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


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

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

Maleny Film Society to screen Carol

VINTAGE BEAUTY: Cate Blanchett stars in Carol.

Maleny Film Society will screen Carol on Saturday.

Maleny festival to celebrate the winter woollies

HOOKED: Debs Swain and Debbie Rossow get ready for Knitfest.

A festival celebrating yarn and fibre arts is coming to Maleny.

New hospital construction stalls as 600 tradies strike

Workers strike at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital development site in Birtinya.

Workers strike over loss of worker's rights

Latest deals and offers

Karen Law Band to play at Goodwills’

The Karen Law Band will play at the next Goodwills' house concert in Maleny.

Maleny Film Society to screen Carol

VINTAGE BEAUTY: Cate Blanchett stars in Carol.

Maleny Film Society will screen Carol on Saturday.

Maleny festival to celebrate the winter woollies

HOOKED: Debs Swain and Debbie Rossow get ready for Knitfest.

A festival celebrating yarn and fibre arts is coming to Maleny.

New hospital construction stalls as 600 tradies strike

Workers strike at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital development site in Birtinya.

Workers strike over loss of worker's rights

Tim Nicholls enters fray with Tim Mander for LNP top job

Former Treasurer Tim Nicholls has vowed to give Lawrence Springborg a senior position if he wins the leadership battle on Friday

The face of Queensland asset sales will fight for the leadership

Fianceé mourns ‘child of the sea’ after Double Island death

Scott Elliot died at Double Island Point in April. His fiance describes him as a "gentle soul" and "child of the sea".

Tribute to selfless man who loved adventure and the ocean

Event to raise money for Maleny Music Festival

GOOD CAUSE: Don’t miss the Eltonettes at the Maleny Film Festival fundraiser.

An event this weekend will raise money for the Maleny Music Festival

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances