Richardson guides Scorchers to four straight
A starring all-round performance from Jhye Richardson has continued the Perth Scorchers mid-season BBL10 resurgence, defeating the Sydney Thunder by 17 runs at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.
In front of 27,566 fans the Scorchers gave the local faithful plenty to cheer about, Richardson's late innings cameo of 20* (8) proving vital before claiming four wickets with the ball helped bowl out the Thunder for 168 chasing 186 for victory.
The visitors won the bat flip and chose to bowl first, openers Jason Roy (14) and Liam Livingstone (3) falling cheaply to Brendan Doggett inside the four over powerplay to justify the call from Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson.
Colin Munro made his second half century in as many matches to be the cornerstone of the innings, making an even 50, Josh Inglis (20), Mitch Marsh (15) and Ashton Turner (31 from just 13 balls) all making important contributions.
A late stand of 31 in only two overs from Aaron Hardie and Richardson took the Scorchers to a strong total of 6-185, Sydney with a big chase required for their seventh win of the season.
Jason Behrendorff struck a telling double early blow for Perth, removing Alex Hales (5) and Callum Ferguson (0) in consecutive overs.
Richardson had earlier claimed the key wicket of Khawaja for 26, before a bizarre run out saw the end of Alex Ross without facing a ball, Behrendorff fielding the ball of his own bowling at square leg as Ross and batting partner Sam Billings hesitated for a second run, Josh Inglis fumbling the return before palming the ball on the stumps in a slightly fortuitous dismissal.
Billings became the key to the Thunder chase, helping the team recover from 4-46 with a partnership of 83, the English wicketkeeper-batsman reaching a stylish half century from 29 balls.
Cutting departed in the power surge for 31 to AJ Tye, before Richardson had Nathan McAndrew caught by Liam Livingstone in the deep for four in the following over.
The game was still alive with two overs to go with Billings at the crease, but Tye ended the contest when he bowled the right hander for 83 when his ramp shot to fine leg went awry, chopping on to end a fine innings.
Richardson would mop up the tail in the final over as the Thunder were bowled out for 168, still able to take a point from the contest after being in front of the Scorchers score at the ten over mark to secure the bash boost point.
But it was the Scorchers who were again smiling on their home ground, recording their fourth straight win to move in to fifth spot with six matches to play, their final home match against the Hobart Hurricanes on Tuesday.
IMAGE: Cricket Australia