Scorchers thump fumbly Thunder as finals race heats up
Perth Scorchers have won the battle of the Englishmen on the way to a thumping eight-wicket triumph over the Sydney Thunder at Optus Stadium.
Thunder opener Alex Hales scored 85 off 59 to guide his side to 5-153 on Monday night, with the England international cracking 10 fours and three sixes.
In reply, Lancashire's Liam Livingstone (78 off 49 balls) and Josh Inglis (58 off 41 balls) set up the easy win, combining for a devastating 136-run opening partnership.
The Scorchers finished at 2-154 with 27 balls to spare in front of 18,039 fans.
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Thunder paceman Brendan Doggett endured a night to forget, dropping Livingstone three times and finishing with figures of 0-20 from two overs. The result saw Perth leapfrog the Thunder into fourth spot with just two games remaining for both sides.
"The boys wanted to prove a point," Inglis said, in reference to the Scorchers' two recent losses.
"We haven't played well at home either, so the boys wanted to do it for the fans. "
Hales was lucky to survive an lbw shout on the first ball he faced, and he made the most of his chance.
The 31-year-old was the only batsman able to cause any real damage against a stingy Scorchers bowling line-up led brilliantly by another Englishman Chris Jordan.
Jordan finished with 3-28 from four overs, while Jhye Richardson, Matt Kelly, and Fawad Ahmed were all economical.
The Scorchers had no such troubles finding the boundary in their run chase, with Livingstone and Inglis exploding from the outset.
The pair put on 0-75 from the powerplay, with Livingstone making the Thunder pay dearly after being dropped by Doggett in the deep on 32. Doggett also put down Livingstone on 57 after failing to snare a skied shot off his own bowling.
And Doggett was looking for a hole to hide in after dropping Livingstone again on 59, with the easy catch going right through his hands.
Inglis needed medical treatment after copping a Gurinder Sandhu bouncer on the helmet.
His reply was cracking Sandhu for a six next ball.
The Scorchers were going so well that there was only one question remaining - whether they could knock off the target without losing a wicket. That question was answered by ball-magnet Doggett, who hit the ground with a thud as he finally took a catch to remove Inglis.
Doggett was all smiles as he got up gingerly and was mobbed by hugs. Livingstone was dismissed attempting to heave a shot to the boundary with just three more runs required.