Strikers claim five wins in five New Year’s Eve games

Adelaide Strikers 147 for 7 (Neser 40, Lalor 3-40) beat Brisbane Heat 91 (Neser 2-7, Rashid 2-19) by 56 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Adelaide Strikers will begin 2018 on top of the BBL table after a dominant win over Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval.

The Strikers formula has been predictable yet impregnable so far. They manufactured a par score and defended brilliantly again for their third straight win. Michael Neser was the unlikely hero with the bat. He scored 40 not out from 26 balls to help lift the total to 7 for 147, a score the Strikers could hardly have dreamt of when he walked out at 5 for 76 with seven overs to go.

Then the Strikers decimated the Heat’s top order with a combination of spin and pace. Rashid Khan claimed the key wicket of Chris Lynn, albeit slightly fortuitously in the biggest moment of the match. The legspinner finished with 2 for 19, which took his tournament figures to 6 for 63 in 12 overs.

Strikers’ top-order crumbles under Heat

In the first two games, Strikers were able to put up at least 160 on the board, underpinned by excellent innings from Alex Carey. But Carey fell early, the left-arm quick Josh Lalor nipping one through an open gate as he tried to loft down the ground. Jake Weatherald was dismissed in a similar manner two overs later, but it was a slower ball that crashed into leg stump.

Then Brendon McCullum turned to spin and Yasir Shah, included to replace Shadab Khan, showed his class. Yasir and Mitchell Swepson whipped through six overs conceding just a run-a-ball. Travis Head was completely deceived by a trademark wrong ‘un. When Yasir bagged Ingram with the last ball of the 13th over, he finished with figures of 2 for 18 from four overs, and the Strikers were 5 for 76 with just 42 balls remaining.

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