BBL 2017-18, Match 4, Review – Strikers begin season on high, thump Sydney Thunders by 53 runs

Rashid Khan was awarded Man of the Match for his spell of 2/22 in the middle overs.

Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder
Peter Siddle of the Adelaide Strikers celebrates with his teammates. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Adelaide Strikers began their season on a high by defeating Sydney Thunders comprehensively by 53 runs in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL). The domestic T20 extravaganza of Australia has taken the cricketing world by storm with some world-class players in the shortest format of the game taking part in it. Ben Laughlin and Rashid Khan were the stars for Adelaide side in their home ground. However, the decent effort from the batsmen also has to be credited who posted a fighting total to defend.

Shane Watson, the skipper of Sydney Thunders, called it wrong when the coin was flipped in the air and had to bowl first at the Adelaide Oval. Rashid Khan, the leggie from Afghanistan, made his BBL debut as the youngster continues to impress the World. The home side didn’t get off to a great start as they lost their opener Jake Weatherald in the second over itself. But the skipper Travis Head and Alex Carey stitched 89-run stand then for the second wicket as they looked set for a big total.

But the young leg-spinner Arjun Nair put brakes on their run-scoring as he scalped both of them with his variations. Strikers couldn’t get the final push as they wickets at key moments in the death overs. Eventually, they could post 163 for the loss of 6 wickets which looked a little below par after the first innings. The pitch was responding to the slower deliveries and off-cutters and the bowlers of Thunders bowled them perfectly. Mitchell McClenaghan and Nair were the only wicket-takers for the visitors. Fawad Ahmed also bowled a tidy spell and conceded runs only at 6 runs an over despite not picking up a wicket.

The derailed chase from word go

Sydney Thunders had done well to restrict Adelaide Strikers to a middling total after a good start and it was their turn to bat sensibly in the chase. But apart from Kurtis Patterson (48), none of their batsmen looked to apply themselves. The BBL debutant Rashid Khan kept a lid on their scoring and scalped crucial wickets of Ben Rohrer and Ryan Gibson in the middle overs. Ben Laughlin, then joined the party as Thunders batting line-up unravelled like anything. They lost 9/64 after losing their captain Shane Watson in the 8th over.

Laughlin was responsible for their collapse as he cleaned up the tail after the pressure was built up by the likes of Peter Siddle (2/6) and Rashid (2/22). He finished with the sensational figures of 4/26 as Billy Stanlake and Travis Head were the other wicket-takers. For Thunders, only four players reached double-figures and four of their batsmen bagging a duck. They were bowled out in the 18th over for 110 runs well short of the target by 53 runs.

Rashid Khan continued to rule the batsmen all over the world as he was awarded the Man of the Match for the game-changing spell in the middle overs.

Brief Scores

Adelaide Strikers 163/6 after 20 overs (A Carey 44, T Head 36; A Nair 3/36)

Sydney Thunder 110/10 after 17.4 overs (K Patterson 48; B Laughlin 4/26, P Siddle 2/6,R Khan 2/22)

Result: Adelaide Strikers won by 53 runs

Man of the Match: Rashid Khan