Strikers go top after Rashid delivers again
Rashid Khan sparkled again as Adelaide Strikers grasped the opportunity to go top of the Big Bash League with a 25-run victory over Sydney Thunder on Sunday.
The in-form Colin Ingram top scored with 48 from 31 balls at Spotless Stadium, where Fawad Ahmed took 3-31 and Gurinder Sandhu 2-28 in the Strikers' innings of 158-7.
Rashid blasted an unbeaten 16 in the final over from Mitchell McClenaghan and the Afghanistan spinner took 2-21 from his four overs as the Thunder could only muster 133-9.
Michael Neser (3-29) and Peter Siddle (2-13) also made key contributions with the ball in a fourth win out of five for the Strikers, leaving the Thunder down in fifth spot and eagerly awaiting the return of Australia batsman Usman Khawaja after the final Ashes Test finishes.
INGRAM IN THE ZONE
Ingram made 66 in the defeat of Hobart Hurricanes last time out and flexed his muscles again, smashing four sixes and two fours in a brutal knock.
Alex Carey looked well set when Ahmed bowled him for 34 off 28, but Ingram got into full flow, striking Sandhu over the ropes at square leg twice with great timing and power.
Sandhu got a measure of revenge by snaring the South African caught behind, but his dismissal came too late in the day.
RASHID GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
Rashid has proved to be a shrewd signing for the Strikers and stepped up again under the lights.
After launching McClenaghan for two sixes in a costly final over, the 19-year-old tweaker bowled the dangerous Jos Buttler with a wrong'un to end an opening stand of 45 in the seventh over.
Rashid also saw the back of Arjun Nair and has now taken two wickets in all five BBL matches. The teenager took a catch for good measure and picked up the man-of-the-match award.
ROHRER ROARS IN LOST CAUSE
Tight bowling from the Strikers frustrated the home side, but Ben Rohrer produced some fireworks to get the crowd on the edge of their seats.
He hit Ben Laughlin for 22 from four deliveries in the 18th over to give the Thunder hope, but Neser dismissed him for a 13-ball 29 and that all-but sealed victory for the Strikers.
Siddle, another impressive new recruit, struck twice in the last over as Adelaide eased to another win.
Proud new owner of a cricket bat! Have no idea what to do with it, as per the confusion on my face. Thanks to @HurricanesBBL & George for the bat and jersey and quick swing lesson ?? pic.twitter.com/kujthtEez7— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) January 7, 2018