Scorchers script turnaround, Brisbane maintain unbeaten streak
Week two of the Big Bash League 2016-17 season saw Brisbane Heat maintaining their unbeaten streak while Perth Scorchers won back-to-back games to reach the top of the table.
Brisbane Heat - only team to remain unbeaten
Brendon McCullum has been inspiring as skipper as Brisbane Heat remain the only team in the tournament after the second week to maintain their winning streak. After a close 10-run win in the opening game against Adelaide Strikers, they registered a tight three-wicket win against Sydney Thunder and followed it with a convincing seven-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes. The performance of Chris Lynn is just what Brisbane wanted as his knocks of 85 not out and 84 not out in the two games earned him man of the match awards on both occasions.
McCullum provides the perfect platform at the top with a blistering start but apart from him and Lynn, the rest of the batting looked ordinary. However, the likes of Mark Steketee and Samuel Badree have been among the wickets and their economy rate has been sensational.
Agar's last ball six perfect turn-around for Scorchers
Perth Scorchers entered the week after a heavy defeat against Sydney Sixers, who themselves have a mixed tournament. However, the game against Melbourne Renegades saw them chase 149 off the final delivery where Ashton Agar smashed a six to complete a four-wicket win. Not to forget, it was Michael Klinger, who set the game with a brilliant 72.
They carry forwarded the momentum into the 13th game of the tournament against Sydney Thunder where they defended 178 comfortably by 50 runs with a perfect all-round performance to claim the pole position in the table.
Renegades come on top in Melbourne derby game
The most anticipated game of the tournament with over 70,000 spectators at Melbourne Cricket Ground did live up to it's expectation but it was Renegades, who ended their losing streak against Melbourne Stars.
After Cameron White's unbeaten 64 powered Renegades to 171, a collective bowling effort led by Brad Hogg's three-wicket haul ensured Stars were reduced to 151 for nine in a rain-affected game to secure a seven-run win by D/L in the derby game. This will be a big relief for Renegades, who have climbed to the third position in the table. In the previous season, it was Stars, who emerged victorious on both occasions.
Defending champions struggle to win a game
The loss of Michael Hussey and Jacques Kallis can be seen in Sydney Thunder performance this season as they registered two more defeats this week and are yet to win a game in the four encounters so far.
Their defeats came against the top two teams in the table - Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat and on both the games, it was their batting that let them down badly. Andre Russell has been disappointing this season and has hardly put any impressive performance in the four games, he featured while the likes of Shane Watson, Ben Rohrer and Eoin Morgan will need to step up for them to get moving.
Best Match Turning Performance of the Week:
Ashton Agar: He came to bat against Melbourne Renegades when seven runs were needed off just four deliveries. After scoring two runs each in his first two deliveries, Agar took Perth Scorchers over the line with a six in the final ball to make it a memorable win for Adam Voges' men.
Best Batting Performance of the Week:
Chris Lynn: It is tough to look beyond this man with scores of 85 not out and 84 not out in the two games, he played this week. However, it was the 8th game against Sydney Thunder that deserves special mention as he waged a lone fight in a chase of 158. Even though, he was handed reprieves by Sydney Thunder, he made full use of it and slammed a 48-ball 85 which included 10 boundaries and three sixes to complete the chase in the final over.
Best Bowling Performance of the Week:
Brad Hogg: He might be 45-year-old but he can match the energy and enthusiasm of any youngster on the field. In the Melbourne derby game for Melbourne Renegades against Melbourne Stars, he bowled a gem of a spell dismissing Luke Wright, David Hussey and Sam Harper to register a seven run win by D/L for his team and it is clearly the standout bowling performance.
© Cricket World 2017