Consistency and an all-round team effort were key parts of the Perth Scorchers’ 2016-17 KFC Big Bash League success but who was the fans’ Player of the Year?
There’s no shortage of contenders, from leading wicket-taker Mitchell Johnson to top scorer Michael Klinger, while all-rounder Mitch Marsh was stunning before Australia duty and injury.
Ian Bell, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Tim Bresnan, David Willey, Sam Whiteman and many more all made valuable contributions too.
A big part of the Scorchers success was their bowling, so let’s start there…
Johnson topped the Scorchers wicket-takers’ list (equal fourth overall) with 13 scalps in nine games, coming into his own after a steady start, to be arguably the player of the finals.
Who can forget that 3-3 against the Melbourne Stars in the semi-final?
The left-arm quick’s average of 15.46 is outstanding. There were a few who worried he’d be expensive in T20 cricket given his pace but his economy rate of 5.91 was the best in the competition.
Youngster Richardson was a massive surprise packet, finishing BBL|06 with 11 wickets at 20.18, with a Player of the Final performance, taking 3-30.
Richardson’s final display wasn’t all about his bowling, though. He produced a brilliant run out as well as a catch. The youngster is a gun fielder, taking nine plucks in BBL|06.
Tye was a key figure for Perth earlier in BBL|06, before a lean end to his tournament. Yet he still finished with 10 wickets from 10 games.
The bearded bowler’s economy rate of 7.14 is particularly impressive given he bowls the death overs, when the opposition are swinging.
English import Bresnan went about his business quietly but was hugely effective, claiming nine wickets in five games, while made a handy 20no against the Stars and took four catches.
Countryman Willey was crucial in the power play before heading off on international duty, taking seven wickets at 13.71 with an economy rate of 6.40.
Then there’s the all-rounders…
Marsh only played half of the Scorchers games in BBL|06 but he has a genuine case to be considered for the Club’s Player of the Season after a barnstorming start to the campaign.
The big-hitting all-rounder crunched 210 runs at an average of 70 with a strike rate of 152.17. He also claimed three wickets with the ball, plus three catches and is a positive figure around the group.
Turner started the tournament on fire, blasting the Adelaide Strikers around the park. Turner finished with 123 runs, but batting in the middle order is all about strike rate and his was 146.42.
The 24-year-old chipped in with his handy part-time spin claiming five wickets and he also took a team-high nine catches, fielding everywhere, from the slips to the rope.
Statistically Agar wasn't outstanding but he was consistent with bat, ball and in the field. Most of Agar’s eight catches were spectacular. And who can forget that amazing match-winning six off the last ball against the Melbourne Renegades.
The left-arm spinner only managed 79 runs but they came at a strike rate of 158. He chipped in with only three wickets but got reliably economical as the tournament wore on, going at 7.67 per over.
Finally the batsmen…
It’s hard to ignore Klinger’s form, sitting fourth in the BBL scoring charts with 334 runs at an average of 37.11 which is pretty reliable for an opener. He turned it on with 71no in the BBL Final too.
The veteran also clocked up his runs with a strike rate of 126.99, hitting 29 fours and 11 sixes, plus he claimed six catches usually fielding inside the ring.
English import Bell was a steady figure in BBL|06, starting strong and finishing the season strong too. Bell accumulated 231 runs at 33, with a solid strike rate of 126.92 and shone in the Final when it mattered.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Whiteman was brilliant with his glovework in BBL|06, with four catches and involvement in several run outs, but he had an unexpected effect at the top of the batting order too.
Whiteman made 154 runs with a rapid strike rate of 138.73, including 17 fours and five sixes, with his blazing 41 in the BBL Final proving hugely important.
Shaun Marsh had a lean tournament by his standards, but finished his campaign with back-to-back half-centuries before ODI duty. Marsh finished with 180 runs.
Who was your Scorchers player of the tournament?