With most teams having played six matches in this season’s Big Bash, it is the Adelaide Strikers, who are setting the top of the Points Table, level with the Perch Scorchers, but having played one game less, with both teams having now lost their 100% records in the past week.
First, it was the turn of the Strikers who suffered defeat at the hands of the Hobart Hurricanes, for whom Darcy Short starred with an innings of 96, off just 56 balls. The next day, the Scorchers were beaten for the first time by the Brisbane Heat, with Brisbane bowler Brendan Doggett claiming 5 for 35.
And, in the latest match the Scorchers narrowly failed to beat the Sydney Thunder after a thrilling encounter, with the returning Usman Khawaja scoring 85 and helping the Thunder to 175 for 4, with Perth falling short by 3 runs, despite the best efforts of another test returnee – Cameron Bancroft (75 not out) - and Hilton Cartwright (65 not out).
Both teams have beaten the Melbourne Renegades in the past week but, despite these losses, the Renegades find themselves third in the table, ahead of the Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes on Net Run Rate, and had the satisfaction of winning the derby with their local rivals, the Melbourne Stars, with Mohammad Nabi claiming the man of the match award with a wicket and 52 runs in the middle order.
That was just one of the five defeats that the Stars have suffered in the League so far this season, and they find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table with the Sydney Sixers (who have played one game more), with both teams pointless so far. Both teams’ chances of reaching the semi-final stage already looked to be over, whilst the Thunder have pulled themselves back into contention with their latest win.
One factor that will now impact the various teams is the end of the Ashes series and the start of the ODIs with England. This has affected the sides in various ways. For example, the Scorchers will benefit from the return from the Test side, of Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft, who has already made a contribution, but they have lost quick bowlers Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye to the Australian national team, whilst David Willey has left to join-up with England.
The Strikers, by contrast, are relatively unaffected, losing only captain Travis Head, although he is one of their main performers with the bat. Elsewhere, the Thunder have been boosted by the return of Usman Khawaja, who played a leading role in his first match back, and England’s James Vince, although they have lost his countryman in the form of Jos Buttler.