More horrors for Gayle
PERTH – West Indies opener Chris Gayle failed yet again as his Sydney Thunder had a dismal outing today at the WACA Ground against the Perth Scorchers who moved a step closer to playing in another Big Bash finals campaign.
The Scorchers (4-3) restricted the winless Thunder (0-7) to just 113 for 9 before Shaun Marsh (56 off 45 balls) and Marcus North (39 off 30) combined for an unbeaten century stand to seal victory target in 13.2 overs.
The nine-wicket win lifted last season’s runners-up from sixth to second on the Big Bash table ahead of Thursday’s final match away to the Adelaide Strikers.
Gayle’s horror tournament continued, scoring just two runs from nine balls, as the Thunder slumped to their 12th straight Big Bash loss, dating back to last season, after winning the toss and batting first on a slightly green pitch.
The high-profile and highly paid Gayle, standing in as Thunder skipper for the injured Chris Rogers, has scored just 72 runs from six matches this summer.Fellow overseas recruit Matt Prior (4 off 12) fared little better, taking eight balls to score his first run before losing his patience and holing out to a magnificent outfield catch by Alfonso Thomas at long-off.
It was left to Test aspirant Usman Khawaja (56 off 45) to again rescue the Thunder, but the damage had already been done by the Scorchers bowlers.
Thomas (0-21) and man of the match Jason Behrendorff (2-16) bowled outstanding opening spells for the home side, consistently beating the bats of Gayle and Simon Keen (14 off 17).
Michael Beer (2-23) then continued the rout by removing Keen and Ryan Carters (1) cheaply with his left-arm spin to leave the Thunder reeling at 4-31.
“We didn’t start well again and that actually cost us the match,” Gayle said.
“We wanted to select to bat first, but the ball did a bit and they put the ball in the right place to get the early wickets.
“They capitalised on that and we paid the penalty, but having said all of that, we can take the positive out of the batting of Usman. I thought he batted really well to actually give the team a chance to be in a winning position. But to defend 113 runs on this wicket was always going to be difficult and it seemed to get better to bat on as well,” Gayle said.
Veteran spinner Brad Hogg (4-29) claimed three wickets in the final over, including that of Khawaja, to further demoralise the visitors in front of another sold-out Perth crowd of 15,708 people.†††