Livingstone answers Hales as Scorchers move above Thunder

By Sports Desk January 20, 2020

Liam Livingstone smashed 78 from 49 balls as Perth Scorchers romped to an eight-wicket win over Sydney Thunder to move above their opponents into fourth in the Big Bash League.

Led by 85 from Livingstone's fellow Englishman Alex Hales, the Thunder had set the hosts 154 to win on Monday.

But a magnificent opening stand of 136 from Livingstone and Josh Inglis (58) ensured the Scorchers made a strong response to losing back-to-back matches against the Melbourne Stars.

The Scorchers are now one point clear of the Thunder, with both teams in contention to reach the playoffs with two matches each left to play.


HALES ON FIRE BUT LACKING SUPPORT

Hales was out for a duck in his last outing against the Sydney Sixers but after the Thunder won the toss and opted to bat, he delivered in this one.

The former England international hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 59-ball outing, although he was lacking support from his team-mates.

Usman Khawaja (11) and captain Callum Ferguson (4) both fell cheaply, before a 48-run stand between Hales and Arjun Nair (11) was ended by Chris Jordan.

Jordan, who is set to join up with England and be replaced by Morne Morkel for the Scorchers, left on a high with an impressive 3-28, including a slower ball to finally get rid of Hales in the final over.

A steady knock from Alex Ross (22 not out) helped the Thunder to close on 153-5, but it proved to not be enough as they fell to a fifth defeat in seven matches.


INGLIS AND LIVINGSTONE DOMINATE

The Scorchers' victory was inspired by their openers, who hit six maximums between them, three coming off deliveries from Liam Bowe (0-25).

Inglis was hit in the helmet by Gurinder Sandhu (1-33) in the fifth over and, after a lengthy delay, made a brilliant response by smashing the next delivery for six over cow corner. 

After racking up 64 runs in the first five overs, Livingstone and Inglis were in complete control and did not look back.

Brendan Doggett had two horrendous drops off Livingstone but he finally held on to one to remove Inglis off the bowling of Sandhu.

Livingstone, who brought up his fifty off 28 balls, was eventually caught by Ross at deep midwicket as he attempted to hit the winning runs, but any doubt over the match outcome had long since been removed.

Captain Mitchell Marsh (two not out) came into do the honours as the Scorchers eased home with 4.3 overs to spare. 

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