This post looks back at the three BBL games on which the TMS team have provided live commentaries since my last blog post, and also attempts to give impetus to a nickname I have coined.
RENEGADES V THUNDER
The Renegades went into this match in bad position in the tournament and were unlucky to finish it in an even worse one. They batted first, and there was a rain interruption 12 overs into their innings which lasted long enough to reduce the game to 17 overs per side. They took the two over Power Surge immediately on the resumption, to relaunch their innings, an excellent decision IMO, and one that worked well for them. They finished with 167 from their 17 overs, which the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system (DLS) turned into a target for the Thunder of 173, with the readjusted Bash Boost point target 65 off eight overs. The Thunder had reached 117-2 from 12 overs, helped by a fine knock from Alex Hales, when the rain returned, terminally this time. Thunder were ahead of the official DLS par score and took the points. My own reckoning is that 56 off five overs, even with eight wickets still standing, would have been tough for the Thunder to pull off. Renegades played again today (no commentary), and were soundly thrashed by the Scorchers as the latter continue their attempt at a Lazarus act.
SIXERS V HEAT
The Sixers were going well in the tournament, while the Heat were struggling somewhat. The Sixers had a good first ten overs, scoring 85 from them. It was in overs 11-15 that they let thing slip, being 123-6 after 15. A mini-revival got them to 165 from their 20. The Heat fared well in response, but lost wickets at awkward times. However, a respectable and well timed Power Surge got them back into the contest. At the start of the 17th over of the chase, bowled by Carlos Brathwaite the contest looked even, with maybe the Heat slight favourites, although they did not have a lot of batting in reserve should wickets fall. By the end of that over, which included three wides, and went for a lot of runs the Heat were cruising, and they took a mere four further deliveries to finish the job, Lewis Gregory finishing with 31 not out from 16 balls. The Heat were good value for the win. How would the Sixers respond to such lese majeste?…
SIXERS V STRIKERS
This was today’s commentary game on TMS. The Strikers started slowly and were 58-2 at the end of the tenth. The Power Surge did little to improve their situation, and it was only a late flourish in the last couple of overs of their innings that got them to the respectability of 150. They would have to bowl well to defend such a total. Jonathan Wells made 66 for the Strikers.
Unfortunately, with one exception, they did not bowl well. Rashid Khan bagged three wickets with his leg spin, but at that point Vince, already showing signs of going well, was joined by Jordan Silk.
One of the many subjects I read about is astronomy/cosmology, and anyone who has read remotely seriously about this kind of stuff would have come across Joseph Silk, a top astrophysicist. In quest of bringing some more imaginative nicknames back into the game, I link two J Silks together by dubbing Jordan Silk “Astrophysicist”, which could be shortened to “Astro”, linking to the the novels of Aussie writer Matthew Reilly.
Rashid Khan was given his fourth over early, the 14th of the innings to be precise, but by then the Sixers could afford to play him out without trying anything risky, and he finished with 3-18 from his allocation, a good deed in the naughty world of Strikers’ bowling figures.
Sixers then took the Power Surge, and those two overs plus another two were sufficient to see the Sixers to a seven wicket win, Vince 45 not out, “Astrophysicist”/ “Astro” 38 not out (he is also a fine boundary fielder, and has saved Sixers plenty of runs in that capacity during the tournament).
The Sixers, after their hiccup against the Heat, seem back on track and destined to be involved in the final stages of the tournament. The Strikers meanwhile look like a team in a lot of trouble. With the possible exception of the last two overs of the Strikers innings the Sixers won every phase of today’s game, and were far more dominant in it than the Heat had been against the Sixers, for all that Heat actually had a couple more balls in hand when they completed victory in that game.
My usual sign off…