs last night against the Scorchers at Spotless Stadium. Here are my five main takeaways.

    1. Thunder stay alive
    The Sydney Thunder clung on for a three-run victory over the Scorchers at Spotless Stadium last night to keep their season alive.

    The Thunder looked like they were cruising to an easy victory when they had the Scorchers 4/35 in chase of their 4/175, however an unbroken 137-run partnership between Cameron Bancroft (75 not out) and Hilton Cartwright (65 not out) ensured the game went right down to the final ball when Perth required five runs for victory.

    Earlier in the night, Usman Khawaja entered the BBL with a bang, smashing 85 from 51 balls, to help propel the home side.

    The victory sees the Thunder go to 3-4, probably still requiring to win their next three games to make the finals.

    The Scorchers remain in a good position at 5-2, also with three regular season games remaining.

    2. Khawaja returns in style
    Usman Khawaja looked like he was still on 171 not out at the SCG when he took to the crease last night for his first game in Thunder colours this year.

    Khawaja was a huge factor in the Thunder coming from nowhere to win BBL5, with his imperious batting at the top of the order, and it’s not out of the realms of possibility that the Thunder could get on a similar roll this season if Khawaja continues to see them like he did last night.

    What impressed me so much about his innings last night was his decision to take calculated risks in the Powerplay, and really take the game to the Scorchers.

    Sometimes teams go into their shell against the Scorchers, however the Thunder are not a side that can afford to get off to a slow start, with their middle order lacking hitting power and depth.

    Usman Khawaja celebrates a hundred

    (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    3. Sandhu finds form
    Gurinder Sandhu also returned to form impressively last night, with the very impressive figures of 1/21 from his four overs, as Perth took the long handle to some of the other Thunder senior bowlers.

    Sandhu burst on to the scene somewhat a couple of seasons ago, touring India with Australia A in 2016, and also playing ODIs for his country, however has slid right to the periphery of the NSW squad, and has been in and out of the Thunder line-up over the past couple of seasons.

    At his best, Sandhu can be a very intelligent and deceptive bowler, with his clever changes of pace and ability to hit key deliveries like yorkers and slower ball bouncers.

    If anything, he has suffered from a lack of confidence, and last night’s performance could propel him to being a key factor in the Thunder’s finals charge.

    4. Patterson’s struggles continue
    There is no doubting Kurtis Patterson is a very good cricketer, however I’m not convinced he should be opening the batting for the Thunder.

    In 24 matches Patterson is yet to make a half-century. He averages less than 20, and strikes at 110, which can bring a lot of pressure on a key batsman like Shane Watson coming in at No.3.

    Patterson averages less than a boundary per over and, in the crucial batting Powerplay, the Thunder could experiment by trying someone from their middle order with a bit more hitting ability, and let Patterson come in later in the innings to add depth to their order.

    5. Fumbles continue in the field
    Once again last night we witnessed an array of dropped catches and fumbles that you would not expect from high-level cricketers.

    Maybe it is the pressure of playing in front of big crowds, or the floodlights, but the standard of fielding in the BBL has been hot and cold at best.

    While we have seen some spectacular outfield catches, we have also seen simple ones go astray, as the Thunder put down three catches last night which allowed the Scorchers to stay in the game far longer than they should have.

    Ashton Turner also dropped one that you probably would see taken any day in park cricket around the country.

    There is no more lonely feeling in cricket than dropping a catch, and it’s amazing how often the ball can follow you when you have already spurned a chance.

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • January 12th 2018 @ 4:58pm
      Ben said | January 12th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

      Should have been titled “5 takes from Thunder”.

    • January 12th 2018 @ 7:55pm
      TheCunningLinguistic said | January 12th 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

      The Scorcher’s bowling has been sub-par for the last three games now…

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