BBL 2015: Brad Hodge steers Adelaide Strikers past Melbourne Stars
Fifties from captain Brad Hodge and Alex Ross helped Adelaide Strikers get off to a winning start to the KFC Big Bash League 2015, as they beat Melbourne Stars by 19 runs at the Adelaide Oval.
Strikers finished with 187/5 in their 20 overs, but in response, Stars led by David Hussey could only muster 168 as nobody apart from opener Marcus Stoinis were able to convert a start into a big score that was needed to chase down the total on a good batting pitch.
When Craig Simmons hit two sixes off the opening over, it looked as though David Hussey’s decision to ask the Strikers to bat was the wrong one. But by the end of the powerplay, their decision proved to the right one after all as the hosts lost their top three and were in a spot of bother at 40/3 at the end of the sixth over.
Hodge came in and tried to consolidate along with Travis Head, but the southpaw feathered Hastings behind in the 10th over. At 65/4 with half the innings left to play, the hosts were looking unlikely to post a competitive total.
But Hodge along with Ross first started slowly before pressing the accelerator in the 17th over. John Hastings, who had bowled brilliantly hitherto was smashed for 24 runs in his final over, as Ross and Hodge smoked three sixes between them.
That over sparked a fantastic finish by the home side, who scored 67 runs in the final four overs, thanks to Hodge’s unbeaten 56 and Ross’ 65 off just 31 balls, a knock which seven fours and three sixes.
Stars got off to the perfect start in response, as openers Stoinis and Luke Wright saw off an eventful powerplay, which saw them finish on 53 for no loss. Arguably the most eventful period in the opening six overs was the first nine balls, which saw the Strikers fluff three chances to take a wicket.
The first was a stumping that was missed by keeper Tim Ludeman, while the next two were both catches off successive deliveries. Simmons first dropped a head-high catch of Stoinis at slip, before the keeper spilled a top-edge from Wright.
Wright though was unable to take advantage as he was dismissed for 13, when he tread on his stumps off Adil Rashid’s first ball for the Strikers in BBL 2015. At 87/1 at the end of the 10th over and two set batsman at the crease, it looked as though the game was theirs to lose.
And that is exactly how it panned out as they continually lost wickets at regular intervals. It all began in the 12th over when Ben Laughlin dismissed both Stoinis and Kevin Pietersen off the first and last ball of his second over.
Although they still had David Hussey and Glenn Maxwell at the crease, the run-rate, which was climbing continuosly proved to be too much, even for a star-studded batting line-up like Melbourne’s.
In the end, their big hitters too much to do from the outset and by the time both Hussey and Maxwell got out, the game was already getting away from them and it was a question of how many runs they would lose by.
Some lusty blows from Hastings in the final over ensured that the margin of defeat was under 20 runs, but it was still a disappointing day for the Stars, whose batting line-up failed ot chase the target on a good batting wicket.
Scorecard: - won the toss and chose to field
|T Ludeman||18 (15)|
|M Jayawardene||5 (8)|
|T Head||16 (16)|
|B Hodge||56* (41)|
|A Ross||65 (31)|
|M Neser||7* (3)|
|M Stoinis||50 (42)|
|L Wright||13 (12)|
|K Pietersen||22 (17)|
|G Maxwell||21 (12)|
|D Hussey||25 (13)|
|J Faulkner||10* (10)|
|P Handscomb||2 (5)|
|A Zampa||0 (1)|
|J Hastings||15* (8)|
Adelaide Strikers beat Melbourne Stars by 19 runs.
Man of the Match: Alex Ross