Adelaide Strikers secured a crucial six-run win over the Sydney Thunder in the latest BBL encounter to move to the third spot on the points table. Chasing 160 to win, Sydney Thunder were cruising at 71-1, but lost their way.
Earlier, Adelaide Strikers reached 159-6 thanks to contributions from Phil Salt, Travis Head, and Jake Weatherald. Adam Milne was superb in his bowling spell for the Thunder as he finished with figures of 1-6 in his four overs.
Brief BBL score: Adelaide Strikers 159-6 (Salt 31, Doggett 2-21). Sydney Thunder 153-7 (Khawaja 36, Neser 2-17). The Thunder won by 6 runs.
Sydney Thunder suffer their 6th BBL defeat of the season
Coming on the back of a century, Alex Hales didn't last long in this BBL tie as he was caught behind off Peter Siddle for 10. Then Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja batted sensibly and took the score to 71-1 in 9 overs.
With 12 needed off the 10th over to claim the BBL boost point, the Thunder were dealt a body blow as both Ferguson (22) and Khawaja (36) were dismissed in the same over as they tried to up the ante. The Thunder then lost another crucial wicket as Sam Billings was run out after O'Connor got a brilliant direct hit to send the Englishman packing.
From 71-1, Sydney Thunder collapsed to 84-4 in two overs, and needed 76 off 54 balls. The Thunder never recovered, even though Ben Cutting (24*) & Nathan McAndrew (17*) played decent cameos in the end. With 23 runs needed off the last over, Wes Agar executed his yorkers well to see out the win for the Strikers.
Adam Milne and Brendan Doggett restrict Adelaide Strikers to 159-6
Batting first after winning the toss, the Adelaide Strikers were off to a steady start. Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald were watchful of Adam Milne and failed to get going against him. Nevertheless, the duo took on the other bowlers and reached 42-0 in six overs.
Nathan McAndrew broke the opening partnership as Carey was adjudged lbw for 29. Phil Salt and Weatherald kept the scoreboard moving, and the latter hit two back to back sixes off Ben Cutting.
Weatherald was run out in an unfortunate incident. He was backing up too much at the non-striker's end, and a straight drive from Phil Salt hit Chris Green's hand and ricocheted on the stumps. After ten overs, the Strikers were in a healthy position as they were 82-2.
The BBL Power Surge was taken in the 15th over, and the next two overs yielded only 14 runs, including a three-run over from Milne. Nathan McAndrew, however, conceded 20 runs off the next over as Strikers got a move on.
Brendan Doggett and Milne bowled brilliantly at the death as they conceded only six runs in the final two overs. The former was on a hattrick at one point and was unlucky to miss out on it.
Meanwhile, Adam Milne bowled 20 dot balls in his spell. But, the Thunder were let down by their batsman as the Adelaide Strikers earned a vital win.