BBL12, Sean Abbott took three key wickets to help the Sixers defeat the Perth Scorchers by six runs and move them within striking distance of first place on the BBL|12 ladders. Sean Abbott bowled the Sydney Sixers to an important six-run victory against the Perth Scorchers, helping to reduce the margin at the top of the KFC BBL|12 ladders to one point.
Abbot Turns the table for Sixers, BBL12
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With the visitors chasing 152 for the win, opener Stephen Eskinazi’s unbroken 66 from 54 balls was insufficient in a contest at the SCG in which both sides struggled to get going. Abbott was the standout performer for the hosts, earning 3-18 despite bowling three of his overs in power-surge overs. With the penultimate over, Dan Christian claimed 2-7, before Hayden Kerr (2-31) successfully defended the 16 needed from the last over, leaving the Scorchers 7-145.
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Abbott dismissed Cameron Bancroft and Aaron Hardie for one run each in his first over, the latter with a delivery that seamed back slightly to take off stump. He then claimed the important wicket of Nick Hobson on the legside boundary late in the chase, as the left-hander threatened to put the Scorchers on track for victory. Hobson’s 27 off 18 balls featured two massive sixes off Nathan Lyon, one of which went into the Brewongle Stand’s unoccupied top tier.
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Lyon’s return from Test duty coincided with Australia’s newest squad member Todd Murphy being forced out as the Sixers kept Steve O’Keefe. Murphy got five wickets this season and allowed less than a run per delivery, but he now has the battle to reclaim his position before departing for India. Earlier in the game, Steve Smith demonstrated why he is vital to the BBL in the Sixers’ 5-151 victory.
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Smith blasted four boundaries and two sixes in his 36 off 27 balls in his first match back in three seasons, while opening partner Josh Philippe also scored 57 off 48. Smith’s best shot was a slog sweep for six off Ashton Agar, but he also hit a brilliant back-foot drive off David Payne.
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He added another six when he hooked Behrendorff over his backward-square leg. While he was caught at cover by Peter Hatzoglou (2-27), his and Lyon’s returns helped the Sixers draw the most spectators of the summer, 20,304. The Sixers’ victory maintains them in contention for first place on the BBL ladder with three games remaining, which would give them hosting rights for the qualification.
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