The Report by Hemant Brar
Adelaide Strikers 4 for 175 (Ingram 75, Carey 59, Sams 2-24) beat Sydney Thunder 6 for 155 (Ferguson 47, Siddle 3-20) by 20 runs
Peter Siddle‘s three-wicket haul, and half-centuries from Alex Carey and Colin Ingram gave Adelaide Strikers their second win of the Big Bash League 2018-19, as they defeated Sydney Thunder by 20 runs on New Year’s Eve.
Carey and Ingram laid a solid platform for the Strikers by adding 75 off 51 deliveries for the second wicket, after Strikers had opted to bat. Carey mostly dealt in boundaries, hitting nine fours and a six in his 40-ball 59. Ingram, who was slow to start off, made it up with six hits over the boundary, to go with his three fours. Strikers were 143 for 2 after the 15th over, but the middle-order failed to capitalise and could manage only 4 for 175 after threatening 200 at one stage.
In response, Thunder started positively before Siddle’s strikes at crucial junctures pegged them back. Despite a 39-ball 47 from Callum Ferguson, they could manage only 6 for 155 from their 20 overs. Rashid Khan, who played this game in honour of his late father, picked up 2 for 34 from his four overs.
Carey breezes away
Carey gave Strikers a breezy start, starting by lofting the third ball of the innings, by Jonathan Cook, over mid-off. He and Jake Weatherald pocketed three more boundaries in the next over before Carey really cut loose. The first three balls of Cook’s next over were looted for three more boundaries. The bowler, though, struck back in the same over, having Weatherald caught-and-bowled.
Fawad Ahmed took some time to get into his rhythm, and that was enough for Carey to hit two more fours in the legspinner’s opening over. Later, he brought up his half-century, off just 28 balls, by lofting the same bowler over long-on for a six. He, along with Ingram, took the side past 100 in the tenth over. Fawad, though, came back strongly in his third over, bowling four successive dots at Carey, and conceding just two in the 11th over.
Having scored just four runs off the last nine balls faced, Carey tried to go over the infield once again, but ended up mistiming a Daniel Sams delivery to Shane Watson at extra cover.
An Ingram storm and lull afterwards
Ingram struggled initially and seemed content to be playing second fiddle to Carey till he found his timing. He was on 10 off 12 balls before pulling a short one from Fawad over square leg for six. Sam Rainbird was next on the receiving end, as Ingram took full advantage of the short square boundary, pulling the bowler for two sixes in three balls.
That was followed by a 27-ball period in which Strikers didn’t manage a single boundary and lost Carey as well. Ingram ended that drought by smashing three sixes in one Cook over. But once he was dismissed, Green and Sams turned off the taps and Strikers could manage only 32 from the last five overs.
Siddle pulls it back
With momentum on their side after restricting Strikers in the death overs, Shane Watson and Jos Buttler started solidly for the Thunder. Watson hit Jake Lehmann for a four and a six to kickstart the chase. Buttler supported his captain by smashing Michael Neser for two fours in the next, before dispatching Billy Stanlake over square leg for a six, as the Thunder raced away to 30 in three overs.
It was then Siddle, released from the Test squad, who brought Strikers back by forcing a top edge from Buttler. Watson, too, slipped away after a quick start and was caught off Neser for a 25-ball 28.
Callum Ferguson and Joe Root, though, kept chipping away and brought down the equation to 67 off 42 balls. Ingram once again turned to Siddle for a breakthrough, and was duly obliged when Siddle dismissed Joe Root and conceded only six from the over.
Ferguson’s lone battle
With Root’s wicket, the onus was on Ferguson to steer his side home, but Jason Sangha and Sams found it difficult to score off Rashid. The wily spinner got Sangha caught at first slip with a leg break. Sams lofted Rashid over sweeper cover for a six, but fell on the very next ball trying to slog one over deep midwicket.
Ferguson had earlier hit Stanlake for two fours and a six in one over before settling into the anchor’s role. But with the required rate increasing steeply, he was left with no option but to look for boundaries. One such shot off Siddle towards deep midwicket resulted in his wicket and ended the chase for all practical purposes.