Tom Curran was 43 not out from 21 balls for the Sixers. Picture: Getty Images
Tom Curran was 43 not out from 21 balls for the Sixers. Picture: Getty Images

Curran stars as Sixers steamroll struggling Scorchers

Tom Curran provided the fireworks with the bat before Jackson Bird did the early damage with the ball to lift the Sydney Sixers to a crushing 48-run BBL win over the Perth Scorchers on Thursday night.

England allrounder Curran cracked an unbeaten 43 off 21 balls at the death to lift the Sixers to 7-174 in front of a crowd of 30,350 at Optus Stadium. In reply, the Scorchers crashed to 5-34 in the seventh over before being dismissed for 126 with 11 balls remaining.

The win improved the Sixers' record to 2-2 ahead of Saturday's derby against Sydney Thunder, while the Scorchers are struggling at 1-3.

 

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Bird, playing his first match of the BBL season after recovering from a hamstring injury, had 2-3 after two overs before finishing with 3-33. The 33-year-old dismissed English opener Liam Livingstone (2) and Cameron Bancroft (1) to start the rout, and he had luck on his side when he claimed the scalp of Cameron Green caught behind.

Green was left gobsmacked after the umpire deemed the ball had hit his glove as he swung at a leg-side delivery.

At 5-34, the Scorchers looked set for a battle just to avoid their lowest ever score of 69 that they posted in 2012 against Melbourne Stars. But Ashton Turner (28 off 20 balls) and tail-ender Matt Kelly (23no off 14) at least ensured the Scorchers avoided that embarrassment.

Curran followed up his batting heroics with the wicket of Josh Inglis, while Sean Abbott finished with 3-30.

 

The Sixers celebrate after Jackson Bird (centre) took the wicket of the Scorchers’ Cameron Green. Picture: Getty Images
The Sixers celebrate after Jackson Bird (centre) took the wicket of the Scorchers’ Cameron Green. Picture: Getty Images

Six Scorchers batsmen fell in the first ball of an over - an outcome that captain Mitch Marsh said was unacceptable.

"That's a cardinal sin in T20 cricket," Marsh said.

"We don't want to lose our intent at the top of the order. It's just about playing smart cricket.

"The way we started with the bat was really poor." The Scorchers looked set to restrict the Sixers to a score of about 155 until Curran unleashed some magic late in the innings.

Runs were hard to come by for the Sixers after the departure of skipper Moises Henriques (35 off 20 balls) in the 14th over.

That was until Curran entered the fray.

Curran blasted two sixes and two fours in a final over that cost Kelly 24 runs. Scorchers paceman Chris Jordan starred with 3-29 from his four overs, while Jhye Richardson (1-26) was economical.