After securing just one win so far, Perth-S and Melbourne-R would face each other in Australia T20 League to find a confidence-boosting win on Sunday.
Match Timings: Jan 03, 10:35 AM IST
The tale has been the same for Perth and Melbourne-R this season, and both have just one win. Perth opened its winning account on New Year Eve when they defeated Adelaide by 7-wickets. Turner had a good day with the captaincy, and he used his bowlers smartly, despite an alone-scar from Alex Carey. Adelaide were restricted to a mere total of 146. Jason Roy got a half-century before a mini-collapse in middle-order. After losing three wickets in just 19 balls, Josh Inglis and Mitchell Marsh helped Perth to get the target with 14 balls spare. It was a pure dominating and a satisfying victory for them. With one win, one bash boost point, and two extra-points from a washed-out match, give Perth a spot in the bottom three, and they are two points adrift of Melbourne-R. The best part of its victory was they bounced back from the 71-runs defeat when they were bowled out on just 94.
Perth haven’t batted very well so far, but it was a good effort with the bat in the previous outing. In all three defeats, they let down in the batting. In the first two defeats, they didn’t get a big total, and while chasing against Adelaide, they delivered its lowest total. Munro had just one good knock, but Jason Roy’s 32-balls 49 was a big boost in the top-order. Marsh and Inglis both had a good outing in middle-order. Perth needs to take this confidence ahead in 2021. Bowlers have been better this season, and Turner has made good use according to the pitch. Jhye Richardson bagged nine scalps this season at an average of 14.50, and he has been a key figure for Perth. Marsh is showing good consistency with both bat and ball. After getting a half-century in Canberra, he bagged two wickets in Adelaide, following a 38-runs knock in the last match. If Perth gets support from the batting end, they might be a tough side to beat.
Meanwhile, nothing has changed for Melbourne-R in Australia T20 League. After finishing at the bottom last year, they lost five consecutive matches this season, and they started 2021 with a loss. The batting unit failed one more time, and it was Shaun Marsh who single-handily took Melbourne-R to a competitive total of 166 in 17-overs. The rain affected the game in the middle of the innings, and it cost some runs for Melbourne. Hales and Khawaja smashed their bowlers out of the park by adding 51 runs in 4-overs. When the game stopped again due to the rain, Sydney-T had good control of the game. They were 7 runs ahead of Melbourne-R and required 49 off the last 5 with 8 wickets in hand.
The heartbreak continued for Finch’s troops, and they have no idea to change this losing run. They have been so poor in all departments. They have been bowled out on two lowest totals and also conceded 200 plus score twice this season. In the final match of 2020, Holder snatched the victory from them when they were on the driver’s seat. With 4 points from six matches is a woeful start to the season, and they are on the way to finish bottom for the successive year. After the title triumph in 2018/19, Melbourne-R won just four matches out of 20, and this number signifies their downfall. David Hussey has to change the approach within the team, and key players have to step up. Only Marsh has shown some fine performances so far, and it’s a big setback when they have Nabi and Finch there.
Perth Stadium has good assistance to batsmen, but it offers plenty of help to pacers. It will be the first match of the season on this ground, and we could expect some early help to the bowling side. Chasing would still be a safe call.
Josh Inglis (wk), Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Liam Livingstone, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Turner (c), Aaron Hardie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Fawad Ahmed
Aaron Finch (c), Shaun Marsh, Sam Harper (wk), Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nabi, Mackenzie Harvey, Imad Wasim, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Peter Hatzoglou, Mitchell Perry
Previous outings – 52*, 18/2, 38*
This season so far –M: 5, Wickets: 9, Avg: 11.11
This season so far –M: 6, Runs: 233, Avg: 38.83
This season so far –M: 5, Wickets: 9, Avg: 18