Perth, Australia — A bumper crowd has packed Perth’s Aquinas College to watch some of the greats of past and players of the present as the Perth Scorchers beat the Australian Legends by 50 runs in the WA Festival of Cricket Twenty20.
The match pitted the KFC T20 Big Bash League reigning champions Scorchers against an all-star Legends XI led by Adam Gilchrist, but it was the youth of Ashton Turner that stole the show in a match that featured West Indies champion Brian Lara and Australian legends Dean Jones, Andrew Symonds, Andy Bichel and Michael Kasporwicz
Turner blasted 75 from 38 balls in a knock that included four fours and six sixes, taking Symonds and Bichel out of the ground on several occasions.
The 21-year-old capped off the day with the prize wicket of state and BBL coach Langer, though not with his best delivery, securing the wicket with a floating full toss that the batsman top-edged to fall for nine.
A spectacular one-handed grab from evergreen veteran Brad Hogg removed Gilchrist for one, much to the dismay of the enthusiastic crowd, but the keeper’s wicket brought Lara to the crease.
The West Indian struggled for timing early, relying on the pace of the bowlers to guide and glide his way into his innings before upping the ante in the final stages to bring up his fifty and remain unbeaten on 51 as the autograph-hunting crowd members invaded the field.
The trial match was the first hit out for the new Scorchers recruits Michael Carberry (28 off 17), Michael Klinger (18 off 16), Andrew Tye (1-17) and James Muirhead (0-35), the latter the first player traded in the competition’s four year history, swapping with left-arm spinner Michael Beer to the Melbourne Stars.
One-day wizard Jones couldn’t get his mojo going, out for 16 off 25 balls. Sporting a GoPro on the top of his helmet, Symonds typically muscled three boundaries, but was bowled by the impressive left-arm pace of Jason Behrendorff.
The Scorchers won last season’s BBL title, but they will start their Championship defence missing star players Mitch Marsh (Test duties), Shaun Marsh (Test duties) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (hamstring).