Ferguson crushes Scorchers with late flurry
Callum Ferguson's incredible century secured another dramatic victory for Sydney Thunder over Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium on Thursday.
The Thunder had won by just a single run in a tense finale when the sides last met earlier in this Big Bash League campaign, holding off a Scorchers chase, and Sydney again came out on top even though the roles were reversed in Perth.
Shaun Marsh smashed 96 for the Scorchers and their total of 181-4 looked to be enough to defeat the Thunder, who saw four of their six batsmen fail to reach double figures.
But Ferguson made an unbeaten 113 off just 53 balls, including a remarkable late spell, as Sydney reached 182-4 for a six-wicket victory with four balls remaining.
AUSSIE STARS SPARKLE
With a new-look Australia side dominating Sri Lanka at the Gabba, seasoned internationals Shaun and Mitchell Marsh instead starred for the Scorchers.
Perth lost Cameron Bancroft (8) to Nathan McAndrew lbw, but some generous Thunder fielding saw Shaun Marsh dropped twice as he built a 58-run 42-ball partnership with his brother.
Sydney belatedly took a catch as Gurinder Sandhu was found by Mitchell Marsh (31) at short fine leg, yet Shaun continued to make runs and the Scorchers were 78-2 through 10 overs.
ANSWERING HIS CRITICS
Shaun Marsh was dropped by Australia and his status with the national team has been a topic of discussion in recent days, with Dinesh Chandimal announcing his surprise at the call.
But the batsman made sure his doubters would have to sit up and take notice on Thursday.
Even after the departure of his brother, Shaun ploughed on to tally 96 runs from just 55 balls, including five sixes. With Hilton Cartwright (20) and Nick Hobson (15 not out) also contributing, the Scorchers set a challenging target of 182.
STILL NOT ENOUGH
Perth did not count on the impact of Ferguson, though, who sensationally topped Shaun Marsh's efforts.
While the rest of the Sydney batting order flopped, Matthew Gilkes and Ferguson combined for a brilliant 120 in a second-wicket stand and then the latter produced an astonishing late match-winning burst.
Three consecutive fours from Ferguson in the 18th over brought the target within reach and he hit a further pair of sixes from that point onwards, securing victory as Chris Green - without a run from two balls at the opposite - was kept off strike.