Perth Scorchers Defeated by 155 for 9 (Hardy 55, Bird 3-26). Sydney Sixers 117 (Kerr 42, Richardson 4-9) by 38 runs
After Hardy’s 32-ball 55 steered the defending champions Scorchers to glory, Richardson produced a brilliant four-wicket haul as the Sixers slumped to their second straight defeat at the start of the season.
It was a familiar victory for the Scorchers, who have won five in a row over arch-rivals Sixers.
Hardy rescued the Scorchers’ batting order with a new style
Heading into their season opener, there was an unknown in the Scorchers’ new-look top six with only Josh Ingles and captain Ashton Turner part of last season’s title-winning victory over the Sixers.
In his first BBL game in a decade, du Plessis made just 14 as the Scorchers slumped to 5-49.
He did just that by playing cautiously at first before bursting into brilliant pace during the power surge in the 13th and 14th overs.
Hardy completed his maiden BBL half-century with a six that will be noted by the national selectors, who rated the 23-year-old highly following his inclusion in the Prime Minister’s XI squad against the West Indies last month. .
But Richardson removed Kerr on the first ball of his second spell in a game-changing over at the cost of just three runs. His brilliant comeback ended with impressive figures of 4 for nine in four overs with two wickets in the final over.
Kerr may need to push the order.
For the second straight game, the Sixers’ top order failed to fire as they fell to 3 for 9, somewhat evoking the Sydney Thunder’s horror show from 24 hours earlier.
They fell further before Silk and Kerr’s partnership but eventually fell short. All-rounder Kerr is a true batsman who led the Sixers to the Grand Final last year after an incredible 98 not out as an opener against the Adelaide Strikers.
The Sixers’ Afghanistan recruits shine with the ball.
The Sixers were unusually sloppy with the ball against the strikers. But he returned with veteran fast bowler Jackson Bird to take three wickets in an opening burst of four overs.
Navid, a leg-spinner, was a surprise pick in the BBL draft but a brilliant miscue to clean bowl Ingles vindicated the Sixers’ faith in him.
He also picked up the crucial wicket of Hardy to change the momentum in an impressive start for the 19-year-old who took four wickets in two matches.
Naveen also spooked with his changes of pace, restricting Du Plessis to the Scorchers from the Sixers attack but ultimately it was not enough.