Bancroft and Agar fire Scorchers to BBL summit


Perth Scorchers recovered from a poor start to move top of the Big Bash League with a 30-run victory over Sydney Thunder on Thursday.

It looked set to be a long day for the Scorchers when they slipped to 1-2 at the beginning of their innings at the Sydney Showground, but were rescued by stellar performances by Cameron Bancroft and Ashton Agar.

Bancroft hit 72 off 53 deliveries, while Agar racked up 68 off 34, to fire the visitors to a 175-5 total.

Despite the best efforts of Andre Russell, the Thunder were unable to reel in the Scorchers, who reach the summit after going level on eight points with Adelaide Strikers.

The early dismissals of Michael Klinger (0) and Marcus Harris (1) got the Scorchers off to the shakiest of starts, while Shaun Marsh's dismissal for 28 - caught by Jacques Kallis off Andrew McDonald - left them 64-3.

That left Bancroft and Agar at the crease and the bright Australian hopes combined for a 105-run partnership before being dismissed in the last two overs.

Russell had been the Thunder's most effective bowler (2-31) and his efforts with the bat also outshone the rest of his team-mates.

Openers Aiden Blizzard and Kallis could only muster seven runs apiece, before Kurtis Patterson and Shane Watson went slightly better with 18 each.

But with the exception of Russell's 42-run stand, which included five sixes in eight deliveries, Scorchers worked their way through the Thunder's order with relative ease - Jason Behrendorff (3-26) and Andrew Tye (3-22) the tormentors in chief.

The hosts ultimately came up 30 runs short, falling two points behind their opponents in the Big Bash table.