Adelaide Strikers secured their first BBL06 win as their bowling attack defended a below par score to record a 48-run win over Sydney Sixers.
In a repeat of last year’s New Year’s Eve encounter at the Adelaide Oval, the Strikers built on brisk start to post 152 for nine, with captain Brad Hodge (36) and Ben Dunk (37) top scoring.
Kieron Pollard added 29 off 20 balls with two big sixes, while Chris Jordan’s 18 helped push the total above 150.
The Strikers could have scored more but Player of the Match Sean Abbott snaffled 5-16 for the visitors, only the fifth five-wicket haul in Big Bash history, and the best analysis from an Australian, to make amends for his nightmare 12 months ago. His efforts were in vain, though, as the Sixers crumbled in their run chase.
Exactly twelve months ago Abbott endured a miserable outing for the Sixers against the Strikers, the seamer registering figures of 1-57 off 3.3 overs at 16.28. Travis Head was his tormentor in-chief that day with a stunning 101 not out, but Abbott finally got his revenge at the Adelaide Oval. Head was one his victims today, brilliantly caught by Somerville at deep fine leg.
“I’d be lying if I said I was’t thinking about last year’s game,” Abbott confessed. “I had a good feeling about tonight. I’d trained well. While it’s nice to get some wickets its disappointing not to get the team result.”
Jason Roy (18) and Daniel Hughes (16) shared a 34-run opening stand for the Sixers but their chances rapidly reduced as seven wickets fell for 30 runs.
Sam Billings gave the Sixers hope with a quick-fire 40 but he was caught and bowled by England team-mate Jordan (2-27) and that spelt the end for the visitors. Billings smashed the ball back low and right out of the middle, but Jordan, famed for his fast hands, caught the ball in his follow through. It was a special moment.
Fittingly it fell to captain Hodge to take the winning catch to remove Will Somerville as Billy Stanlake (3-17) finished with back-to-back wickets. 22-year-old Stanlake was particularly impressive, his pace and bounce, a particularly vicious ball accounting for Brad Haddin as the former Aussie keeper attempted a hook and was forced back onto his own stumps.
CURRENT BIG BASH LADDER
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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