Top order failure cost Heat the game as Scorchers defend a modest 157
Perth Scorchers 6 for 157 (Patterson 55, Gannon 2-32) beat Brisbane Heat 151 (Heazlett 34, Bartlett 34*, Kelly 4-28, Tye 2-32) by 6 runs
Perth Scorchers produced a trademark bowling effort to thwart Brisbane Heat’s chase and celebrate a potentially rare home fixture in style on Wednesday night.
After posting 6 for 157, the Scorchers’ impressive attack overwhelmed the Heat with regular wickets and held their nerve during a late Heat charge to show their prowess once again at defending modest totals.
The Scorchers are scheduled to play Hobart Hurricanes at home on December 20, but are bracing for an extended period on the road after that due to Western Australia’s strict border controls.
Patterson livens up new-look Scorchers top order
Patterson is a somewhat forgotten player in Australian cricket. He does boast a Test average of 144, albeit from two matches. The 28-year-old once appeared destined for a long Test career, but on Ashes opening day, he lit up Optus Stadium with his maiden BBL half-century.
There were question marks over the Scorchers’ top order with dynamic English batters Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone not returning after starring last season. But Patterson proved a worthy replacement with an onslaught at No.3 after the early wicket of Colin Munro.
Patterson couldn’t crack the Scorchers’ strong batting line-up last season and he played just one match. But he made the most of his early opportunity with a power display in contrast to his traditional orthodox approach. He took a liking to the fast pitch and lighting outfield – characteristics reminiscent of the nearby WACA – aided by short-pitched bowling from an overeager Heat attack.
Targeting the short leg-side boundary, Patterson smashed 20 runs in four balls during Liam Guthrie’s third over to provide the pyrotechnics many thought he didn’t have in him.
It was made more impressive with Patterson – along with Munro and Laurie Evans – only linking up with his team-mates on game day after being in quarantine in Sydney.
Shorthanded Heat attack hang in after onslaught
The Heat have been badly affected by national selections early in the season, with Michael Neser, Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson missing from their first-choice attack.
Against a red-hot Patterson, the Heat appeared to be buckling amid a rowdy Scorchers faithful finding voice. But after Patterson fell, the Heat pegged back the Scorchers with disciplined bowling.
Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who is shouldering much responsibility, bowled full and accurately to frustrate the Scorchers. He conceded just four runs and took a wicket in a pivotal 17th over to take the sting out of Scorchers’ momentum after they scored 28 runs in the two power surge overs.
The Heat conceded just 20 runs off the last four overs and, impressively, did not concede a boundary to restrict the Scorchers to a below-par score.
Spearhead Jhye Richardson is expected to miss most of the BBL, but the Scorchers have enviable pack stocks. Matt Kelly, who was unable to crack the pace triumvirate of Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye last season, made the most of his chance with an eye-catching early burst.
He was perhaps fortunate with his first scalp when Max Bryant tamely hit to mid-off, but his dismissal of Ben Duckett was all class – a searing yorker to knock over leg stump.
Kelly has a task on his hands to hold his spot with England quick Tymal Mills set to be available soon while speedster Lance Morris, who can bowl over 90 mph, is also nipping at the heels.
He claimed two late wickets to cap off a spectacular performance and surely cement a spot for the time being.
Without the captaincy this season, Chris Lynn has been able to focus on his batting, but things haven’t gone to plan just yet. After missing out against Thunder, he played a strange innings where he looked out of sync throughout and scored just 27 from 33 balls.
Lynn played within himself amid Heat’s rocky start, but his bid to accelerate mid-innings was thwarted by an inability to get the strike.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport