Rashid cameo not enough as Thunder hold off Strikers

By Sports Desk December 31, 2019

Rashid Khan's thrilling cameo was not enough to stop the Adelaide Strikers suffering their first loss of the Big Bash season against the Sydney Thunder at Adelaide Oval.

An 18-ball 40 from Rashid, which included four fours and three sixes, looked set to inspire the Strikers to a fourth straight victory on Tuesday.

However, with Adelaide needing five off the final two balls to triumph, the Afghanistan international was run out attempting an ambitious second run.

Responsibility to clinch the win subsequently fell to Wes Agar but he was unable to connect sufficiently with Chris Morris' delivery and was run out by the South African, securing a three-run triumph for the Thunder.

 

FERGUSON SETS THE TONE

The Thunder set a target of 169 for the Strikers and owed much of that to the work of Usman Khawaja (63) and Callum Ferguson (73).

The duo combined for a 73-run stand after Alex Hales (4) fell, with Ferguson racking up seven fours and two sixes in an expansive knock that saw him move top of this season's scoring charts on 229.

Those maximums came off successive Rashid deliveries, one of which was ruled a no ball, before he holed out to deep midwicket.

Peter Siddle (2-30) claimed two wickets in a final over that went for just three runs, but Ferguson's efforts ended up proving the difference.

 

WEATHERALD MILESTONE

While his opening partner Phil Salt went for a six-ball duck and the Strikers were reduced to 36-3 after 5.4 overs, Jake Weatherald ensured their chase did not entirely collapse.

He became the second Striker to reach 1,000 BBL runs, joining Travis Head, and plundered a trio of sixes off one Jonathan Cook over en route to his second fifty of the season.

However, Daniel Sams (2-32) got Weatherald on 52 with a slower delivery, and when Arjun Nair (2-19) accounted for Cameron Valente and Cameron White in the same over the hosts were in trouble at 118-7.

 

RASHID RUFFLES FEATHERS

The Strikers required 53 runs off 28 balls when Rashid walked out to the middle and he certainly looked in the mood when he launched a six that left him on his backside over deep midwicket.

His display of varied and exciting striking continued when, on the back of a four and a third six of the match, he guided a magnificent checked sweep in front of square and to the ropes.

Rashid's back-to-back fours off Morris put Adelaide in position to snatch victory in the final over, but the Thunder just about managed to hold them off and seal an enthralling win.

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