Warner avoids shoving ban, Abbott bowls Sixers to win over Scorchers, Kohli belts another ton

Cricket, featured, Perth Scorchers, Sean Abbott, Sydney Sixers, Virat Kohli

David Warner won’t face punishment for shoving Big Bash rival and long-time Australian teammate Matthew Wade during the Sydney Thunder’s loss to the Hobart Hurricanes.

On Sunday afternoon, Wade and Thunder captain Chris Green had a heated exchange after Green finished bowling the 10th over in the second innings in Hobart, with Wade’s batting partner Tim David appearing to placate the incensed bowler.

Just after the confrontation, Warner shoved Wade away as the Tasmanian tried to approach him in the drinks break.

Warner walked away before things escalated. Wade was caught in the deep during the next over. “That was inappropriate. I don’t know what went on between them there,” Fox’s Kerry O’Keeffe said of Warner’s push. “Was it jocular? We’ll find out later.”

On Monday, Cricket Australia confirmed to AAP that the on-field umpire did not lodge a report following the incident and that Warner would not face sanctions for lashing out at Wade.

After the game, Green and Wade confirmed they had buried the hatchet, downplaying their confrontation in a joint broadcast interview.

The match was Warner’s second since ending a nine-year Big Bash hiatus and joining the Thunder for five games.

Cricket Australia needed to subsidise Warner’s paycheck with money from its marketing budget but the Test opener played only a small role on Sunday, being bowled for a duck by Riley Meredith.

Abbott fires Sixers past Scorchers

Sean Abbott has bowled the Sydney Sixers to a crucial six-run win over the Perth Scorchers to help narrow the gap at the top of the Big Bash League ladder to one point.

With the visitors chasing 152 for victory, opener Steve Eskinazi’s unbeaten 66 from 54 balls was not enough on Sunday as both teams struggled to get going at the SCG.

Abbott was the star for the hosts in claiming 3-18, his tight return coming despite three of his overs being bowled in power-surge overs.

It marked the third straight game Abbott has claimed three wickets, after a quiet start to the season.

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“My power surges haven’t been great this year,” Abbott said. “I went away and did some planning to be better there, because I am the senior bowler in the side and I have let the guys down there. It’s just executing more.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15: Sean Abbott of the Sixers celebrates taking the wicket of Aaron Hardie of the Scorchers during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers at Sydney Cricket Ground, on January 15, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Sean Abbott celebrates taking the wicket of Aaron Hardie. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Dan Christian also claimed 2-7 in the penultimate over, before Hayden Kerr (2-31) successfully defended the 16 required from the final over to leave the Scorchers on 7-145.

Abbott removed Cameron Bancroft and Aaron Hardie in his opening spell for one run apiece, before he earned the crucial wicket of Nick Hobson late in the chase on the legside boundary.

Until that point, Hobson’s 27 from 18 balls had given the Scorchers hope of victory, with one of two big sixes off Nathan Lyon going into the top tier of the Brewongle Stand.

“It’s the first time I’ve faced him,” Hobson said. “It was a nice highlight in there, but it would have been nice to do it in the last over and get us over the line.”

Hobson’s strikepower came in Lyon’s return to the BBL from Test duties, with Australia’s newest squad member Todd Murphy squeezed out as the Sixers retained Steve O’Keefe.

Murphy had taken five wickets this season and conceded less than a run a ball, but now faces a fight to regain his spot before leaving for India.

Earlier, Steve Smith showed his value to the BBL in the Sixers’ 5-151.

In his first match back in three seasons, Smith hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 36 off 27 balls, as opening partner Josh Philippe also made 57 off 48.

The pick of Smith’s shots was was a slog sweep for six off Ashton Agar, while he also played a superb back-foot drive off David Payne.

Another six came when he hooked Behrendorff over backward-square leg.

Smith is on a sizeable marketing deal from Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW to play in the Sixers’ final four regular-season games.

And while he fell, caught at cover, off Peter Hatzoglou (2-27), his and Lyon’s returns helped the Sixers to their biggest crowd of the summer with 20,304 fans.

The Sixers’ win keeps alive their hopes of claiming top spot on the BBL, which would earn them hosting rights for the grand-final qualifier.

