Brilliant batting from Sam Billings and Jason Sangha helped Sydney Thunder claim its biggest win of the Big Bash League season, knocking off the previously unbeaten Perth Scorchers at Manuka Oval.
Having posted 7-200 after being asked to bat first, Thunder found huge early wickets – including that of the red-hot Mitch Marsh – to eventually claim a 34-run win on Tuesday in front of 9740 fans.
Meeting in the middle at 2-23, Billings and Sangha immediately went about seizing control and added 113 for the third wicket in the match’s defining partnership.
Man-of-the-match Billings drove beautifully for four off his first ball and quickly pulled another boundary, but an elegant back-foot cut to Ashton Agar’s spin confirmed the Englishman was on song.
"That was probably the most complete performance we've put together."
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 28, 2021
Sangha, who finished with 56 not out off 46 balls and played a steady innings, allowed his English partner to go ballistic at the other end.
Billings’ 67 off 35 balls included 10 fours and two sixes, the highlight of which was a monstrous six where the ball hit the roof of the Bob Hawke Stand and ended out of the stadium.
Danger Perth quick AJ Tye found an edge to dismiss Billings at 3-136, but he didn’t complete his over after being taken out of the attack by the umpires after bowling two dangerous above waist-high no balls in his next three deliveries to Alex Ross.
🔥 Saqib Mahmood 🔥
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 28, 2021
Facing a daunting chase, the Scorchers’ innings could not have started any worse with opener Josh Inglis bowled by Saqib Mahmood for a golden duck with the second ball of the innings.
The in-form Marsh managed just six before he chipped Nathan McAndrew to deep mid-wicket and Kurtis Patterson joined him in the sheds three balls later to leave Perth reeling at 3-17.
Having steadied somewhat, a brilliant McAndrew slower ball knocked over Scorchers captain Ashton Turner to make it 4-44, but Colin Munro led the resistance and helped them to 4-77 at the halfway mark.
'WOWWW'! What a way to bring up your second half century of #BBL11
Sam Billings with a BKT Golden Moment on the roof! pic.twitter.com/CdeXdSjXe2
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2021
Laurie Evans then picked out the deep mid-on fielder with the first ball of the power surge overs to leave Perth 5-87.
AJ Tye came in late and whacked 44 off 25 balls including three big sixes and Munro batted out the overs to post an unbeaten 64 off 43 balls.
But the Scorchers were never in the frame and finished their 20 overs at 8-166.
Mahmood took 2-29 off his four overs with McAndrew the best of the bowlers taking 3-40.