Scorchers crush Thunder to consolidate lead at top of BBL
David Warner’s return to the Big Bash League has ended in disappointment for the Sydney Thunder, beaten by nine wickets by the first-placed Perth Scorchers.
Warner managed 19 off 20 balls in his first KFC BBL game in nine years as the Thunder were all out for 111, before the Scorchers chased down the target in 12.5 overs.
With all eyes on Warner, his former Test opening partner Cameron Bancroft hit an unbeaten 55 off 40 in the Scorchers’ chase as part of a 77-run opening stand with Stephen Eskinazi.
Warner talks viewers through his Thunder return innings
Bancroft’s half century came off 36 balls as Usman Qadir took the most punishment, hit back over his head for six by Bancroft and having 15 runs taken off another of his overs.
Eskinazi was also explosive in his 40 off 26.
Bancroft makes light work of small Thunder total
The South African-born Englishman struck five boundaries in his innings, as well as a brilliant ramp shot for six off Brendan Doggett.
He fell trying to ramp Nathan McAndrew, but by then the game was over with Bancroft and Aaron Hardie (11no) left to guide the Scorchers home.
Earlier, Warner started watchfully in a 67-run partnership with Ollie Davies before the Thunder collapsed to lose 8-41.
Warner played second fiddle in the stand but still hooked speedster Lance Morris for one boundary and drove Andrew Tye for another back over the quick’s head.
Davies displays dazzling strokeplay in fast fifty
At the other end Davies reached his third half century of the competition with 52 from 36.
He hit Ashton Agar back over his head for two big sixes, and also monstered Tye over long on for another.
But when the pair were separated, the Thunder crumbled.
‘Superman’ Bancroft navigates tight landing up against rope
Tye took three wickets and David Payne, Morris and Kelly all took two, as the Thunder were dismissed in 19 overs.
Morris was particularly impressive in his second game back from Australia’s Test squad, bowling 15 dot balls.
Bancroft provided another highlight, with a superb diving catch at long on just as McAndrew (21) threatened to build the Thunder’s total up late in the innings.
The win moves the Scorchers three points clear of the Sydney Sixers at the top of the BBL|12 ladder with four games to play, while the Thunder are fifth and in the last finals position.