BBL: Scorchers crush Thunder on Warner’s BBL return in Big Bash 2023, Match 39

BBL12, Perth Scorchers 112 for 1 (Bancroft 55*) defeated Sydney Thunder 111 in fewer than 13 overs (Davies 52, Tye 3-27). David Warner’s maiden BBL debut in more than nine years fell short for Sydney Thunder, as tournament leaders Perth Scorchers strolled to a nine-wicket win in what is turning out to be another very outstanding season.

One of their two losses this season came at home against Thunder, but after a promising third-wicket partnership between Warner and Ollie Davies was broken, it never seemed like it would be replicated. Thunder, who was famously bowled out for 15 earlier in the season, were bowled out for 41 and were unable to bat in their 20 overs.

Scorchers needed fewer than 13 points to win. AJ Tye extended his lead over the following group at the head of the wicket-taking chart in what is turning out to be a remarkable season, while Cameron Bancroft provided one of the highlights of a one-sided affair with a superb boundary catch.

Davies impresses once again in BBL12

Davies impresses once again in BBL12

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In Thunder’s innings, there was just one hand. The ease with which Davies timed the ball stood in sharp contrast to all of his teammates, especially Warner, with whom he dominated a 67-run third-wicket partnership. “I’ll keep prodding them,” Warner stated into the player microphone. Davies hit two sixes off Ashton Agar but saved his best for a strike off Tye that sailed well into the seats. His 30-ball half-century was his third of the season, but Agar out-thought him, firing one in faster to have him perplexed as Thunder’s collapse set in.

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Warner’s low-key comeback in BBL12

Warner's low-key comeback in BBL12

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Warner’s last appearance in the BBL came in December 2013. That day, he began alongside Usman Khawaja, and the duo put up a 116-run opening partnership in 11 overs. Warner had lost two teammates by the time he faced his second ball today. As the stand with Davies began to develop, he managed one good pull shot away against Lance Morris and a few overs later weaved a drive down the ground against Tye. In an effort to match Davies’ speed, he top-edged an attempted scoop off, Matt Kelly.

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Payne’s promising beginning

Payne's promising beginning

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David Payne, a Gloucestershire left-arm seamer who has played one One-Day International for England, is one of a slew of substitute foreign players the Scorchers have called on this season after all of their original recruits were unable to participate due to a variety of factors. Payne struck after just two balls, playing the left-arm pace position in place of the rested Jason Behrendorff, when a bending outswinger got an edge from Matthew Gilkes.

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Later in the inning, as Thunder attempted to lay the groundwork for a late deployment of the power surge, a well-directed short ball drew a top edge from the dangerous Daniel Sams, which was caught at long leg. The Scorcher’s assault was a collective effort, with all five bowlers finding success and putting down 63 dot balls in 19 overs. Tye’s outstanding campaign continued with three more scalps as he became the first player this season to reach the 20-wicket mark.

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Bancroft’s all-around performance

Bancroft's all-around performance

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Bancroft had a fantastic evening on the field and then went about the straightforward chase quietly. Bancroft’s two catches were particularly stunning in a performance in which the Scorchers scarcely put a foot wrong. He dived low to remove Ben Cutting at midwicket, but the batsman stood strong until the third umpire determined the take was clean. But it got even better in the 19th over, when he sprinted around from long-on and flew full-length at maximum speed to pick out Nathan McAndrew’s well-struck pull while still staying inside the line.

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The pursuit was never in question, and the game was gone long before the opening stand of 77 between Bancroft and Stephen Eskinazi was broken. Another international substitute, Eskinazi, made his first meaningful impact in his third appearance. Bancroft sped to a 36-ball fifty as he hit successive Usman Qadir deliveries for six and four.

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