Perth Scorchers Head Coach Justin Langer is hoping playing against some of the world's best T20 bowlers last night will assist in the development of the team's youngsters.
The Scorchers were bowled out for just 69 against the Melbourne Stars, with Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga returning the amazing figures of 6-7 from four overs.
A highlight for the home side was the performance of debutant Hilton Cartwright, who top-scored with 17 against a quality attack featuring Malinga, champion leg spinner Shane Warne, and experienced internationals Clint McKay, Luke Wright and James Faulkner.
Fellow first gamer Marcus Stoinis looked promising before he was another to fall to the rampant overseas fast bowling recruit.
While admitting the Scorchers were not "up to scratch" against the Stars, Langer was seeing the upside to the result at the team's recovery session this morning.
"I'm going to keep saying this for a long time but our players will only get better by playing the best, so I'm glad they had a chance to face Warney last night and Malinga," Langer said.
"If we want to get better individually and collectively, we've got to make sure we play better against the best players."
The match ended in controversial circumstances when the Stars returned after a one hour rain delay to face a single delivery before being declared ten wicket winners under the Duckworth/Lewis method.
There was confusion among players, officials and spectators as to whether the Stars needed to face five overs for a result to be declared, while there was also concern over whether the playing surface was fit for play after the heavy downpour.
Langer was at pains to stress the Stars deserved their victory after they had outplayed his team, but said the process to achieve a result was unusual.
"Because it had rained for so long there was a lot of moisture on the wicket. Then the covers came off and we were straight back out there," he said.
"I know there has been a directive from Cricket Australia to play as much as we can for the fans and for TV and that's a positive thing, but (safety) is paramount.
"We respect the umpires and the referee, and that's the decision they came to. There's nothing we can do but get on with it, smile and make sure we play better next time."
Langer was sympathetic to the many Scorchers fans who braved the rain to stick around at The Furnace waiting for a result, only to see just one more delivery.
"I don't think there was much clarity on what happened last night with the fans and certainly from our point of view, but hopefully we clear that up in the next couple of days," he said.
Late this afternoon the Big Bash League issued a statement from tournament official Mike McKenna to explain how the Stars were awarded victory.
"The Duckworth/Lewis system is complicated at the best of times but we were struck with a unique set of circumstances last night, however the correct result was achieved under the rules,” McKenna said.
The result came from the following circumstances:
-Stars 0-29 off 2 overs when rain interrupted play. No result achieved though as at this stage their target is 70.
-Match reduced. To constitute a match (i.e. complete another 3 overs) play needed to resume by 7:51pm. It stopped raining, and teams were informed that if everything was in order following a field inspection that play would resume.
-After a field inspection at approx. 7:35pm, umpires deemed it fit for play and rescheduled the match to start at 7:51pm. Teams notified.
-D/L calculation updated, which set the Stars a new target of 6 runs off 5 overs.
-As the D/L target had changed when overs were lost, play needed to resume to set the revised target.
-After a minor delay with the teams getting ready, play resumed at 7:52pm. As soon as play resumed the new target of 6 runs was set. As the Stars had reached the target, the result was achieved and the match finished after 2.1 overs of the second innings. Refer clause 12.6.2 b (iii) of playing conditions, “To constitute a match, a minimum of 5 overs have to be bowled to the team batting second subject to a result not being achieved earlier.”
Meanwhile Langer is hopeful star batsman Shaun Marsh will be fit to take on the Sydney Sixers at the SCG this Sunday after a minor hamstring strain kept him out of last night's match.
"With the rain around last night we just couldn't risk him going 100 percent," Langer said.
"He's such an important part of the team for us, he's a great Twenty20 player, he showed in the first game how important he is to us at the top of the order, we just hope he recovers and will be ready to go."
The Scorchers will train at Tne Furnace tomorrow morning before flying to the Harbour City on Saturday.