Kohli smashes another century

India have recorded the biggest-ever victory in one-day internationals after they thrashed Sri Lanka by 317 runs in the final ODI in Thiruvananthapuram as Virat Kohli put on a batting masterclass and Mohammed Siraj excelled with the ball.

The win on Sunday completed a 3-0 series sweep for India, who won the first match in Guwahati by 67 runs and the second in Kolkata by four wickets.

Kohli smashed an unbeaten 166, hitting 13 fours and eight sixes, in his 110-ball display. 

It was the former captain’s 46th ODI century and he is now only three short of Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record for most ODI hundreds.

“Today I was happy to be batting out there and in that space I end up playing good cricket. I am in a nice space right now, just trying to be organic,” said Kohli, who was named the man of the series, having also scored a century in the first match.

Virat Kohli of India bats.

Virat Kohli of India bats. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Opener Shubman Gill also made a telling contribution with his own century – 116 off 97 balls – as India ended their innings at a mammoth 5-390 after opting to bat first.

Seamer Siraj then picked up 4-32 and played a role in a run-out, while Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets each as India skittled Sri Lanka for just 73 inside 22 overs.

“It’s disappointing. Not a game we wanted. It happens,” said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka.

“We need to learn how to manage the start. Bowlers should learn how to take wickets on these decks, and the batters should learn to score.”

BIGGEST ODI WINS (BY RUNS)

317 – India bt Sri Lanka (Thiruvananthapuram, 2023)
290 – New Zealand bt Ireland (Aberdeen, 2008)
275 – Australia bt Afghanistan (Perth, 2015)
272 – South Africa bt Zimbabwe (Benoni, 2010)
258 – South Africa bt Sri Lanka (Paarl, 2012)
257 – India bt Bermuda (Port of Spain, 2007)
257- South Africa bt West Indies (Sydney, 2015)

MOST MEN’S ODI HUNDREDS

49 – Sachin Tendulkar (India)
46 – Virat Kohli (India)
30 – Ricky Ponting (Australia/ICC)
29 – Rohit Sharma (India)
28 – Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka/Asia)

Lanning thrilled with Perry’s bounce-back

Meg Lanning returned to the Australian captaincy after a five-month break to be delighted with what she’s seen with star batter Ellyse Perry’s bounce-back in her absence.

Considering Perry’s confirmed status as one of the world’s best, it is a huge boost to the Australian side ahead of a six-game ODI and T20 series with Pakistan before next month’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Lanning was at the other end in two fruitful partnerships in early January, watching Perry in action in two WNCL games for Victoria when she scored 147 off 125 balls and 130 off 95 in the space of three days against NSW.

Three weeks prior, Perry made 72 not out and 75 for Australia in T20 internationals against India.

“She is something else at the moment with the bat,” Lanning said at the launch of the Pakistan series in Brisbane, which begins at Allan Border Field on Monday.

“I watched a little bit from the other end the other week and … very impressive. It looks very easy.

“She looks in control of her game and once she gets going and starts taking the bowling on there is no-one who can really stop her.

“It is very exciting for our team that she has gone to another level, which is pretty difficult in itself given how good she is.

“I think she is going to be a very major contributor for us, not just in this 50-over stuff but into the T20 World Cup as well.”

Perry, 32, said self-improvement was always on her agenda.

“I absolutely love this game. We all do, but one of the biggest things that provides me with so much enjoyment is working on things and continuing to challenge yourself to get better,” Perry said.

Ellyse Perry. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

“Sometimes that happens in a short period of time and other times it takes years to evolve and understand. I have really loved the last little bit, but equally I have loved all the challenges along the way.”

Perry played at the last T20 World Cup but missed Australia’s win in the final at the MCG in front of a record 86,174 crowd with an injury sustained in the last group game.

“I was still very much part of the group and had the chance to be at that final on what was one of the most remarkable days for our team and the women’s game,” Perry said. “Keeping that in perspective, I am certainly really looking forward to the next World Cup.

“Two years is a really long time in the women’s game. It is progressing so quickly and developing, and not just in Australia but around the world. From a competition perspective I think it is going to be the tightest one yet. There are so many teams pushing for a spot in the final. It is going to be a challenge for us.”

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