Scorchers the team to beat despite Marsh injury scare
Perth face an anxious wait for the results of Mitch Marsh's scans but still loom as the team to beat for the BBL title
13 January 2021, 07:51 AM AEST
The Perth Scorchers are title favourites again courtesy of their five-match winning run, but Hobart's KFC BBL season is in danger of imploding following a three-match skid.
The Scorchers rose to third spot after crushing the Hurricanes by nine wickets with 22 balls to spare at Optus Stadium on Tuesday night.
But the win came at a major cost, with star allrounder Mitch Marsh suffering a side strain just three balls into his first over.
Marsh will undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage, with the Scorchers hopeful of regaining him as a batsman only in the not-too-distant future.
The Scorchers were rated title favourites before the season started, but found themselves in the wooden spoon conversation following a four-match winless run to start their campaign.
Five straight wins since then - and a series of dominant displays by star players such as Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Colin Munro, and AJ Tye - have dramatically turned the Scorchers' fortunes around.
One key aspect that clicked into gear against the Hurricanes was the form of English openers Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone.
The duo had struggled to hit their straps this season, but they combined for a 123-run stand against Hobart to help the Scorchers reel in the victory target of 140 with ease.
Livingstone finished with 54 from 39 balls, while Roy was unbeaten on 74 from 52 balls.
Roy had failed to post a half-century from his previous 18 matches in the BBL, but he came good against the Hurricanes after overcoming a scratchy start.
The 30-year-old international star, who previously played for the Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers and is now in his fourth BBL season, said it had been hard to adjust previously.
"A lot of the time in the past I've only been here for a short period of time, so I've never been able to get any rhythm or momentum in a team," Roy said.
"It's not always easy and playing four games and then leaving, unless you're in unbelievable form."
The Hurricanes have slid to fifth spot following recent defeats to the Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder, and the Scorchers.
One positive to come out of the loss to Perth was the return to form of opener D'Arcy Short, who scored 54 off 47 balls to help lift Hobart from 2-9 to 5-139.
"It was bitter-sweet really," Short said.
"Good for me to get some runs and hopefully find some form in regards to scoring runs, and hopefully we can keep winning games."
The Hurricanes face a crunch match against the Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Monday, while the Scorchers will welcome back NZ star Munro for their clash with the Sixers in Canberra this Saturday.