SYDNEY – The Adelaide Strikers heaped more misery on Chris Gayle and the struggling Sydney Thunder, powering to a 51-run victory in the Twenty20 Big Bash League match at ANZ Stadium today.
With Michael Klinger top-scoring with 60, the Strikers made an imposing total of 177 for 6 after being sent in to bat by Thunder skipper Chris Rogers. And the bottom side were never in the hunt, being bowled out for 126 in the penultimate over.
Former Australian Test speedster Shaun Tait made a welcome return to the Adelaide Strikers line-up for the first time this season, generating good pace in taking 3 for 22 off three overs.
The Thunder’s listless start to their innings was epitomised by Gayle’s uncharacteristically slow 8 from 19 balls before fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard dismissed him.
Only a seventh-wicket partnership of 51 between Ryan Carters and Scott Coyte saved the Thunder from more embarrassment after they crashed to 64 for 6.
Sydney were eventually dismissed for 126 in the 19th over, with Coyte top-scoring with a breezy 33, including two sixes.Earlier, Adelaide built a highly competitive score based on a strong opening partnership of 81 between Klinger and Tim Ludeman. Klinger top-scored with 60 off 46 balls.
Fellow opener Ludeman struck 46 off 39 balls, while Nathan Reardon smashed 42 off just 20 deliveries.
Despite the run-fest, Thunder paceman Dirk Nannes impressed to take 4 for 17 off his allotted four overs.
It was the third successive loss for Sydney Thunder to start the season, with their winless run now stretching to eight matches.
Adelaide have won two of their opening three games to sit second on the BBL table behind the Melbourne Renegades.
Strikers’ paceman Tait was delighted with his first outing of the season after a recent spell with Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand.
“Two (wins) and one (loss) makes the next few games a bit easier. It gives us a bit of momentum going into the Sixers game, which is good for us,” said Tait.
“It was nice to come out and get a couple of wickets.”I have been training pretty well.”The ball has been coming out well, probably the best for a couple of years to be honest.
“I was looking forward to getting a run and it come off tonight and my form is still there from training.”
Dirk Nannes, whose left-arm seamers provided one of the few highlights of the night for Sydney Thunder, lamented another defeat.
“The last few games we could say we were OK with the ball but tonight we struggled right across the board,” said Nannes.
“It’s going to be a long season if we keep playing like that.”††