Mr Cricket Returns To The Wild West

Mike Hussey returns to The Furnace in Thunder colours for the first time. Image courtesy of News Limited
It was a new year but no change of result for Sydney Thunder , with the team’s losing streak stretching another match after going down to the red-hot Stars on Wednesday night. Once again it was Mike Hussey and Eoin Morgan carrying the load with the bat, and Thunder set a reasonable target of 156 to win, but the Sydney side couldn’t stop a rampant Brad Hodge who steered his team home with an unbeaten 64.

After making the grand final two years in a row, the Scorchers have done what they did in BBL02 and started the tournament slowly. Last season they dropped their opening two at home, but this edition both losses have come on the road, including a last start defeat at the hands of Adelaide on New Year’s Eve. Perth is back home at The Furnace on Friday night where it somehow conjured up a win over the Renegades in round two when defending a meagre 117. That effort looks even better now given the Melbourne side has scored strong back-to-back wins over Heat and the Hurricanes.

Former Scorcher Hussey has top-scored in two of the three matches Thunder has played, and it will be interesting to see the reception he gets from what was once an adoring home crowd. Nathan Coulter-Nile has starred with the bat and ball for the Scorchers this season, but may miss the match depending on whether he is called in to Australia’s team for the 5th Ashes Test in Sydney.  Perth will definitely have the services of Adam Voges, who returns from injury.  The veteran right-hander was harshly done by in missing out on the first one-day international squad of the summer, although this means he should be around for the rest of the Big Bash. 

Thunder was without Usman Khawaja for a second match in a row against the Stars and the green machine will be hoping to get more out of Sri Lankan Tillakeratne Dilshan in the west after he made a fourth-ball duck at Stadium Australia this week. Dirk Nannes has been a standout with the ball this Big Bash and was at his dominant best against Melbourne picking up 1/15 off four overs.

The Scorchers absolutely belted Thunder in their only clash last season. Brad Hogg picked up a four-wicket haul while Shaun Marsh racked up another half-ton as Perth cantered past Sydney’s total of 113 with almost seven overs to spare. 

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