Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Colin Munro, bowlers lift Perth Scorchers to second

ESPNCricInfo
19 Jan 2021, 23:43 GMT+10

Perth Scorchers 5 for 174 (Munro 82, Inglis 25, Morkel 2-24) beat Brisbane Heat 115 (Lynn 27, Ahmed 3-25, Richardson 2-10) by 59 runs

A smartly paced 82 off 54 balls from Colin Munro - his fourth fifty in his last five innings - on a challenging Docklands track lifted the Perth Scorchers to second on the BBL standings. After Munro overcame a sluggish start - he was on 25 off 26 balls at one point - he hit full tilt in the end overs, eventually coming away with a strike rate of 151.85.

Only Chris Lynn, the Brisbane Heat captain, had a better strike rate than Munro in the first match of the season at the Docklands. While Lynn's 27 off 16 balls helped his side pick up the Bash Boost point, it was nowhere near enough for them to make a fist of the chase. From 3 for 96 in the 12th over, the Heat folded for 115 in the 17th. As a result, they stayed sixth, with 21 points from 11 games. At the start of this game, only net run-rate had separated the Heat and the Scorchers.

Bazley: the X-factor or not?

After Jack Wildermuth took out both Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone in his first two overs, the Scorchers regrouped through a 40-run partnership between Munro and wicketkeeper Josh Inglis. With some balls skidding on and others holding in the pitch, both Munro and Inglis opted against taking undue risks.

However, with the arrival of James Bazley as an X-factor sub, replacing Xavier Bartlett, the Heat made further inroads. Bazley first had Inglis slicing a catch to short third man and then snagged a catch at sweeper cover off Morne Morkel to get rid of Cameron Bancroft.

Munro, though, got going with a short-armed boundary off Bazley and in all took the seamer for 19 off nine balls.

Munners goes bonkers

At the end of the 16th over, the Scorchers were 124 for 4. They plundered 50 off the last four, with Munro claiming 32 of those. Munro shovelled allrounder Lewis Gregory for back-to-back sixes and then lined up Mark Steketee for two more boundaries.

The Scorchers held back the Power Surge for the last two overs and although Morkel dismissed Munro with a slower delivery in the 19th, Turner closed out the innings with a pair of violent fours.

Scorchers' variety in the spotlight

A T20 globetrotter, Munro rated Scorchers' attack as one of the best going around, and they showed why on Tuesday. It was Jhye Richardson who set the tone by beating Lynn's outside edge and then finding his inside edge. Andrew Tye, who is more known for his slower variations, cranked it up to 151.2kph and bounced out Joe Burns to leave the Heat at 52 for 3.

Jason Behrendorff's dismissal of Gregory then set in motion a terminal collapse as the Heat lost seven wickets for just 19 runs. After having a relatively cold start to his stint at the Scorchers, legspinner Fawad Ahmed blew hot, taking 3 for 25, including the wicket of Lynn.

Towards the end of the game, the Scorchers received more good news, with their coach Adam Voges hinting to the host broadcaster that Mitchell Marsh could return for their weekend double-header against the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Stars.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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