Sport

Thomas to work his magic against Stars in BBL semi-final

Alfonso Thomas of the Scorchers bowls during the BBL match between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Thunder at WACA on January 4, 2013 in Perth, Australia.
Alfonso Thomas of the Scorchers bowls during the BBL match between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Thunder at WACA on January 4, 2013 in Perth, Australia. Paul Kane / Getty Images

PERTH Scorchers coach Justin Langer kept his word to Twenty20 specialist Alfonso Thomas.

The former Australian representative told the veteran South African all-rounder, a former teammate of his at English county, Somerset, that he would be his first signing if he ever became coach of a Twenty20 team.

When Langer replaced Lachlan Stevens as coach of the Warriors and Scorchers in November, he was straight on the phone to Thomas, asking the 35-year-old to bring his experience Down Under.

He couldn't arrive in time for the first two games of the BBL campaign, games the Scorchers lost, but he has repaid Langer's faith in his ability since he first donned a bright orange shirt in round three.

Thomas, who played for the Adelaide Strikers in last summer's BBL, has taken 12 wickets in his six games this season at an impressive average of 10.80.

His economy rate is an outstanding 5.54 an over, and his best return has been 4-8.

It's form like that, together with that of opener Shaun Marsh, the competition's leading run-scorer with 328 runs at an average of 65.6, which has played a leading role in the Scorchers earning a home semi-final showdown against the Melbourne Stars at the WACA tonight.

The last time the two teams met in round 2 at the WACA, paceman Lasith Malinga destroyed the Scorchers, taking 6-7, the best figures in Australian domestic Twenty20 history, as the Shane Warne-captained Stars won by 10-wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Malinga won't be playing tonight as he is in the Sri Lankan ODI squad preparing for the third game at the Gabba on Friday.

Thomas said he and his teammates could not afford to take the Stars lightly, even without Malinga in the bowling attack.

"There is no doubt losing him (Malinga) does make a huge difference when you take into account what he did against us earlier this season," Thomas said.

"Saying that, they still have a decent bowling attack - Jackson Bird is coming off playing in a couple of Tests and he'll be confident, while James Faulkner is always a threat.

"Our batters will have to be on their game, for sure."

The Stars will also be missing Clint McKay and David Hussey through international commitments, but Thomas, whose nickname in England is "The Great Alfonso" (after a UK magician) because of his ability to bowl dot-balls at the death, said the visitors still posed a huge threat.

"The line-up is still a very dangerous one," he said.

"They will be well and truly up for it - Warney will certainly rev them up."

Topics:  bbl, big bash league, cricket, melbourne stars, perth scorchers, t20


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

DOUBT: Andrew Antoniolli, Paul Pisasale and Paul Tully announce the lagoon project in February.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

Images of our shameful past

FOUND: Wade Thompson and Henry Thompson Jr at the Deebing Creek Mission Cemetery.

Images of our shameful past

Show out to deliver the thrills

The Safari Zoo is expected to be a big attraction for the kids.

Show out to deliver the thrills s

Latest deals and offers

She ran a meth lab in her shed, but walked free from court

Hatton Vale woman with a meth lab in her mum's shed has faced court.

Baby boy arrives on driveway of grandparents' home

Toby Hill was born on June 22 on his grandparents driveway in Riverhills. Pictured is grandfather Nick Eagle, emergency dispatcher Marie Grant, grandmother Donna Eagle, paramedic Kate Patis, mum Hannah Hill, paramedic Rachel Prentice, dad Matt Hill and big brother Bradley Hill.

Woman gives birth to impatient baby on driveway

Man "shot in the chest" after disagreement over iPad

Judge gives offender spray over her actions.

Jayde Kendall murder accused to plead not guilty

MURDERED TEEN: Jayde Amanda Kendall.

Brenden Jacob Bennetts charged with teen's murder on

Sentimental find by police, is this yours?

The letter (pictured), along with other property of sentimental value was located on June 24 in a vehicle in North Ipswich.

Property in a vehicle in North Ipswich on June 24

Learn to empower business with guest speaker

Damian Morgan will exchange ideas with some of Ipswich's business leaders during a series of free seminars he will be holding at the Ipswich Civic Centre on Wednesday June 15.

Damian Morgan to speak at business leaders seminar

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward