Adelaide Strikers beat the Sydney Thunder by six runs.
The Adelaide Strikers survived a master class from Mike Hussey to register a six run win over the Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium last night.
In front of a crowd of 11,068, the Thunder were looking for their first win in over two years but a lack of support with the bat for Hussey saw them fall six runs short of the Strikers total.
After losing the toss and being sent into bat, English import Alex Hales (16) and Michael Klinger (44) picked up where they left off in Hobart in their last game putting on 27 for the first wicket before the Thunder got the important wicket of Hales.
Despite having a strong platform to build on after the powerplay overs, the Strikers struggled to build big partnerships, as Dirk Nannes (2/22) and English import Chris Woakes (1/31) tightened the screws through the middle overs.
A big last over by Strikers batsman Nathan Reardon (32) helped his side to a competitive total of 6/153 from their 20 overs.
Having lost David Warner to the Test team and Usman Khawaja pre-game to a hamstring injury, the Thunder batting line-up looked a lot more vulnerable, and this was taken advantage of by the Strikers as Johan Botha (1/22) removed Daniel Hughes (0) with the second ball of the innings.
The pain continued for the Thunder as Strikers recruit Michael Neser (3/24) removed Ryan Carters (6) and Carl Sandri (13) in the fourth over leaving the Thunder floundering at 3/20.
After being recruited over the off-season to change the fortunes of Thunder, Hussey (85) and import Eoin Morgan (35) set about resurrecting their team’s innings.
Hussey and Morgan looked to be cruising through the middle part of the innings putting on 109 for the fourth wicket, before Morgan was removed for 35 in the 17th over by Neser.
This would be the catalyst for a Strikers revival as they fought their way back into the game through Callum Ferguson who ran out Thunder batsman Kurtis Patterson in the 19th over leaving the Thunder with 11 runs to get off of seven balls.
With Hussey still at the crease the home side needed 10 runs off the last over that was bowled by Shaun Tait (1/36).
In a heart breaker for Thunder players and fans, Hussey was caught by Botha off the bowling of Tait on the fifth ball of the over to seal the unlikely six run win for the visitors.
Mr Cricket (Hussey) was given the man of the match award after scoring 85 off just 56 balls and almost getting his team over the line.
The Thunder now shift their focus to their clash with the Melbourne stars on New Year’s Day, while the Strikers will be looking for another win when they face the Perth Scorchers at Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve.
Written by: Joe Schwab @MeadowsWidget