Scorchers hold off COVID-hit Stars in BBL

·3-min read

The Perth Scorchers have crushed the COVID-hit Melbourne Stars by 50 runs despite an early scare from BBL top-up players.

Forced into making seven changes for Sunday's game at Melbourne's Junction Oval, the under-strength Stars performed better than expected.

Stars debutant Tom Rogers, who received a shock call-up from Victorian club cricket, hit a dashing 32 opening the batting with Englishman Joe Clarke (52).

But after the pair put on 78 for the first wicket, it quickly unravelled as the Scorchers put their foot down in defence of their total of 8-180.

Once captain Glenn Maxwell and former Australia allrounder Hilton Cartwright departed without making a huge impact, the Stars lost 7-19 in just four overs to be all out for 130.

Former Australia limited-overs quick Andrew Tye (2-11) and legspinner Peter Hatzoglou (2-27) were the pick of the Scorchers' bowlers, while Tymal Mills (3-28) cleaned up the tail.

The title fancies, who were without Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis after the pair were called into the Australia Test squad, were powered to their match-winning score by Kurtis Patterson (54) and New Zealander Colin Munro (40).

The result takes the Scorchers back to the top of the table, leapfrogging the Sydney Sixers.

"We probably just lost our way, including my dismissal, it was just probably a bad one to take the risk off Haris Rauf," Patterson said.

"It's always nice having Ashton Turner out there in those situations, he's one of the most calm people I've seen on a cricket field."

Six club cricketers were rushed into the squad after 10 Stars tested positive for COVID-19.

Eight staff members also remain in isolation after returning positive PCR tests.

In a pre-game interview with Fox Cricket, Maxwell admitted he only met some of his new teammates in the nets just hours before the match.

Key Stars players including Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Beau Webster missed the game.

Rogers, Tom O'Connell, Justin Avendano, Xavier Crone, Lachlan Bangs and Pat Rowe were all named in the Stars' squad of 13, with the first four all featuring.

With coach David Hussey missing, the Stars are being guided by Chris Rogers, Jarrad Loughman and Adam Crosthwaite.

It will be a similar situation set-up for the Melbourne derby against the Renegades at the MCG on Monday night.

Clarke said he had been forced to isolate since the cases emerged in the Stars camp on Thursday, forcing the postponement of the previous match against the Scorchers.

"It's the first time I've got out of my room (for three days) this morning," he said.

"It's been constant communication with our manager to see when the (COVID-19) tests were coming back, when we could leave our room.

"It's been a tough 48 hours but I'm happy we've managed to get a game in."

The Scorchers have also been affected by COVID-19, with bowler Matt Kelly and fringe player Nick Hobson having to isolate.

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